Forest Edge Monday, Jan 4 2016 

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I hadn’t really noticed the colours in this photo when I was taking it, to focused on documenting the stream course for the land trust.

(I wish those were healthier hemlocks, but one can’t have everything.)

Evening Fire Wednesday, Oct 28 2015 

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On light Monday, Dec 29 2014 

particularly reflected light. Many places are so solidly lit that shadows don’t really exist. Try making decent shadows in a fast food restaurant, a store, an office, or a doctor’s office. You can’t. The same is true of many houses: wall lighting, overhead, track lighting, etc. Shadow puppets? What’s that?

Leaving aside the interesting philosophical exercise of stretching points that this can lead to….it also means that all the old tricks to brighten a room seem a little bit dull. Mirrors don’t have much depth in full light. They just reflect precisely what is there, whereas in a dark room: what was that shadow? And if the glass has any ripples! Mirrors have personality, but only when the darkness is there.

I always end up thinking about light at this time of the year. And mirrors, but not just of glass. At this time of year, every night when I do the horse, Julie’s Pond is present down in the woods. No leaf cover of course, and the sun angle is such that it is visible from the hill top. A steel gray gleam in the forest, still and silent, sometimes a tongue of fire at sundown that fades into nothingness.

Other times of the year…it can look like this. (I can’t claim this picture, much as I’d like to) Where does the water end and the light begin?


The Barway Friday, Dec 5 2014 


This is an interesting contrast to the picture of the old stump of a few days ago. Only about fifty yards from the stump, this area has been heavily thinned in a way that the other hasn’t (I am waiting, patiently for decades if need be, for several massive giants to come down in that other area. Until they do, finished thinning is sort of useless, since young sugar maples can essentially sit in stasis while in a heavy closed canopy, and when those big ones do come down….things will be different.

I have to admit the other picture has a more dramatic feel to it.

Seasons change Wednesday, Nov 5 2014 

Hard to believe that this:


Was this back in June!


A walk Friday, Jun 6 2014 

I have been badly remiss these last few weeks with this blog, other paying priorities in the way.

In any case, to make up for it, here is a short walk around what one might think of as the inner circle of the property:



















Last light of May Thursday, May 29 2014 

Another view of the lawn a few days ago…the temptation to start playing with modern art installations is clearly strong! That chair, by the way, is probably getting on for a century in age….


What is Esperanza? Wednesday, May 21 2014 

People ask that, sometimes silently.

Picture this then, a clear May evening, the fragrance of lilacs and viburnums, watching the sun sink over the western hills and the emerald field, the pure white violets and apple blossoms, the glowing pink, purples and golds of myriad redbuds, azaleas, tulips, and a host of others. and faintly on the sweet breeze the notes of Chopin’s nocturnes.

Or perhaps it is early morning, beneath the towering spruces, oaks, and maples where the white trillium shimmers, the pure white of living marble and the vinca forms a dark green carpet studded by ferns.

Next month will be something different and the one after that.

But always, the house, quiet and cool, with its books and unknown corners.

That is Esperanza.

Lilacs Tuesday, May 20 2014 

Not the best year for them, but still blooming well. They are one of those plants, like daffodils but more so, which are solidly entrenched in our culture but are in fact not found throughout the continent.  They dislike humidity and need cold winters.  The best lilacs I ever encountered were in Canada, growing wild across the abandoned fields of Ontario and holding court in Montreal’s Botanical Garden.

We have only a few here: two classic lavenders flanking the south end along with a white one, and a gorgeous, ancient dark purple one off of the west porch.  Its main stem is close to five inches in diameter, hopefully by hacking a bit of a hole in the overgrown hydrangea we can get some new growth going.  I also did a bit of work today on one of the lavender ones, cutting out two declining main stems (it would have been three but the chickadees objected vociferously), hopefully it will regrow well.

Walt Whitman described them, and the hermit thrush, best of course in one of his better known but rarely read poems its worth the time to go through it, if a bit depressing:

Un, deux, trois Saturday, May 17 2014 

Three little redbuds all in a row, well not so little….  And not in a row either, though the two volunteers are; the parent is just off the left of the screen. It sprawls a good forty feet these days and is up to three support posts, two of which you can see there.  The second redbud is directly in the center of the photograph; the third redbud is the one just next to the white bench on the far right.  The maroon beyond is a volunteer Japanese Maple, whose parent is the trunk looming on the left.  We do volunteers around here!


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