Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Domestic Life of Birds

Yellowthroat warbler
Jubilation from the treetops: My place and purpose are here.

Kingbird gathering nesting material
Kingbird on nest
Briefly putting aside their gypsy lives birds materialize engineering skills from inherited codes.

Tree swallows
Brown thrasher
Young ones have to grow quickly into self-sufficiency so that both parents and chicks survive the vulnerability of the nest. The parents try to disguise their steady trips for food.

House wren delivering a morsel
Blue jay marauding at the wren house
The little ones will have to be quick and elusive when they emerge.
Cardinal with captured dragonfly
The early development of some vegetarian species requires protein from omnivorous sources. This mother cardinal is proving herself an adept hunter outside her own diet.

Barn swallow juveniles and parent
After the youngsters have fledged the parents of many species keep up their tutorials and meal supplements.

Male towhee proclaims the territory and triumph of procreation.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Grout Pile

The moors of Halibut Point presented granite seekers with accessible quarry stone. When operations reached an industrial scale, detritus was dumped in a grout pile at the end of a railroad spur extending toward the Ipswich Bay.

Northeasterly storms have swept rubble from the seaward end of this grout pile into a windrow along the shoreline, glazed by mists on a frigid morning.

The promontory offers vistas to three states and the ceaseless fascination of the coastal interface.

The Brookline Bird Club sponsors outings to Halibut Point that juts out into the Atlantic flyway, with the possibility of seeing pelagic species blown toward shore in stormy weather.

Harlequin ducks dive for crustaceans with colorful bravado in the roughest surf.

The cascade of quarry debris ignites the creative spirit in visiting sculptural engineers.

Racemed milkwort (Polygala polygama) pioneers a botanic colony among the rocks.

The ineffable processes of soil building support increasingly diverse vegetation in harsh exposures.

Ships 'hauling about' (tacking past) this windy coastal projection gave Halibut Point its name. Fair breezes still keep sails aloft.

The overlook gives witness to each day's first and last light, to the progressions of the moon, and to the starlit constellations at night.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Quarry Reflections

The granite industry bequeathed Cape Ann ethnic enrichment, architectural distinction, and monumental openings to our geologic core.

The pits fill with water that mirrors stories from the quarry walls. Changes in the sky orchestrate shimmering images devolved from an industrial wasteland.

At Halibut Point the Babson Farm Quarry is the centerpiece of a State Park.

On the bare stone water invents alchemical novelties-- depositing minerals, sustaining organic life, bouncing light into shadows and creating kaleidoscopic symmetries.

Scars of tectonic and industrial violence harmonize in evening light like whimsies on a titanic sketch pad.

Nature reclaims the naked absurdities by colonizing inert surfaces with miraculous life.

History and beauty form momentary partnerships in the stillness.