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.