Hole in the Clouds
Sep 28, 2009
You know how it goes: one person slips in the marsh mud, and then the other person tries to help her up and loses her balance and slips in herself, and then the first one reaches out to grab the other one's arm and falls in even deeper. And soon enough, they and everybody else on the marsh that day have laughed till they couldn't laugh any more, till tears were spilling down their cheeks.
All this fun happened last fall to Schuyler Rowe and Addie Nammoun, in the salt marsh on Chewonki Neck, in midcoast Maine. Even today, just thinking about those girls in that marsh brings tears to the eyes of everyone fortunate enough to have been a witness. Schuyler keeps this photo as the desktop image on her laptop.
Sep 30, 2009
If you send mail to this guy in New Gloucester, Maine, presumably it will be delivered here.
(Image credit: Katrin Maldre)
Oct 5, 2009
After October 1 each year, admission to Maine's state parks is free. On October 2, several classes from Helena Dyer Elementary School in South Portland took a field trip to Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal.
The children and teachers spread across the sunny bald at the top of the mountain to eat lunch, listen to stories, enjoy the view, and of course complete worksheets.. These boys claimed a rock of their own at the edge of the mountaintop; one of them insisted that his last year's teacher had said it was okay to sit there. Before this year's teacher could say no, two of them were up on the rock and the third had pulled out a camera to record their moment of boldness.
This year's teacher did eventually approve their place on the rock. Let's hear it for teachers with steady nerves who take children up to the top of a mountain in October!
Oct 16, 2009
The boy in Winslow Homer's "The Hound and the Hunter" never saw the movie "Bambi," of course, so his relationship to forest and fauna was nothing like that of my generation.. This boy didn't grow up with that single gunshot trumping all other cinematic memories: What just happened? The hunters killed Bambi's mother? His mother?
Homer's boy, unburdened with Disney-fication, just went hunting. That's what you could do this time of year if you were a fortunate American boy. His dog hounded the deer into the water, forcing it to swim rather than run. Deer swim slowly enough that the boy was able to pick it off with the gun that is now in the bottom of the boat. He'll soon have the deer tied up, ready to drag home. Problem is: the dog is now swimming straight for the boat, and if it jumps in, they'll capsize. What should the boy do? What happens next?
Homer was particularly proud of this painting; he felt he got all the details just right--for example, the transition between the boy's pale forearms and suntanned wrists. But even back then in the late 19th century, deer hunting was becoming culturally problematic among a portion of the population; when this painting was first displayed, there were complaints that the deer was still alive, that the boy was trying to drown it. This interpretation is obviously wrong--a desperate deer, thrashing in the water, would swamp the boat, if the boy could hold it at all. No, the deer is not struggling, and the boy's attention has shifted to the dog.
To be continued, sort of.
Oct 27, 2009
This is the second most stunning bit of fall on my street. It's a cherry tree I planted when we first moved into this house, and it's big enough now that I could stand underneath the branches and take this picture aiming up at the sky through a crown of glowing leaves. The picture is not turned sideways; the branches just branch off one another that way.
(Image credit: Ellen Stein)
The first most stunning bit of fall on my street is a hydrangea down the block with leaves as pink as the flowers. I hope to get a shot of it, but in the meantime . . . you don't have to take my word for it; you can imagine it however you want.
As Octobers go, this one was so too wet to be entirely pleasant. But perhaps because of all the rain, a lot of leaves are still hanging in there. Then too, the few blue-sky days have been all the more precious.
Nov 7, 2009
Winter is sneaking up on us fast--in fact, these last couple of days here have left the impression that it's done snuck up already, and snagged us in its clutches. Anyway, here are a last couple of fall pictures, from last month. The first one is of Rye Beach, New Hampshire, by Tanja Baker. The other one shows a hydrangea bush on my street in Portland.
(Image credits: Tanja Baker
Nov 12, 2009
Fall's not done falling yet in some parts of the world, such as the Turkey Farm Road area of Orange County, North Carolina. That's a red maple, all right.
(Image credit: Carol Stack)
Oct 30, 2010
This front garden is on Bainbridge Street in Philadelphia, around the corner and down the block from where we're living. Do you think these people have a backyard, too?
Nov 16, 2010
Sunday was warm and sunny, maybe the last pleasant day this fall. While the humans sat chatting on their stoops, Toby the dog and Samantha the cat had a little fun with each other.
Samantha is often kept on a leash when out of doors. She doesn't seem to mind the restraint, and whenever Toby stops rassling for a moment to catch his breath, she goes straight at him, begging for a little more nip and snort and tussle. He generally obliges.
Feb 8, 2011
This lucky duck, preening for the camera amongst the ripples of Rockefeller State Park in Pleasantville, New York, was selected for immortality of a sort--or if not immortality, then fifteen minutes of fame, give or take--when Karen and Stuart Berlowitz happened by last fall while out for a walk in the woods. Of all the ducks on all the ponds all over this crazy world, this guy is the one to be get its very own Good Morning post on the intertubes.
Rockefeller State Park
(Image credit: Karen Berlowitz)
Oct 31, 2011
Appropriately enough, what you can see from the top of Castle Rock, just outside World's End State Park in the Endless Mountains of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, are endless trees and endless mountains. Way down below is a tributary of Loyalsock Creek, which spills heedlessly over waterfall after waterfall en route to the west fork of the Susquehanna.
It is definitely the time of year to wear bright orange in these woods.
World's End State Park
Nov 1, 2011
On a crisp October Saturday, deep in the Loyalsock Canyon of World's End State Park, you have to wait on line for your turn to take pictures of the waterfalls.
Ordinarily, creeks and waterfalls have shriveled to a trivial trickle by this time of year. But after a wet, wet summer and then the floods of Hurricane Irene, waterways throughout Pennsylvania are putting on a show.
End of the World State Park
Nov 19, 2011
This is something new for Philadelphia, and perhaps for the American urban scene in general: a permanent concrete ping pong table, with paddles and balls stored underneath, recently installed in the grass strip alongside Benjamin Franklin Parkway, about halfway between city hall and the art museum.
(Image credit: Janet Goldwater)
Nov 21, 2011
At least two ornamental cherry trees in our neighborhood have broken out in blooms this month, somehow mistaking November for April. As should be evident in this scene on Lombard Street, all the other trees have a much better grip on seasonal propriety.
Sep 22, 2012
There are good things to say about summertime, but there's also this: it was too damn hot. The air finally feels fresh and pleasant at this new-beginning time of year, even if I've had the same song in my head now for forty-one Septembers. . . .
(Image credit: JJ Stein)
Oct 23, 2012
If it's October, there must be a pumpkin. This assemblage–which was first featured about four years ago in a predecessor to this here blog–dates back to the time when the brick steps in the photo led up to a house we lived in on Columbia Road in Portland, Maine. In addition to the pumpkin, the still life includes a non-blooming potted geranium and five quinces. The petrified tree stump, which is approximately 200 million years old, is something we found in an abandoned coal mine in Walker County, Alabama; it now sits near our back door in Philadelphia.
Oct 15, 2013
Moscow in the background.
(Image credit: Andrey Ilyin)
Nov 25, 2013
Both of these Brittany Spaniels–bird dogs, for certain sure–believe they're onto something, here in a Pennsylvania marsh where just a few short months ago, sunflowers were smiling.
(Image credit: birddogman)
Dec 1, 2014
Seemed to take a long time to get through the whole month of November, when too many days looked just like this. Actually, though, this photo was taken way back in mid-October, for Philly Photo Day, by Donna Henry.
What are all those birds waiting for? Spring?
Philly Photo Day
(Image credit: Donna Henry)
Apr 26, 2017
(Image credit: Alex MacLean)