Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Last weekend, we drove the five+ hours to Watkins Glen in New York State's Finger Lakes region. It's been a tourist attraction since the 19th century (and before). As one hikes up (or down) one passes through multiple dramatic waterfalls, cascades and pools cut into a dramatic shale and sandstone canyon.
It's like visiting a budget version of Rivendell (minus the elves and Liv Tyler 😞)
We also drove a few miles to the bumptious Corning Museum of Glass. I had to check it out because they claim to be the "Crystal City". Well, we all know that to be false don't we?! The real Crystal Cities are right here.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
My schedule has been perturbed in the last couple of weeks and I've been going to the dam in odd moments. Sometimes for just a few minutes. And some days not at all. This is good and bad: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Familiarity breeds contempt. All this change helps keep my witness keen and ready for surprise. Hopefully.
The river has a healthy flow of water (considering it's September -a usually low water month) which shouldn't have surprised me (but it did). The additional water has made it possible for a school of large carp to pool around in one of the eddies in front of the dam. On the other hand, the additional volume of water rushing over the top deters the ducks and geese. Change is good. It keeps us on our toes.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
The willow tree is in the middle of the river, downstream from the bridge looking east. I often see it in the morning as I look into the rising sun. Willows like to have their feet wet. I've done several drawings of it this year beginning in January.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
I wondered how it had died. Did it miscalculate and crash into the stone wall? Maybe it came up over the wall only to slam into a truck or car passing by? I'll never know.
It's death looked instantaneous. A small trickle of blood had seeped from its bill and dried on the granite blocks. Everything else about it was unruffled and gently curved. No feather seemed out of place and its marvelous orange feet were folded neatly tucked close to its sides. There were jewels of dew on its breast and I could appreciate the fantastically fine texture of the feathers on the duck's head and neck.
I felt anger. My anger and sadness surged and I resumed drawing: a preening duck, it's wing raised in a defiant "fuck you!" I didn't have the heart (or stomach) to nudge it off the wall and to a watery grave. I came back on Monday and made this drawing. By Tuesday, someone or some thing had moved the carcass and it was nowhere to be seen.
And, as you can guess, all the other ducks down below on either side of the bridge could have cared less. They just went on preening and squabbling and getting on with Life. My life, on the other hand, paused.