Printaphilic Phorum

June 4, 2016

#153 The Legend of Bodine’s Tavern

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay — printaphilic @ 9:48 pm

The Legend Of   Bodine’s Tavern

What’s This Say About Your Second Amendment ?

Reading featherweight histories of the New Jersey Pine Barrens from before the time of the internet, you’ll encounter, over and over, mention of Bodine’s Tavern, usually held up as a paradigm for participatory democracy in the young history of our nation.   It was founded by John Bodine shortly after he mustered out of General Washington’s successful Continental Army and run by his family until the mid 18th century. The site was well chosen, close by the bridge over the Wading River, first stop where the stagecoach road from the port of Tuckerton, NJ wandered west toward Camden and Philadelphia. It was also quite close to post colonial industrial settlements at Batsto, Atsion, Martha Furnace and Harrisville. These places were especially important during the War of 1812. They often don’t look like much today, but there’s some great beauty there if you’re open to it.

DSC_3817MODone©WEB Overlook At Martha Creek

DSC_3817MODone©WEB Overlook At Martha Creek

 

The easy histories tell of how the tavern was the social center for the not-at-all teetotal folk of the Wading, Bass and Mullica River basins, rather a large catchment.   It was the polling place for elections…you’ll remember that the electorate then were only land holding white males…no need to poll them in the school (what school ?) or church (which one ?) to accommodate the bone china teacup ladies. Four times a year at the change of seasons, all males, landed or not, were required to assemble there for military instruction and drill.

The recent middle school versions paint a picture of the guys getting together in the weeks before elections for a tankard of suds and to hear the candidates debate on the issues of the times…? should a harbormaster be appointed to record the location of moorings at “the Landing?”…” ? should the Freeholders contract with George Duneman to haul rubble for fill at that corner of the Calico Road by the bog where everyone’s wagon wheel sinks to the axle ?” “Why bother” says I, according to my first amendment rights…There plenty of room for all to put in moorings…there always will be.”   (the joke is on me…go there now and there’s places on the Bass River where you could walk across on the mooring buoys…) “McFee will do it cheaper” says somebody…” and better than a citizens levy.” “I got to be settin’ my traps then,” says another.

So, this is your paradigm of citizens participatory democracy…everyone gets together, puts in their 2 cents worth ( which might have bought you half a pint at the time), listens to the “experts” and if there isn’t a clear agreement about it, you poll ‘em and count them. It sounds like fun and we could do a whole lot worse.

As a patriot after my fashion I decided I’d like to go to Bodine’s Tavern and see what’s shaking there these days. It turns out not so easy to find. I had to read my way through a lot of old stuff, some of it printed with type that Ben Franklin’s print shop discarded as too worn out to legible.   Eventually, after half a dozen documents I deduced that it had to once have been a couple hundred yards upstream from a very new bridge between Leektown and Wading River.

I-564-03SomewhereUpRiveNearLanding©WEB

I-564-03SomewhereUpRiverNearLanding©WEB

 

On my last trip, a couple of years ago, I actually spied the spot momentarily while driving under pressure to make a reunion date with an old high school gal-buddy. I couldn’t stop for more than a minute, but there it was, for sure, I thought, the site of Bodine’s Tavern.

 

All that remained visible were very rotten pilings which once held up a wharf at what must have been “the Landing.”   The documents never call it Bodine’s Landing…just, “the Landing.” As I turned to get back in my car to sprint away I noticed that I’d pulled off the road in the parking lot of a current bar and grill offering a Friday happy hour special of burger & fries with two Bud or Yuengling 12 0z bottles. Not two hundred yards from Bodine’s is a present day Piney tavern. I decided I HAVE to go there someday and hear what the patriots have to say.

Enter the age of the internet. More than one place is known locally today on-line as “the Landing.” Two are about a mile apart and both could have been landing points.   Both show rotten pilings. One is so far upstream you could hardly move a kayak mush less a batteau full of bog iron. The middle site has no current tavern, but is a lovely, restful place at the dead end of the Martha Furnace Rd. in a state park called Bodine’s Field.

3769©WEB-Middle Landing

3769©WEB-Middle Landing

I camped there…imagining the 1812 patriots gathered around the fires with their muskets or wonderfully accurate Pennsylvania rifles.   Also camped there last week were a patriot couple in full camo. The guy had his Ka-Barr combat knife on his hip.   The state park dis-allows alcohol, so we couldn’t hoist a tankard while discussing current politics, but did sit by the fire for a welcome drink of cold spring water.  She cooked breakfast.

IMG_3774©WEB-We are tenting tonight on the old camp ground…give us a song to cheer.

There’s irony that the Quaker State had a reputation for weapons that could kill Redcoats at three times the Brit’s Brown Bess musket   range. (why is this ironic ? Name two WWII “neutral” countries who sold automatic anti aircraft cannon to anyone with Swiss francs…)

So this campground was the spot where the “Well Regulated Militia” met for quarterly muster.   Today it’s a government fiefdom with more regulations than you can shake an iron blade gun sight at. In one place was a 4 x 8 foot all weather bulletin board completely covered in fine print prohibitions.

The Pineys, however, are still not so easily regulated.

DSC_3869©WEBArmor of modern Piney Knight

DSC_3869©WEBArmor of modern Piney Knight

One of the most enjoyable times on this expedition was a trail bike ride on the land next to Batsto village. The trail was designed by a real trailbike fan and wound through a good variety of terrain where the route was chosen to be challenging but not punishment.

IMG_3729©WEB-Bike trail crosses firebreak

IMG_3729©WEB-Bike trail crosses firebreak

I’d there on a previous trip and heard firearms.   On the park map is a restricted area marked “rifle range” and I asked one of the park rangers about it.   It seems that it’s available by reservation to supervised groups of general public, but the primary users are the park rangers themselves and several stations of the U.S Coast Guard.

 

? Are you aware that the Coast Guard, descended from the Dept. Commerce Lifesaving Service is today an administrative division of Homeland Security ?   It makes a certain kind of sense.

As I pedaled along the trail on my bike I listened to the sounds from the range. I’m familiar with only a few firearms. I very well know the sound of a .22 long rifle. I can ID by sound a 30-30, a 32 pistol round and have heard, (and smelled,) a .44 Civil War Navy Colt replica and a big ass smooth bore black powder stick that’s supposed to knock down a moose. There’s a special sound made by three blank rounds of .308 fired in the air followed by the chiinngg of the empty clip as it’s ejected from the receiver of an M-1.

I listened attentively as I pedaled along the bike trail. First was what I’m pretty sure was .223…a quick, light sound, but with powder behind it, fired slow enough to be on target for each round. A pause…changing magazines…then the same gun fast and erratic, semi-auto… some threes, some sevens, then two and empty. The next shooter is a pistol, one round at a time, slow and steady…maybe some 9mm…not six shooter. For the next shooter I stopped my bike and just listened…three heavy rounds in burst auto…disciplined shooting of maybe a 7.62-51 NATO or 7.62-39 from an AK-47.   Those things don’t come in a semi-auto sportsman version. They may be illegal but I can point you at the door of two places where you can go in with five Ben Franklin’s and come out with an AK, a hundred rounds and change enough for a pizza and six pack.   Very interesting…who’s out there on that range ?

Then, something really heavy opens up…something belt fed, vehicle mounted…full auto…long bursts. It sounds almost ‘technical’…heavier than a fifty. Frankly, it frightens me. This is in my home state park. . I’ve heard many dollars worth of brass hit the sand.

I really hope this is my, and your, Coast Guard in training and not some dis-regulated militia wackos insisting on their second amendment right to do whatever they damn well please.

At this point in the story I run into a sticky spot.  As I would like others to respect my copyright I try to respect theirs.  If you wish an older conclusion of the legend  you can link to this document with this URL.  The intellectual property situation here becomes very murky.

    http://www.bassriverhistory.org/uploads/6/8/7/1/6871754/bodinestavern.pdf

   by Sara W. R. Ewing.  Batsto Citizens Gazette, Fall/Winter, 1967

Please ignore the first three paragraphs…they repeat aspects that I’ve come by in other places.  Ms. Ewing quotes excerpts from the diary of the Martha Furnace clerk.   They paint a most interesting picture of the well regulated militia.   All I can say here is that the Legend of Bodine’s Tavern changes a bit when you actually read the primary source documents.

DSC_3879MODLittleWaterfallAtMartha

DSC_3879MODLittleWaterfallAtMartha, upstream of Bodine’s….? where did they get the water for the beer ?

 

‘Nuff for Now:                                                                      Next Post: there are at least two more in the pipeline, but I’m unsure when I’ll get along with them.   Maybe next time I’ll touch on how delicious is the iron laden water of the pine barrens…I look forward to it every time I’m there.

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May 30, 2016

#152 Before There Was An Internet There Was A World

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 7:21 pm

#152   Before There Was An Internet There Was A World

No matter how you pre-search a place online it’s different when you get there in the real world.

I-837-71MyRootsAreShowing04©WEB

I-837-71MyRootsAreShowing04©WEB

 

This exploration began long before there was an internet. It was July of 1944. There was a great storm gathering around a town in France called St. Lo. General Omar Bradley and the American First Army went up against everything the German Wehrmacht could throw at them.

There was also a storm along the coast of New Jersey, a three day northeaster that widely knocked out electric power, most phone service, road travel and caused widespread coastwise flooding. Railroads could mostly still get through.

I was four and a half years old. My family rented a house for half the summer at the Jersey shore. I lived there weekdays with my mom and big sisters. My dad and high school big brother were working on the war effort up north and made it south for a weekend visit before the storm closed the rail line. They arrived to a frigid house buffeted by winds and cold more like March than July. The only heat in the house was a sheet metal all fuel stove in the family room and we quickly burned through all the scrap and beach driftwood we could find. My parents decided to spend preciously hoarded gasoline ration coupons ( ? could you cope on 4 gallons a week? ) for an expedition into the Jersey Pine Barrens to get enough firewood to heat the house through the days of the storm. It was a trip I never will forget from a time when my family was still whole…before marriages, grandchildren, deaths…when we all lived together.

In those years the wilderness of the pine barrens began within a kids bicycle range of the ocean beaches.   Just a short ride away you were surrounded by scrub pines and sand, inhabited only by vast fenced ranches of free range chickens, small truck farms, some cranberry bogs and occasional rough cottages where “Pineys” lived. Kids played in the rain in their underwear. Few roads were even paved and most houses never had electricity. I sat on the transmission hump of the stick shift, straight eight Buick. We stopped at a store that had never seen paint where my dad traded a gas coupon for a map of where to cut stovewood. We drove what seemed forever on a sand track.   My dad and brother worked saw and ax and I picked up kindling sticks in a sail canvas tote. When twilight gathered we filled the car, then headed home.   My dad sang songs out of tune from 78 rpm records…” My Wild Irish Rose…the sweetest flower that grows…”

I-837-35MarthaCreekInfeedToHarrisvilleMillCanal01©WEB

I-837-35MarthaCreekInfeedToHarrisvilleMillCanal01©WEB

At the house he coaxed a fire out of the wet pine and slowly boiled a canner of water. My mom traded candles with a neighborhood widow for a basket of blue claw crabs and we picked out a tiny feast around the stove. Potatoes roasted in the coals.

In later years I got to camp in the pines, drive like a maniac on the arrow straight paved roads, and learned to keep moving on backwoods track traps of “sugar sand.” Stop for a moment you might have to dig for hours to get free.

These days you have to drive many miles through suburban sprawl and malls to get to what little remains of the barrens. It’s mostly state land now and its history is easily researched on line. A few years ago I got to camp again near the museum village of Batsto, which is not a reconstruction, but rather a maintained, mostly original remnant of the village that supported a bog iron smelter and other 19th century industries. Elements have been replaced or repaired as needed, but the town was never really gone, just abandoned , deserted, de-populated for a time during bankruptcies before being acquired by the state for delinquent taxes.   Lots of its history appears in :

Iron In The Pines   by Arthur D. Pierce. 

Rutgers University Press, 1957

ISBN 0-8135-014-3 

I-838-07IronmastersResidenceBatsto014©WEB

 

 

Batsto village awakened my curiosity because some elements don’t seem to make sense to a modern amateur student of how we all used to live before the techno-revolution. There is today no visible trace of the smelter.   The park personnel think they know where it must have been…but the site seems to be too small compared to other iron furnaces whose ruins still exist. Not a stone remains…plausible… if local pineys stole and re-purposed them all…but smelter stones are rather massive to just pilfer using a horse and wagon…and why were all the other buildings un-molested.   There seem be too few residences for the skilled labor force required to run all the industries…were they elsewhere?   The pastures and kitchen crop areas seem to small for the magnitude of the ironmasters fiefdom. Still, this village remains a fascinating study…a nearly feudal empire of slaves, freed or escaped blacks, Anglo tradesman and skilled millwrights and artisans , bossed by an ironmaster and/or iron master to the enrichment of Philadelphia capitalists…many Quakers… curiouser and curioser…I camped along the Quaker Bridge Road. The bridge still exists, though often repaired in its two century history since it first crossed a deadly quicksand.

I got really entangled from reading Pierce’s history containing extensive excerpts of a logbook from the time of the War of 1812 kept by the clerk of a company store at a place called Martha Furnace, some 4 miles away as the crow flies over rivers and bogs, but nearly a days journey long way around with a loaded dray. In its heydays Martha was quite a town, supporting 90 some households with a population of about 400. (household and population estimates vary widely) By the time of Pierce’s first edition, the furnace and mill had been nearly erased by vandals and salvage. In the 1980’s the state did an extensive archaeological study of the site and then bulldozed it all into a fenced mound. All accounts report that there is nothing to see. Still, I had to go there. Enter Google.

On a previous expedition I’d found what I was confident was the Martha Rd., but dared not try it with my low clearance, geriatric vehicle. I resolved to try again. Google Earth gave lie to the rumor that there was absolutely nothing to be seen. The road was hard to track beneath the tree canopy, but something… Some Thing…was visible. Now for sure, I had to go there.

The nearby ghost town of Harrisville is more accessible than Martha, two trail bike miles away. It was once home to a glass furnace and factory.

I-838-09GlassworksRuinsAtHarrisville015©WEB

I-838-09GlassworksRuinsAtHarrisville015©WEB

A local historical group published a map of building sites and I could find no trace of some, although I actually imagined them.

 

 

 

I-837-49RemainsGlassworksAtHarrisville03©WEB

It straddles a state hi-way, and although it’s also been fully researched and documented, it was not destroyed. Some intelligible traces can still be seen…but not all of them. I parked along a washboard sand track leading to my campground…right under the ruins of the glassworks without at first seeing it at all.

I-837-41AllThatRemainsHarrisvilleTown04©WEB

I-837-41AllThatRemainsHarrisvilleTown04©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many remains, the great eraser is fire. The scrub pines of the barrens can usually survive any fire short of one fully crowned, and the seeds of some trees actually require fire for germination, but a shanty town of furnace workers homes can be quickly obliterated by a lightning spread of understory inferno. Along the Calico Road, where the Martha Furnace workers built, I counted seven recent fire break cuts in a mile and every tree trunk scorched. Nothing remains but the road….and…what was that Something seen from Google Earth orbit?

I-837-57MillCreekCrossingDownstreamOfMarthaFurnace02©WEB

I-837-57 MillCreekCrossingDownstreamOfMarthaFurnace02©WEB

A bridge, until recently a viable crossing of Martha Creek at the headwaters of Harrisville Pond.

 

I-837-55LatestDamageBridgeAtMarthaFurnace01©WEB

I-837-55LatestDamageBridgeAtMarthaFurnace01©WEB

The road that this bridge once carried across Martha Creek is all that remains of the settlement of Martha Furnace. It last thrived nearly two hundred years ago.

 

I’ve shot black and white film here because it seemed inappropriate to look at this ghost community with the Modern Mind Of Minolta.  I used a 1938 Zeiss Nettar 6×45 folding camera…older than I am and still works, and my long time personal sidearm from Maine Coast REPORTER days, a 1972 Nikkormat EL, still works. I’ve lots more to post from this expedition, color and digitally recorded,  but it may be a week or three before I get back here…It’s planting time…”Plant your corn when the oak leaves hare the size of squirrels ears”…opps…missed it.

‘Nuff or now:                              Next Post:  ASAP…there are at least two more in the pipeline.

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Nettar645

Nettar645

November 14, 2015

#151 By Request – – More From Shore Search Maritimes

Filed under: Thematic photoessay — printaphilic @ 12:42 pm

 

#151 By Request – – More From Shore Search Maritimes

 

Despite frustrating equipment problems there are enough pictures of interest from this road exploration to put up a few more views.

2982TonnageInboundCROP©WEB

2982TonnageInboundCROP©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point of the expedition was to look at working harbors, both current and historic, and the maritime culture they represent. Limited time and resources prevented me from giving more than a passing nod to the Portsmouth/Kittery complex as I headed north over the Piscataway River bridge…A former high school classmate, Diana Hayes, has done some interesting work there…

 

2902PiscatawayCrossing©WEB

…next stop crossing the border and the St. Croix River at Calais/St.Andrews. The once vital building and shipping history there was almost totally vanished, leaving only a few rotted pilings below the tideline, a determined historical society and considerable natural beauty…

 

 

 

2796RuinsCalaisShipyard©WEB

2796RuinsCalaisShipyard©WEB

2810SunrizeOnMudflatsSt.AndrewsNB©WEB

2810SunrizeOnMudflatsSt.AndrewsNB©WEB

While based in the provincial campground at New River Beach my next subject was the working harbor of St. John…New Brunswick, not “NewfieJohns,” on the island offshore. The harbor is somewhat famous for the Reversing Falls, a tourist vista where the rising Fundy tide flows in and out of the upper harbor over some prominent ledge.   What actually dominates the scene, as in some many spots in the maritime harbors, is a wonderful view of an Irving Oil processing plant..I had a wonderful “Where’s Waldo” moment there watching a baffled white tail doe trying to figure out how the hell she got trapped there and how to get OUT !

2941SunsetWithHarborCranes©WEB

2941SunsetWithHarborCranes©WEB

2901ViewAtReversingFallsStJohnNB©WEB

2901ViewAtReversingFallsStJohnNB©WEB

… Business in St. John seems to operate on rather a large scale, making me wonder about the reverence for entrepreneurial small business startups. Can a major economy actually be run by nations of shopkeepers? Maybe…maybe not. Is anyone* minding the store while all this potash is being loaded for export ? Somewhere is a huge gash in the earth. Where does it go ?

2945EngineeringDetail©WEB

2945EngineeringDetail©WEB

2952LoadsOfPotash©WEB

2952LoadsOfPotash©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Halifax I wallowed in history…there is so much of it…many museums worth days exploring.   Two exhibits really affected me. Attached to the principle marine historical museum is a former ships chandlery, founded after the explosion of 1917 and acquired in the 1980’s nearly intact with its stock in trade as a donation from its former proprietor when he retired in advanced age. The current docent of the exhibit is the proprietor’s grand-daughter who, as a pre-teen girl, learned the business as his after school helper. She has been with the museum ever since and intimately knows each and every item in the store. She was able to trace within of minutes the history of one display back to its original 1927 invoice. The displays may have been spiffed up a bit, but they are original. Compare this with its contemporary…

2989StockInShipChandlersTwo©WEB

2989StockInShipChandlersTwo©WEB

 

I-832-45StoreSellsRealStuff04©WEB

I-832-45StoreSellsRealStuff04©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…As a formerly licensed radio operator of the U.S. merchant marine (A job that no longer exists…I never shipped under the ticket)   I was especially interested in displays of Canadian Marconi radio equipment and very curious about how their CRS-5 receiver would compare with our Radio Marine Crop of America AR-88…

 

2974WorkingMuseumDisplayCanadianMarconi©WEB

2974WorkingMuseumDisplayCanadianMarconi©WEB

3166MorseCodeForDummies©WEB

3166MorseCodeForDummies©WEB

 

…The tableaux aboard the corvette HMCS Sackville would have meant endless operator hours of listening Listening, LISTENING while the escort corvettes tried to outsmart German submarines while under radio silence. A complete station has been renovated to original specs for the Halifax museum and maybe will be operated on special occasions by amateurs on the ham frequencies. Canada held onto Morse code a little after the USA retirement in 1986.   CFH   (Canadian Forces Halifax) used to send the evening news, sports and entertainment programs in Morse to keep their operators in top line performance.

 

Halifax from earliest settlement has been a military town and I spent a good while exploring the remains of its past coastal defenses. The former Fort Oglivie is today Pleasant Point, a city park, where a 19th century battery is now a perfect setting for staging of   Hamlet…

I-830-11BattlementTheaterPefectForHamlet05©WEB

I-830-11BattlementTheaterPefectForHamlet05©WEB

 

I-830-15Rifled36LbCannonCa184502©WEB

I-830-15Rifled36LbCannonCa184502©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Its 36 pounder rifle is not going away any time soon, but more recent emplacements from WWII are heavily deteriorated.

I-830-07WWIICoastalArtillaryFiringEmbrasure03©WEB

I-830-07WWIICoastalArtillaryFiringEmbrasure03©WEB

Today the city has a more alien class of invaders. And retains a sense of humor as a cartoon tugboat reviews the fleet…

I-830-37HalifaxInvadedByEvilEmpire05©WEB

I-830-37HalifaxInvadedByEvilEmpire05©WEB

 

3108TheodoreTooTugReviewsRoyalCanadianNavy©WEB

3108TheodoreTooTugReviewsRoyalCanadianNavy©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2995PublicArtistHalifax©WEB

2995PublicArtistHalifax©WEB

3060BulldozerFerry©WEB

3060BulldozerFerry©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…time to hit the road again, but not before a fine seafood dinner, (Thanks, Lark) and   a closer look at a vessel whose purpose at first baffled me…

2932LuxuryDinnerEasternPassage©WEB

2932LuxuryDinnerEasternPassage©WEB

3118RoadTripEarlyFog©WEB

3118RoadTripEarlyFog©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Given the state of Canadian maritime fisheries and its largely Anglo heritage, fish and chips abound and are nearly everywhere two quality leagues above of a Filet o’ Fish from a USA Mickey-Dee’s.   The strange looking White Ship turned out to a Landing Craft Very Large, capable of amphibious transfer of 18 wheelers and/or an entire engineering crew with construction equipment.

3009PostcardLunenburg©WEB

3009PostcardLunenburg©WEB

By the time I reached the postcard town of Lunenburg I was road weary and down to only one and two half-operational cameras, so didn’t do it justice… A most interesting event happened entirely without benefit of camera…what ? how can I prove it happened at all? In the provincial campground my next door neighbors this time were a Quebecois couple which whom I traded glasses of wine and coffee in the morning. As we were about to go on our explorations of the day a twin engine patrol plane in night time black camo and with NO unit marking nor insignias flew over our camp at rather low altitude before heading off shore on business. Spooky.

I-831-37DoriesOfLunenburgVerOne03©WEB

I-831-37DoriesOfLunenburgVerOne03©WEB

…Long ago I had a buddy who emigrated north of the border to work in the Lunenburg dory shop, which remains operational today. It’s planer was whining into late evening, still producing the traditional design of the Grand Banks boats from the era when Bluenose beat all comers in the race to market. They haven’t even updated the color scheme – – orange and green.   (Everyone knows that blue boats sink !)   Though enormously informative, the fisheries museum is somewhat a tourist enterprise. I was stunned to hear the museum docents talking union and strike plans. They volunteer while tourist dollars flow through the gates…by late season the glory of the job had faded and their labor action consisted mostly of totally ignoring visitors.

I-831-57TheresaLConnorWorkingDeck0203©WEB

I-831-57TheresaLConnorWorkingDeck0203©WEB

…despite the tourist business Lunenburg is still very much a working fisheries harbor with an honored visitor, the fisheries protection patrol vessel Fulmar, from the French territorial department of St. Pierre Y Miquelon. Lunenburg retains its viability partly because they have retained the highly skilled veteran smokestack industry of this naval foundry, one of a very few remaining facilities for the casting of marine brass and bronze parts.

 

3214TrawlerCapeSable©WEB

3214TrawlerCapeSable©WEB

 

 

3020LunenburgFoundryStillOperational©WEB

3020LunenburgFoundryStillOperational©WEB

3029FulmarVisits©WEB

3029FulmarVisits©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I blundered my way to Blue Rocks Island where I encountered a melancholy fisherman distraught on his last beer and though solvent lacking transport to the provincial store. I could empathize but not ease his situation. I shivered me timbers to behold the lone house on Blue Rocks Island.   It looked so lovely in the calm of August, but what a spot sit vigil on his vessel thru the darkness of a February gale. At least the Christmas tree was festooned year ‘round…with trap buoys…trek on to Pleasant Paddling.

3221FisherAtBlueRocks©WEB

3221FishermanAtBlueRocks©WEB

3219BouyTree©WEB

3219BuoyTree©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last venture forth was a search for village called Scot’s Bay on the Fundy shore of the Annapolis valley. To get there from Lunenburg the main road climbs over substantial hills until the vehicle is heated enough to enforce a stop for the vistas at ‘the Lookover.”

 

3235PaddysHandFromLookover©WEB

3235PaddysHandFromLookover©WEB

3231ValleyFarms

3231ValleyFarms©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really a stunning spot. WAY down there is what will be revealed as “Paddy’s Hand,’ and studying the farms before heading down toward the bay I was grateful to see that the farms are very diversified, never depending on one huge monoculture crop, but divided into half a dozen or more modest acreages with a variety of yield and hedged against failure of a single income. Once down in the valley for a closer look these farms prove very well tended.

I blinked and nearly missed the hamlet of Scot’s Bay.   In need of a place to sleep the night I went looking again for a provincial campground. It was closed and I ended up in the tiny commercial harbor of Delhaven for the culminating near mis-adventure of the trip. I met a naturalized Canadian Dutchman and his wife, in their early 80’s, who were waiting out the cycle of the notorious Bay of Fundy tides, which had just that minute changed to the flood. I decided to join them and walked about on the wharf taking pictures. To my utter horror I dropped overboard onto the Fundy mud twenty some feet below the notebook in which I had ALL of my notes for the entire trip. Disaster ! I ran back the full length of the wharf, took off my shoes and started a frantic slog across the mud toward the notebook, a mere fifty yards away. Less than halfway there I realized that the tide was making faster progress than me, and heard in my minds ear the refrain “You Can’t Outrun The Fundy Tide !”

In just a moment of reflection I decided to kiss off my notebook records of the trip and get my ass outta there!   A seventy plus year old guy cannot slog mud like a youngster, but I remembered a crucial piece of my education from the Lunenburg fisheries museum that exhorted   “Put your toes down first rather than your heel so your feet don’t get trapped by the suction…keep moving no matter what.” With this advice I made it to shore, exhausted, with the mud no higher than my knees and discovered to my delight that the Dutchman had jumped from the wharf to someone’s trawler deck and rescued my notebook with gaff pole.   Whew !!   No only that, but the couple heated water on their camper stove from me to wash off the mud and fed me fresh sweet corn before turning in for the night. About two in the morning at the top of the tide the crews of two of the vessels turned up to make ready for sea and we got to witness one of the finest demonstrations of small ship handling I’ve ever seen. A magic night in a magic place, but my Canon G-12 died of a digital brain hemorrhage…sorry, no pictures at eleven. Back to black and white on film…then…homeward bound.

I-832-33FoggyLowTideDawnAtDelvavenHarbor03©WEB

I-832-33FoggyLowTideDawnAtDelvavenHarbor03©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Nuff for now:  time to look after the antennas before winter                                  Next Post:   Who know ??

3172HuffDuffAntennaK181©WEB

3172HuffDuffAntennaK181©WEB

 

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November 5, 2015

#150 Shore Search Maritimes — The Road Trip

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay — printaphilic @ 2:21 pm

#150  Shore Search Maritimes — The Road Trip
Pictures from this expedition are just now emerging from the pipeline as a botched Windows 10 upgrade took about four whole working days over a three week span to correct. ? Don’t you love Microsoft ?
There are enough pictures in the “Top Edit” folder that I can only show a sample.

2912FairWxRoadTrip©WEB©WEB

2912FairWxRoadTrip©WEB

Longtime viewers here will remember Shore searches North and South, where I took my cameras and went looking for the evidence of working American maritime culture along the Atlantic seaboard. Both of these trips in years past were fine adventures in personal photojournalism. I’ve felt the adventure incomplete because two major areas have been left unseen, the USA Gulf Coast, and the Canadian maritime provinces. A gulf coast expedition undertaken properly would include, of course, NOLA and the Texas ports and the little known portion of the inland waterway from NOLA east to the Florida panhandle. This trip is simply beyond my current resources, but the desire to go north across the Canadian frontier has been with me for several years. I almost got away on it last year, but necessary repairs to my wheels ate over half of the trip budget and I discovered just a couple of days before leaving that I’d let my passport expire. This year I was able to get it all together and hit the road.

I was mentally unprepared from how great the routine distances are on the other side of the border. It’s big country, scarcely populated. My first base of operations was a provincial campground south of St. John, New Brunswick where there was nearly a mile between my site and potable water. Here began a string of photo equipment technical problems that plagued me for the entire trip. I took four cameras, two digital and two film. ALL of them had some technical malfunction that I had to work around in the field and spend hours digitally post processing for salvage. My camera repair bills were almost two months grocery budget.
The land, however beautiful, is rugged and not warmly hospitable. The fisheries that sustain it’s people seem often tucked away in villages like Dippers Harbor or Blue Rocks Island…long wanderings away from the nearest WiFi signal. Couldn’t you just go there via Google Earth ? You wouldn’t find this light.

3029LastSunRaysAtDippersHarborNB©WEB©WEB

3029LastSunRaysAtDippersHarborNB©WEB

From that base I alternated between seeing and feeling the natural setting…”Under ALL lays the Land”…and exploring the city grown up around the major harbor. St. John is a busy working port dominated, like much of the region, by Irving Oil. Their infrastructure is, in many places, deteriorating.  St. John imports molasses in the same scale of many cities import petroleum…read the fine print on the back of any rum bottles ?

2966TowToHarborMODone©WEB©WEB

2966TowToHarborMODone©WEB

 

 

 

My primary objective on this expedition was the city of Halifax, so I hit the road once again. I had to make a stop in the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia…”where often the earth will tremble and moan…”

3050YourMugShotHereTAB©WEB

3050YourMugShotHereTAB©WEB

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springhill_mining_disaster
My fascination with Halifax is also historical. The city played a huge role in the allied efforts of both world wars. In December 1917 history’s largest non-nuclear explosion gave the world its first taste of what Hiroshima would come to mean.
http://www.halifaxexplosion.org/intro.html
Once there I again depended on a provincial campground across the harbor in Dartmouth for the only financially viable lodging. While there my next door neighbor was briefly a first nation Mi’kmaq man enjoying the Labor Day holiday with his family. We had conversation that convinced me that we need to listen a bit more to native American peoples for insight into the general nuttiness of our world.

3090WorkingGirlsEasternPassageTAB©WEB©WEB

3090WorkingGirlsEasternPassageTAB©WEB©WEB

East of Dartmouth I found the delightful fisheries harbor at Eastern Passage. It’s a fine blend of suburban bedroom community, blood, guts and stinkwater processing plant, and tourist attractions. Strange mix… I loved it. Symbiosis with good planning.

I-829-55Stability04©WEB

I-829-55Stability04©WEB

A modest town park preserves vignettes of the natural landscape and ecosystem adjacent to the fishery and attractions. Visual feast in the morning light…Yummy splurge seafood dinner with sampling local craft brews in afternoon…ice cream among the cone eaters for desert.

I’d allowed a chunk of the budget to hire a boat in Halifax harbor…the one item in Canada that cost way less than I thought it would. There is frequent, low cost ferry service between Dartmouth and Halifax and they don’t even charge extra for a bicycle. It’s the way to go ! On the Halifax side I half buried myself in history…you could spend a month in museums there ! The most important for me was the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which, of course, centers on the working maritime culture as it was in the past…but in the present are a couple of actual ships. I had to take my hat off for this one. Without Canada’s corvette navy… would a starved UK been ground under Hitlers heel?
http://www.steelnavy.com/Sackville.htm

I-830-49FireControlWWIIAnti-SubMissilesHMCS-SackvilleBothUP©WEB

I-830-49FireControlWWIIAnti-SubMissilesHMCS-SackvilleBothUP©WEB

When printing this picture I couldn’t decide which version I like better. I still can’t decide, but in the digital realm it’s easy to have it both ways.
After a couple of days getting lost in the outskirts of Metro Halifax I drastically needed to get ex-urban and went to the lovely town of Lunenburg NS and then across to the Annapolis valley. Expect for these tastes

 

FundysShores©WEB©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll have to leave that part of the trip for another post.
I came back via some old stomping grounds in Maine

3260FishBizPortlandMe©WEB

3260FishBizPortlandMe©WEB

After a while the road trip becomes a little crazy

3123RoadtripMindbend©WEB

3123RoadtripMindbend©WEB

and I have to remember that there were places like this to be remembered…keeping firmly in mind all along  that I’m remembering the  glories of August and have not been there to face the gales of February.

I’ve beaten my Windows 10 driver issues to temporary standoff and have printed some of each of these pictures.  Real hardcopies made by me will be for sale for upcoming holiday markets.

‘Nuff for Now …leaves to rake, trees to prune                                Next Post: Maybe some more along the same road.

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3227EveningAtPleasantPaddlingNB-MOD©WEB

3227EveningAtPleasantPaddlingNB-MOD©WEB

October 1, 2015

#149 Returning From ShoreSearch Maritimes ’15

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:36 pm

#149  Returning From ShoreSearch Maritimes ’15

It seems a  long time since I’ve posted here.  Well, that’s because it is…I’ve been focused for a very long time on preparing and doing a photosafari called ShoreSearch Maritimes.  It’s a new sibling to previous expeditions to the north and south in previous years.  It’s time to report in.  First with just a few pictures of geography that makes my spirit feel at home.

I-828-13OffshoreBarnebyHead0103©WEB

This first update is a selection from B&W film scans.  Why do I honor the B&W with primacy ?   Well…it’s a long story.

The short version is that of four cameras I used on this two week 2600 mile trip, my 35 year old, $180 Nikkormat EL film camera performed the best.  $1400 dollars worth of of “prosumer” Nikon D-80 digital  body and lenses were a major pain in the butt.  My second string backup digital  camera, a $500 Canon G-12, barfed and may be a total write off. $360 repair bills.  My Ukrainian Kiev, imitation Hasselbladski, should have died at Chernobyl.

I-828-88HeadOfBikeTrailAtStairs02©WEB

While trail biking in this terrain, before and after the brand new boardwalk, a branch snagged on the exposure meter coupling of the Nikkormat ripping it completely off the camera and disabling all exposure measurement.  I was able to keep shooting by making educated guesses, based on 35 years that this camera has been my favorite, my personal sidearm,  about the light and settings.  I wasn’t always dead on, but 86 frames made the “keepers” file.

I-828-21DeadlyCrevaiseAtChitticksBeach02©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These frames come from New River Beach provincial park in New Brunswick, on the trail to Barneby Head where, when the air is clear, you can make out the Annapolis Valley shore of Nova Scotia on the other side of Fundy Bay.  The crevasse, frame left was just outboard of an historical settlers homestead, the Chittick farm, remembered today for the hardships the family endured through winters before they abandoned the site.   The trip to Barneby Head appeared on the map to be an easy two kilometer afternoon, but I returned after dark, with body, bike and cameras traumatized by ten clicks of reality.  None of us are getting younger.

I found much softer accommodations in and around Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the town on other side of Halifax Harbor. I particularly enjoyed an eastern Dartmouth suburb call Eastern Passage…50% working harbor, 35% bedroom community and 15% tourist attraction.  The town park left some lovely points of access to the natural beauty of the place.  Even though the town is all around you can still feel what it was like before.

I-830-55BeachfrontPathEasternPassage04©WEBI-828-29SundownOnRuinsAtEasternPassageVertwo01©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

The town of Lunenburg is one of those places that reminds me always that tourist towns tend to grow up where it’s already beautiful.  It’s possible, just possible, not to wreck the beauty in the process of exploiting the re$ource.  Lunenburg compares with Woods Hole or Camden ME and emerges as queen.

I-831-53Maud-LoveAtFirstSight01©WEB

I fell in love.  This is Maud R.M.  a 24 foot ( lol ) replica inshore fishing vessel with among the loveliest lines I’ve ever seen.   She fed her family right well in the bygone years when economic fish stocks where close to home.

This last picture is a nearly pure fiction.  Tourist signs in Lunenburg direct the motorist to a place called Blue Rocks. At first you think you’re there when you pass a venerable cemetery… are those headstones blue?  About 5 klix further is a little harbor at Blue Rocks Island…a subject in itself…but just you go two more klix past where the tourists usually stop and you arrive at a village called…I kid you not...Pleasant Paddling.  It might look like this for a few hours each August…to those who have never heard of Nova Scotia’s  “August Breeze”  of 1927 when, without warning,  a cat 3 hurricane destroyed seven Nova Scotia vessels and near 50 of their crews.   Imagine this place in a February gale out of the sou’east with the rollers breaking as high as the schooners main gaff.  Imagine your dory three cable length downwind and ice growing on your oars.

I-831-05TranquilHarborAtPleasantPaddling0204©WEB

Nuff for now:  I’ve barely scratched the surface.                         Next Post:  I’ll try to get to some of the color.

May 16, 2015

#148 Report From The Northwest Dirt

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 5:08 pm

#148 Report From The Northwest Dirt

_DSC2452©WEB _DSC2455©WEB    After roughly 20 years of fully organic gardening almost entirely with hand tools, I enthusiastically embrace some aspects of mechanized agriculture.  Thanks again to Gene’s Machines of Lansing, NY, for a conscientious overhaul on the original engine of this 1987  made in USA  Troybilt Pony.  90+% of the time it starts on the first yank of the starter cord.  If it could get traction it could walk straight up a brick wall.  The successor company to the late TroyBilt still support it with technical info and some parts.

The cold tolerant crops are mostly in, poking up and appear to be thriving.

 

The milk and cider jugs with bottoms cut out make fine hotcaps to risk frost sensitive plants to early planting.

Confucius say :  ” Best fertilizer is footsteps of gardener.”     A little organic urea solution applied timely also helps.

_DSC2442©WEB

_DSC2456©WEB

_DSC2457©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The World Rests on the Back of a Turtle.”

“Yes,  but what does the Turtle stand on ?”

“No. sir,  you can’t catch me on that one…it’s Turtles, ALL THE WAY DOWN. ”

 

 

 

For some reason one variety of snow peas, “Dwarf White Sugar”   had far more consistent germination  than any other variety on the first planting.  I’m hoping to double snow pea production this year as it’s my favorite green crunchy.

Winter kill or my incompetent pruning took rather a toll in the vineyard this year.  All the exotic and some normally hardy native varieties suffered.

_DSC2460MOD©WEB      _DSC2450©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

Some, however have come through very strongly.

_DSC2468©WEB  _DSC2462©WEB

Intensive Care Unit: This exotic, a Muscat, is nearly dead.  I’d hate to lose it, so  it will get lots of TLC.  “Muscatel…it’s Swell.”

The orchard trees came thru the winter in pretty good shape with lovely blossoms on the Seckle pear. I really hope the pollinators got into the upper regions of this lovely tree because I’ve been carefully pruning ladder sets into it for several years to make for easy picking of this yummy variety.

_DSC2464©WEB _DSC2466©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cluster of blossoms has appeared on a below graft root sucker of a Montmorancy cherry tree, a delicious ox blood fruit. Who knows what the root stock was and what these blossoms might make if pollinated ?  The general advice it to ruthlessly prune off root suckers, but I’m just a sucker to watch this sucker and see what it might become.

_DSC2467©WEB

I hate to say it, but the warm frame has progressed in a slightly negative, retrograde fashion.  I keep rethinking the design in my mind and am not sure I have the vitality to build it using the heavy thermopane door inserts. Perhaps, using the already dug foundation for a full height hoop house would get me more function for less cash and WAY less labor.   My labor is getting harder and harder to spend.

_DSC2438©WEBIt seems to be off to a good start of the year…just imagine what it will look like in August when I’ve run out of zeal and the weeds have over run it all.

‘Nuff for now:                                                                      Next Post:    I’m behind on commitment to the East Hill school pictures and the major stories from New Jersey last summer are almost lost in the flatfile.    I’ll see if I can catch up some.

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May 11, 2015

#147 Spring On The Owego/Candor Circuit

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 9:01 pm

#147  Spring On The Owego/Candor Circuit, a road loop.

After seeing the film “Salt of the Earth,” a bio-documentary of photographer Sabastiao Salgado, I just had to get out with my cameras.   You can make a case that Salgado is/was the worlds best social conscience photographer of the millennial transition era.  His transition to natural habitat restoration and nature study is hinted to be a result of spiritual burnout.   Look at his earlier work; you’ll know why.  I’d say he went looking at visionary humanity and later stumbled into hell.  No wonder he’s changed his life vector.

2407DarknessAtHeart©WEB

2407DarknessAtHeart©WEB

The film was nowhere near as good as its subject…but this isn’t a review.

2431RenewalAtOldBarnMOD1©WEB

2431RenewalAtOldBarnMOD1©WEB

 

My need to get out and working comes from too much daily detail.  It gets in the way.

2405Dead&TinderToo©WEB

2405Dead&TinderToo©WEB

I wanted to explore avenues to a different graphic look in my work.  In the 1980’s I put a great deal of time and energy to evolving a graphic style I could call my own, based on some simple technical choices…film, soup formula, filters, that were appropriate for the film era.  I got it, I can still use it, but now, in the digital realm, I want to evolve my own style in COLOR. This requires re-learning the craft.  Rather much of my trials of the last couple of years look kind of lame compared to contemporary norms.   Not that I’m joining the Hi-Impact/Low Information mainstream, but I do need to bring my technique into this century…sometimes.

2417InTheTimeOfDandilionWineFutures©WEB

 

2401EndOfTrail...Daffodils©WEB

2401EndOfTrail…Daffodils©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some efforts really suck at this stage of relearning…like, what happened to my hard earned sharpness on these re-formats for the blog page ?  The original hi res images look Super B page sharp.

Far more important than the technical problems is that I still can’t operate in the social world.  Sometimes I can see well…even perceive fairly well…but here I am working after all these years in a people-less universe.  Well, One thing at a time.

2430SpringOvercomes©WEB

2430SpringOvercomes©WEB

One trick is, one must enter the picture to the page at a resolution higher than one intends to use…then reduce.   If entering small, the pixels are already lost.

‘Nuff  for now:   Tomorrow is already overbooked.                                                Next post:   who knows…it could be a while

A few of these pictures may be worth printing for the Ithaca Artists Market in July.    The web frustrates me…but I DO print.

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January 24, 2015

# 146 It’s About Risk

Filed under: Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 9:25 pm
2361SwansCROPone©WEB

2361SwansCROPone©WEB

# 146   It’s About Risk…and benefit…and later on about privilege and even later about responsibility.

A couple of weeks ago a photography and art teacher I like and respect     http://www.jankatherphotography.com/ announced that she would be in a group show in Rochester, NY,  a town we used to associate with photography and FILM !  I decided I would go to her show opening to scope out the mainstream of academic photo-art.  Since it meant about five hours round trip on the road I would make a day of it spend as much time as possible before the evening  reception to do some photography for myself.  I’d even shoot some FILM.
The day and date of the trip was predetermined by the organizers of the show, so I made a place for the expedition on my calendar.   A couple of days before I noticed that my vehicle, a very venerable expeditioner,  had a loudly protesting alternator belt, and a positively bellowing exhaust note from a rotten muffler.  Should I make the trip anyway ?    The car has two alternator belts, and I’d once driven 1700 miles with no muffler at all…so I decided it was a GO.  I checked the official weather forecasts which assured me that I needn’t fear snow nor sleet nor gale nor gloom of night.
About an hour on the road it seemed that the NOAA weather forecast may have been a bit optimistic. Flurries filled the air and the cloud layer lowered.  I began to feel that this expedition was NUTS,  and began to have serious doubts.  I  was past the halfway point when the omens got UGLY.  I heard a little clink and discovered that a lens had spontaneously fallen out of my reading glasses. No glasses…no road map reading !  (It wasn’t really spontaneous, but that’s another story.)  A nearly microscopic screw had come loose from the lens holder and fallen into my lap.  The lens wouldn’t stay put without it.  I pulled over to the roadside,  found the tiny part in my skivvies and spent  an anxious half hour trying to re-connect it.  I could barely see the damn thing.  After all…I couldn’t wear my glasses and fix them simultaneously.  All the screwdriver blades  on my Swiss Army knife were huge by comparison.  I even tried making a tiny screwdriver out of a paperclip.  Finally, after near despair,  I thought outside the box sufficiently to just wrap the damn assembly in a rubber band and start back on the route. But by now I was really spooked.

2338CharlotteGenesseeLightMOD©WEB

2338CharlotteGenesseeLightMOD©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I was, driving a 2 1/2 hour leg in deteriorating winter weather in a voting-aged 265,000 mile vehicle making ominous noises.  Am I NUTS ?  Why am I doing this ?  What can I possibly gain from risking a car  I can barely afford to repair, much less replace.  If this sucker dies on the road it will cost more than a months income to get home…and this, just to see a selection of photos on a college art gallery wall ?  What kind of Wacko does this ??
The privilege of my situation came flooding over me.  I can take a whole day…commit resources like a third of a year for a family in agrarian societies just on this wacko whim to see a few pictures of the world… and make a few as crutches for my memory as the ones in my brain case begin to slip away.   As for taking pictures on  my own , I could almost as well have cruised the ground using Google Earth rather than driving all this way in person.  How can I justify this ?   I’m using my privilege.  I’m committed now, but what kind of responsibility goes along with it ?

I’m coming inexorably to feel that all privilege comes with responsibilities that sometimes we can’t understand.
When I found I was unable to address this vast a question I was entering the suburban outskirts of the metropolis, had traffic to deal with, and could only feel that for some reason I really* wanted to see the show and might as well follow the plan I’d made a few day earlier…using Google Earth.  BUT…something is compelling me to actually be there…not looking through the insect eyes of the Google Cruisers, but through my own.
I successfully navigated to my first of four possible sites of interest, a park at the narrows where Irondequoit Bay joins Lake Ontario.  What I found  was far more interesting than what I’d been able to see using Google Earth.  There’s a seasonal bridge to the other side of the bay (interesting engineering ),  a gaggle…not a google…of geese trying make the best of the day,  a fine ice covered sand  beach and a fine, scrupulously clean,  all year round hamburger grill and ice cream stand feeding a gaggle of old foggies  (sp?) like me.  The ominous weather had found some other locale to intimidate, and I wandered, taking pictures until cold enough for hot chocolate.

I-819-45IceOnRocksIrondiquoit05©WEB

I-819-45IceOnRocksIrondequoit05©WEB

 

I-819-39FieldOfIceFlowsAshore02©WEB

I-819-39FieldOfIceFlowsAshore02©WEB

The second possible photo site turned out barren…It had looked so interesting on the web,  but I moved on to the Port of Rochester, thinking it might add to my theme of working waterfronts.  It may yet, but currently it’s  closed for the season and largely icebound.  The ice became the focus, and gradually revealed hidden threads in the cables of my thought.

I-819-55BendOnIceRoad05©WEB

I-819-55BendOnIceRoad05©WEB

Stories have  been explored about the Inuit native peoples notion that when a person becomes  too old and perhaps too weak to carry their fair share of the tribal community’s work,  a time comes when they are obliged to go out walking on the ice…a journey from which they may never return.   This idea has even found its way into North Sea European folklore…to go out on the ice in joyous spirit of exploration even when it may well mean individual death…from cold, weakness, laying down to take a final rest, then sleep with no awakening.   This is the responsibility that follows on the privilege of living in the warmth of the tribe.   I don’t necessarily buy this 100%, but I can’t ignore it.
At the mouth of the Genessee I didn’t realize the metaphor I walking until I was well out on the rather long jetty to the outer light marker.

I-819-65BeginningIceRoad03©WEB

I-819-65BeginningIceRoad03©WEB

It started with just a tiny slip close to land when I wasn’t yet even out beside the field of jumbled floes. For milliseconds my feet are disconnected from the earth.  The ice was lovely, a moonscape with stellar reflections for highlights.  But, that tiny slip reminded me that I’m no longer an agile thirty something…that every step risked a fall that could dislocate a joint or crack a knee.  In a very minor way I’d embarked on the ice road.   I was standing on a twelve foot wide concrete and steel pier, and wire rope lifelines were threaded thru stanchions only a few feet apart, but the further from shore I got the less was the dominion of human engineering and more the realm of the ice.

I-819-53IceOnLifeline04©WEB

I-819-53IceOnLifeline04©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I slipped and grabbed the lifeline with both well gloved hands and easily recovered my footing before noticing that the spacing of the lower line was such that someone…surely not me… could slide under it, over the edge and into the freezing lake where their shocked  life expectancy would be a handful of minutes.  Rescue ladders were few and far between.   Sometimes the footing was the most treacherous right beside the handlines, forcing the choice of walking unsupported in the middle.   At least the pier was not a ship’s deck rolling and pitching in a seaway.  Something*  was making me go further and further out. Something* gave me long pause at a break in the web of the lifelines where it would be possible to get off* the pier and actually out onto the ice itself !

I-819-67GatewayToLandOfIce04©WEB

I-819-67GatewayToLandOfIce04©WEB

 

2357SprayIncoming©WEB

2357SprayIncoming©WEB

 

?  Were those packed, jumbled floes floating on the lake or resting on the bottom of a shelving shore.?  Looking back, I had between me and the park maybe half a mile of  what the Shackleton and the tragic Scott expeditions had faced for days on end.   I got close enough to the outer light to know that I was close enough !

2351EndIceRoad©WEB

2351EndIceRoad©WEB

 

I wasn’t required to risk the last fifty yards.   There was nothing more to be gained, and the distance back was near the limits of my arthritic hips.   On the way back to shore I passed a courting couple…walking out for a lark.   Young bones and reflexes are not old ones.   I’d risked far more.   It was worth it…What’s out there on the ice is NOT on Google Earth.

I-819-51SparyOnIceCharlotteThree03©WEB

I-819-51SprayOnIceCharlotteThree03©WEB

2361SwansCROPpixels©WEB

2361SwansCROPpixels©WEB

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I-819-57EndOfIceRoad01©WEB

I-819-57EndOfIceRoad01©WEB

2341.USCGstationRochesterjpg©WEB

2341.USCG stationRochester©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

? The show…?   Oh yes, the show….it was fine…lots of photographer looking at mirrors.   One picture, seen thru a window, was chilling….human teeth scattered on the ground in the Cambodian killing fields.

 

‘Nuff for now:

     Next Post:   It may be a few weeks before the next effort.  I’m still in writers block on two pieces in the pipeline and have to take some time off for some medical tinkering.

 

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January 3, 2015

#145 Another Quickie…actually it took weeks.

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:03 pm

#145   Another Quickie…actually it took weeks.

It looked a lot like something to have for a holiday dinner.

2228Creekside©WEB

2228Creekside©WEB

After laboriously plucking all the feathers, coat uniformly with wet gesso, then shake in a bag with flour and seasonings until completely covered.

2203InWhite©WEB

2203InWhite©WEB

Bake in very slow oven just long enough to make it dry and tough.

There !   That looks like it’s been in the oven long enough.

2401TimeToTakeOutOfOven©WEB

? Anyone care to carve ??

2181LightenUpDuckCROP©WEB

2181LightenUpDuckCROP©

Happy New Year to the guy whose first word in English was “Duckies.”

 

‘Nuff Silliness for now:                                                                Next Post:    It may be a while.  A major piece is in the pipeline that will take us back to New Jersey in a time two hundred years ago.

December 29, 2014

#144 A Quickie Ten From Madison Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 11:17 am

#144  A Quickie Ten From Madison Christmas

Everyone was pretty much nose to grindstone at first, but I escaped for a four hour hike, hoping to find the land of ice fishing.

2463IceFishingInHeatWave

2463IceFishingInHeatWave

There was a heat wave.  You’d walk on that stuff to your peril.

 

When a break came in the work time we warmed up the season with a visit to Madison’s wonderful Olbrich Botanical Garden.   What’s Christmas without a train under a tree, presents and a mob of kids?

 

 

2466legostrain-kids-pointsettia.jpg

2466legostrain-kids-poinsetia.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Olbrich the featured exhibit was a room full of garden railways, poinsettias, and the results of a mob of big kids turned loose with a pickup truck load of Legos.

 

 

The grown ups had as much fun as the kids, but we quickly escaped into the moist, tropical conservatory where birds flew in their huge, verdant cage and everyone threw coins to the fish in the  pools.

 

2484KoiInFalls©WEB

2484KoiInFalls©WEB

 

2485TropicalInWinter©WEB

2485TropicalInWinter©WEB

Outside it was hardly wintery and under bright overcast some of the colors jumped forward to put the golden Thai (Hmong) meditation pavilion in a perfect frame.

 

 

 

 

 

2498ThaiMeditationPavillion©WEB

2498ThaiMeditationPavillion©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We think  of winter as a colorless time, but a walk around the Upper Cherokee River preserve convinces otherwise.

2514CherokeeRiverRestoration©WEB

2514CherokeeRiverRestoration©WEB

Every one else had to go back to their grindstones, but the cameras demanded that I wander along  a bit more alone.  For several years I’ve been chewing my cogitative cud on the notion of “Aulde Stounes”  (‘old stones‘)  as meditation points when searching for enduring values. The 1934 WIRA masonry works that enclose the spring which gives it’s name to Madison’s Spring Harbor neighborhood has escaped me for years. I simply could never find the right camera angle for this structure.  Only those who have visited the site can place this picture in its historic and hydraulic context.  Sometimes we just can’t get it all into just one picture.    http://www.madisonpreservation.org/2012/11/merrill-springs-park/

2524SpringHarborPoolMasonry1934©WEB

2524SpringHarborPoolMasonry1934©WEB

Further along the shoreline a favorite spot…always so peaceful here…stay a while…even when I must move on.

2533SpringHarborMendotaWinterBeach©WEB

2533SpringHarborMendotaWinterBeach©WEB

…Still getting used to my new eyes.   There are friends who’ve never seen me without glasses.   With the cataracts gone my irises simply cannot stop down enough that my optic nerves are not overwhelmed by straight sunlight. My inherent color balance is new.  I still wanna be a photographer when I grow up…if I can have it both ways.

 

‘Nuff for now…other work calls.

Next post:   There’s another quickie in the pipeline before  returning more laborious substantive subjects.   Stop back in a week or so.

AsymCardFinalPrinter

2473SelfieMADxmas14©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

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