I was recently in the US for a couple of weeks, and while the trip's purpose wasn't for photographic pursuits, I still managed to squeeze in an afternoon behind the camera. My memories of this place are some of my earliest and fondest. I clearly recall visiting The Old Grist Mill and the Wayside Inn as a child, all rugged up against the cold and snow, the icicles hanging from the rooftops sparkling in the sunshine. In warmer months, I was fascinated watching the water tumble over the mill's wheel, working the machinery inside and turning the heavy stone milling wheels to make flour. Just down the road, the flour is used to make the bread rolls and cornbread in the Wayside Inn. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow spent some time here in 1862 when it was known as "How Tavern" and his work "Tale of a Wayside Inn" is based on his time here. The Inn is claimed to be the oldest in the USA, and inside, some of the floorboards are over 18 inches wide, so it wouldn't surprise me. They sure don't make them like that any more! Just next door is the Martha-Mary Chapel; Built by Henry Ford and named after his mother, its tall pristine white spire pierces the blue sky and always seems to shine in the most brilliant shades of clean white. Just next door is the little red schoolhouse. Its famous as the birthplace of the children nursery rhyme "Mary Had a little lamb". As the story goes, a pupil at the school (called Mary) had a lamb which used to follow her to school... I'm sure you know the rest of the story! but anyway, it actually happened right here, in this simple little school house. Cool!
Photographically, this wasn't the best time of the year to visit the east coast of the US. Its the end of winter, with not enough snow on the ground to make a snowman, but not quite warm enough to bring the green leaves back in to bud. For the most part the weather on this trip was cold, brown, and overcast. The colours of this changing landscape are some of the most spectacular in the world however, and I can't wait to come back here in the autumn at some stage, when the sky's are clear and the leaves on the trees begin to change to magnificent, earthy shades of red, yellow, and brown. That's when New England is at its quintessential best and youbetcha, I'll have my camera with me :-)
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