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VT

Gravestones, Newfane, VT

April 27, 2017

The gravestones of David, Mary and Joseph Merrifield in the Newfane Hill Cemetery; they passed away in the early part of the 19th century.

O dear one, don’t be proud of color and beauty, Death is standing on your head.” (from a hymn by Sant Ajaib Singh Ji, 1926-1997)

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I remember that evening in the small one room cabin, probably an old sugaring house in another life. A wood stove kept us warm. It was late winter.

Four, maybe six of us, tucked into the “living room”, communing with spirits that rose up in the stories and songs and laughter we shared deep into the night.

We were young, and locked in tight to “being here now”. Who knew the season would pass? Who knew there would be other, different ones, to follow? Who knew back then there was a future?

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Bookcase, Wilmington, VT

March 6, 2017

Meanwhile, on the other side of the living room: a rustic bookcase with classic editions of English literature. I never actually opened any; the muted colors of the bindings were enough on this day.

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The portrait on this living room wall is of the poet F.D. Reeve, who lived here with his wife, the writer Laura C. Stevenson, from 1994 until he passed away in 2013.

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By way of comparison (and to illustrate how good smartphone cameras are), this was taken at about the same time as the previous shot, but on a Samsung Galaxy S4, which by no means has a top of the line camera. But the shot holds its own with the previous one, taken with a good Canon camera and a very good Canon lens (except perhaps in making a large print).

I like how this photo gives you more ready access to the buildings, even though I didn’t think I stepped in closer than on the other shot. Could just be that the Samsung has a 31mm lens, which brings you closer than the Canon lens, which was set at 26mm.

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The Boyd Place, Wilmington, VT

February 26, 2017

Jeff Cox builds his wonderful 1985 book, Seasonal Celebrations, around the Chinese lunar-solar calendar, which divides the year into twenty four distinct periods. They begin with the Winter Solstice, and are then demarcated by the new or full moon, (or the equinoxes and remaining solstice). The names given to the periods are pure poetry; right now we are probably in The Period of Awakening of Creatures (Ching Che), which in 1986 ran from the full moon on Feb. 24 to the new moon on March 10.

I think of that book now, because it’s where I first found a reference to “the most delicate pastel pinks and blues” in the skies at dawn and dusk in the heart of winter. Skies like I had a couple of days ago when I took this photograph. He writes about it under The Period of the Greater Cold, (Ta Han), beginning on the new moon on January 10 to the full moon on January 26 (1986).

I’ve seen those pastels mostly in early March, maybe because I’m out more at that time of the year, the weather being warmer. As it was on this day, about 55 degrees when I took the picture.

Tomorrow, for comparison, I’ll be posting a smartphone picture of this same scene, taken at the same time of day.

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Ward’s Cove, Wilmington, VT

February 24, 2017

Two months out from the Solstice, and nudged along by a couple of sunny days in the 60’s, winter was bound to recede, even with the two feet of new snow recently. And the sap, right on cue, just started running a couple days ago. Can’t help but feel a little giddy, and reassured, watching Spring unfold.

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This is the place where Calvin Coolidge, the 30th US president, was born and raised. It was also where he was sworn in as President in August of 1923, following the death of President Warren Harding. The village is an historic site and remains virtually unchanged since the early 20th century, a good example of a classic Vermont hill town from that era. That’s Okemo Mountain off in the distance.

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Fishing Shack, Wilmington, VT

February 12, 2017

One antidote for the cabin fever that settles in after the holidays is to get away for a bit; in this case out to the ice and into your little fishing shack, away from everything (but yourself), if just for while. And – the best part – you can just pretend you’re out there to fish.

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