Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Heart of the Hollow


This photo is very hard to appreciate on a computer screen. The image when "fit to screen" is too small to permit much entry into the picture space. Those who can zoom should do so, but then try zooming out again to see the whole. Printed copies offer no such challenge.

So why have I put it here? Because it reveals a new love of mine, the swamp that lies in the very center of The Hollow. Hollow Swamp is a mysterious place, long, amorphous and difficult to enter. So far my only approach is from country roads along its perimeter. At the outlet end of the main belly of the swamp it is crossed by such a roadway, almost a causeway. The roadway and the swamp are at war. The funneling effect where swamp water must pass under the roadway forces the otherwise dense swampgrowth to retreat a bit and leave a small, clear pool to catch clouds' reflections. The swamp in its turn has begun to undermine the roadway, leaving deep holes in the shoulder asphalt. What part the beavers are playing in this counterinsurgency is hard to know, but their constant re-engineering of the water flow assures the town crew of certain amount of re-engineering of their own.

For my part, the resulting pool and its edges are proving a useful new shooting spot if I can keep from being tripped up by the holes. For all of you, this puddles in some of the center land between the farms I have photographed here. Hollow Swamp is undoubtedly the most ignored feature of The Hollow; but its profuse diversity populates the Hollow with a richness, a blossoming of life that sings through day and night and echoes off the surrounding hills. It is a song and an echoing that is choked silent in too many places by urban sprawl.

Thanks to all those who write back from time to time if only to let me know which images you liked best or liked least.

For information about the current CAMERA'S EYE photo exhibition, go to:
http://the-cameras-eye.blogspot.com/