Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rive gauche, rive droit

The Pleasant Street bridge from the Left Bank.
June 27, 2013

The Pleasant Street bridge from the Right Bank.
June 29, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Catching Up

Carved Bird from a Looking Glass
I saw this creature at the Museum of Fine Arts while preparing my notes for a tour about early American furniture designs.

Silver Coffeepots (Philadelphia Boston, circa 1780)

The Charles River floods in South Natick

The Pleasant Street Bridge
The arches are covered halfway by the river.

The Charles River: the island below the dam
The island is completely submerged.
The South Natick Dam
The squiggly thing is a log which I drew in more detail below.

Canada Geese on a large log above the dam
This log was dislodged during the latest storms and is moving very slowly to the top edge of the dam. The geese don't seem to mind.

The river is still very full and flooded.

Looking up toward the dam
I drew this yesterday. For many days this stone retaining wall has been underwater. Its surface is now scoured and whitewashed with silt.

The ocean at Reid State Park in Bath, Maine
After driving our daughter to Camp Arcadia, we spent a few days with in-laws in southern Maine. Summer has officially started.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

A swift soars over the rushing river
June 12, 2013
colored pencil
There has been a great deal of rain this June and the Charles River has spilled over its banks. This added excitement has brought out the swifts which are insect-eating swallow-like birds. They dip and soar above the torrent, cascade and pool gobbling up newly hatched bugs. So, not only is there a flood of water, there is also a flood of life. The birds are busy feeding their ravenous babies who are tucked away in safe nests in backyard thickets and tangles.

I was reading in the backyard yesterday and observed a wren flitting to and from its birdhouse under a tree, Each time, the sun was just so that as it made each turn for home, I could see the lacy-winged insect in its beak. The babies seemed to know what would come next and they shouted their approval. I even hear them now early on this Sunday morning: it is Father's Day. There are tweets and songs and then there is the urgent chorus of hungry baby birds which stops as soon as it starts. Their chorus serves a purpose: "Me first! Don't forget me! I AM the center of the universe and you are my father/mother. Your life only has meaning in how well you serve me until I have no more need of this service." And then you can do it all over again!

Happy Father's Day Dad, wherever you are. Thank you!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Water World

June 2, 2013
At the head of the island which is just below the dam, there is a small quiet space, a pool where the reflections of the grasses settle and shimmer. But the river races along on either side as if the right and left banks worry that they will be separated forever. Where they join at the downstream end of the island, you may spot mallards resting and dabbling in the calm eddies.
Does water have a memory? Eventually, the rivers and seas are the depositories of all our innocent and murderous launderings. They are the library and witness to the wine spilled, the blood dabbed from a child's knee, and the runoff of our too-green lawns, the hair and soap and waste and rainbow flecks from the sky. Does it also contain the frozen footprints that the ducks left in the ice last winter? Can it contain, like a paper envelope, my clandestine cat-like thoughts and ship them around the wet world? And that object, bobbing down the river… is that a letter for me? From, you? Marvelous!
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