Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Leon Schofield and his partner Annie lived year-round near where the Forks River Dam is today. The photo above was taken in the summer of 1932, likely by the Reverand Guy Blakeney (2nd from the right) from Wolfville, father of biologist Dr. J. Sherman Blakeney. Leon is seated on far left. Others in the photo include Bill Dorman (father of Lloyd Dorman) and James W. Schofield of Weston, Massachusetts.
Life at Forks River was good. Leon and Annie had a few apple trees, a small garden, picked berries in summer, fished for trout spring through fall, harvested wild game year-round, notably rabbits, grouse, deer and moose. Leon trapped in the winter, guided moose hunters in the fall and established early that the abundance of this mammal was related to age and condition of forest habitat in the wake of forest fires. A forest fire that ravaged the west side of Black River Lake in the 1940's, and other smaller fires around the lake were rumored to have been started by Leon in hopes of bolstering the numbers of moose. About a decade after this photo was taken, Merritt Gibson and Guy Blakeney's son, Sherman (both young lads from Wolfville) built a log camp not far from Leon and Annie's.
Lloyd Dorman (then about 91) told me that during the winters in the 1930s and 40s, he and his brother would leave Newtonville in early morning for the west shore of Black River Lake with the horse and wood sled, near where I live today. They would fell 2-3 large maples or birches, buck them into 8-10' ft. bolts, (usually 6 sticks) load them onto the sled and head for home. Just getting the logs took all the winter day's light hours to accomplish. Later they would saw the wood into stove sized bolts, splitting them with maul and wedges.
Lessons on using the 19th fret.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The photos above, especially the ones of the fox are really poor quality, cropped, pushed, red dead and deblued - all that is left is a story. Alas, in the moment that happened so quickly, in the excitement I forgot to zoom the lens to maximum. Hence, the lame photo result. Nonetheless, I will never forget that mangy little fox who taught me so much in a few brief minutes about dignity.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Moonshine Ramblers, one of my favourite valley groups heads out to wander across Canada this spring spreading the good vibes through their music. If they are in your area, be sure to get out to see at least one of their performances. Many of their songs are original and my personal favorites are "Darkness and Stars" and "South Mountain." You can get a good taste of their sound and musical face on their website at MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/themoonshineramblers/music/songs/darkness-and-stars-67616072
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Long before digital cameras and computers came into being, I was in love with images and it didn't matter whether I made them myself or not. For me, a good picture was and is, worth 10,000 words. For a time, surface, texture and line fascinated me. I sketched, I painted, worked in stained glass and photography. In the 1970s and 1980s, I kept little boxes and drawers through the house, full of magazine clippings, postcards, and other small bits of crow sized portable junk. Despite seeming apparent chaos, each had a theme.
The collage above, and the box of junk from which it was born is based on the poem, "The Man with the Blue Guitar," by Wallace Stevens. Small snippets of the poem are hand written and also appear as printed clippings in different places of the composition. The geometry of stained glass factored many of my decisions with line, image choice and overall tone of it. Because many of the pieces that make up the collage are small, it should invite you in close. This is good, because only then can you read the small text. Not that it really matters....