Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Smithfield Ice Storm


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Nobody needs a reminder that this winter won't let go. Another storm is due in today. They've been running almost one a week since the pattern began months ago. Each storm has been different, like a succession of theatrical events, with effects often localized. This picture was taken in Smithfield, NY, on March 8th. In Connecticut the passing storm was of wimpy, wet snow that wouldn't stick and was quickly road slop. Had a friend on the other side of Sharon Mountain not put out the word, I never would have known of the magnificent crisis occurring just over the NY/CT border. My friend had been there in the morning, and several of us joined him for a late afternoon shoot.

Smithfield Road which is set high and has some moderate views was closed. Limbs down everywhere and electric crews were struggling to un-snag wires. Though officially closed, cars were permitted to dodge debris. In one area a row of old, white pines on the hillside all had broken tops and gaping wounds where the weight of the ice had snapped them.

The good news is that though snow is coming, I saw maple sap running into buckets over a week ago, and this week the crimson skunk cabbage knobs were punching through hard, wet mud at White Memorial, and nearby I saw a turtle swimming at the edge of a pond. Winter may not want to let go, but there are things wiggling in the mud that won't be put off. It's all happening.