Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Pond Prelude & Fugue


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL "Adagio": I've come this way often and never failed to admire the skeleton of this old giant, stretched out from the foot of the ice pond. It's leafless arms suggest a rib cage of Mesozoic heft. It is a rigid brace against galling winds. I've carefully walked the plank of its supine trunk as far out into the pond as I dared and clutched its broken limbs to stay my balance. I've jumped tenuously and found it will not dance or bob. I've even listened to the wind and tried to imagine the sound of those leaves that once blew so hard the branches nearly broke before the great tree fell. And afterward I wondered which was more fantastic, the fury of that rage and fall or the long quiet after?








PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Like a forgotten continent its still cliffs slip into the surrounding pond. Off shore periscopic frogs keep watch to snatch a hapless midge or bluebottle with their whiplash tongues, and where the trunk rises highest, three turtles sunbathe, alert and ready, despite their long climb, to take a turtle-leap to the bottom of the pond. In a large bay scooped out by skeletal forearms, water bugs dart. They are the last of the season. In a shadowed harbor lurking perch have already begun to feel the water change.