The Old Cider Mill

Posted on February 19, 2013

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Water and Ice I

My sister wrote a book for the Then and Now series on Franklin NH, the town she is currently living in. (And my mom just landed a similar book for Concord!) As a result, she developed an arcane knowledge of many places  in and about town and we’ve spent a fair amount of time driving around looking for some of these places. One of them was The Old Cider Mill, on an unnamed tributary creek to the Winnipesaukee. A creek which begins on Pest House Rd. You can’t make this stuff up, at least at my level of writing you can’t.

At any rate, late one cold, flat winter day we found the mill off of Cross Mill Rd.  It’s really surprising how small a drop you need to run a mill.  For various reasons, none of them good,  I don’t always carry my 40lb medium format kit home to NH. Sometimes I will carry that around for a week and not take 10 shots. Sometimes I will shoot 5 rolls (50 images) of one subject. This little creek frozen over in weather too cold to snow, turned out to be one of those places. I didn’t have that camera, but I was borrowing my sister’s SLR loaded with 100ASA TMAX. This, without filters, a tripod, or even decent light made for some difficult shooting.  Whereas typically I would plunge into the water in waders and set up my tripod, this day I created many artful poses, balancing on rocks, inverted to get the shot, held as wide open as I could in the light as the sun set. I did not get my typical zonal spread, getting maybe 2 stops over at the most.

However out of 36 shots, probably half of them were interesting enough to consider printing, not a bad ratio. I would be tempted to go back, but the conditions of temp, ice, and atmosphere probably were not reproducible, and besides it was weeks until I developed the film and knew what I had. Get it right the first time!

Coincidently, I composed a poem on that section of river. While I usually dig up a negative that I think at least marginally matches a piece, this is the first time I really had both photographed and written about the same place. When my friend Ellen asked me to elaborate on the Four Voices piece, I happened to have the poem in front of me. (I have this strange document that had Black Sun, Riversong, and Michael Kilkenny’s wake all mixed together in as pieces came to me, and it included this.) I realized that the voices are different for poems than stories, which is why my blog differed from our original IM, but I digress into an already belabored tangent.

At any rate, it doesn’t even have a name, it’s just a snippet, but it speaks volumes for where I’m at right now. It’s only 33 words, but it has all four voices, and pictures too.  Actually, it might have all four voices in the last 10 words. It’s wedged into the document right after a quote from Hamlet, and the line of the story “I float through time, it marks my side in lurid spots.” I definitely have a brain full of weird stuff.

Before it snows
In the winter wood
You can follow the frozen streams
Imagining trout dreaming
Of spiral vortices
In their crystalline palaces
When Eastern hills go ruddy
With Western light
Go home

I apologize that the images are rather small. Small, the subtle gradation in the ice can make them seem unfocussed. In actuality, many of them are quite sharp and luminous. I do think I need to get into the darkroom and print them out, though. I like the depth and abstractness of the macro images.

Click on an image to start the slide show.

P.S. Who Are You and Where are You From?

Who is visiting me from the Ukraine?
Who is visiting me from the Ukraine?

WordPress gives me these awesome reports and I can see how people find me, where they live, how they found the blog, what pages they visited. I see people from Europe, Asia, South America, and I always wonder who they are. I would love to get comments from  you! Kind of like a WordPress stamp album.

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Posted in: Photography