Monday, November 26, 2018

Two Mornings Along the Charles

 . . . alone in distant woods or fields, in unpretending sprout-lands or pastures tracked by rabbits . . . I come to myself, I once more feel myself grandly related . . .  I suppose that this value, in my case, is equivalent to what others get by churchgoing and prayer.  I come to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home.  I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are, grand and beautiful.

                                                                        -- Henry David Thoreau, diary entry, January 7, 1857

In between two suburbs of Boston there's a wetlands conservation area along the Charles River called Cutler Park.  It's a quiet, peaceful, and mostly hidden enclave where wildlife and forest flourish.

For the final four years we lived in Boston Cutler Park served for me as a retreat from the travails of daily life in the city, as well as a rich location for photography.  You can see images from some of those days by clicking here, here, or here.

Six years after we left Boston, I was able to return to Cutler Park on two successive mornings in mid-October.  Thankfully, the place had changed very little, although of course some of the older trees had fallen and some of the younger trees I remembered from previous years were noticeably taller.  The cycle of life continues.

The two mornings were very different, providing different light and creating different moods.

On the first morning, the sunrise poured red gold light on the horizon, and delicate cotton balls of fog drifted across the Charles River.

Overhead, some Canada geese flew, honking all the way.

The sun came up . . .

and filled the forest with light.

The next morning's sky was overcast and brought a totally different mood.  Along the river before dawn, a single ghostly swan mysteriously appeared, the only sound the beating of its huge wings . . .

 . . . and then a solitary kayaker glided by, paddle gently tugging the water.

As the invisible sun rose behind the thick blanket of clouds, it revealed texture that had been hidden in the earlier darkness.

And in the dark forest, openings in the canopy illuminated the trail in pools of soft light.

If you would like to see these and additional images in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dia de los Muertos y Marigolds

Every year on the Sunday after Halloween, the predominantly Hispanic community of Albuquerque's South Valley neighborhood stages a parade celebrating Dia de los Muertos y Marigolds -- the Day of the Dead and Marigolds.  (Marigolds are the traditional flower used in the celebration; they are said to help guide the ancestral spirits on their annual visit to the land of the living.)

(And if you don't know much about the Day of the Dead, I encourage you to rent the movie "Coco" which was released a year ago.)

The South Valley parade features musical groups . . .

community groups, 


 low-rider automobiles, 

and more.  

The parade also has no shortage of expressions of social and political issues.

The most popular feature of the celebration -- and the one that is most fun for me as a photographer -- is face-painting, primarily to create the appearance of a skeleton head.  Some facial decorations are very simple . . .

while others are more elaborate.

And beyond face-painting and head decoration, many go all out with amazing costumes . . .

And of course there's always someone who marches to a different drummer . . .

It's a celebration of family and culture for the entire community.

If you would like to see these images and more in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.