The little islands in Canton’s stretch of the Grasse River make me think of Huckleberry Finn’s stops along the Mississippi but, you know, scaled down.
Using a fisheye lens to photography water is a little too on the nose, but I love seeing the colors and patterns in the Grasse river along with so much of the rocks and the bank and the other bank, too.
As frozen rain bounces off the roadways of northern New York, I’m reminded that our town works truly do battle with the elements each winter. Floating high over their facilities when spring finally arrives, I feel like I’m looking over the encampment of a victorious army.
Spring marks the return of leaves to the trees around the North Country; in the tiny window between snow-covered and leaf-obscured, I get to imagine the story behind this long-abandoned and island-isolated shack. Was it a weekend fishing spot? Was the construction of the nearby bridge what caused it to be abandoned?
Sunsets might be a cliché subject for a landscape photograph, but the North Country’s specimens offer such glowing, striated features with such regularity that the truly exceptional examples can strain my belief in atmospheric models of cloud formation and light scattering.
Winter’s lockdown continues (it might warm up above -10ºF today!), but spring will eventually return. The footbridge to SUNY Canton will eventually be free of ice and the smallest hints of leaves will peak out from the tree branches.
Between these two shots, the sunset light over Canton, New York changed very suddenly. Rain arrived within the hour.
Passing into autumn, I’m already thinking ahead to the winter nights in the North Country. The hidden, semi-subterranean Buccaneer Lounge is a warm and cheeseburger-filled beacon on a cold, rainy evening.
Park Street is the residential/academic (i.e. St.-Lawrence-housing) street orthogonal to Canton, New York’s Main Street. As night falls, the cozy pinpoint lights of individual homes is contrasted by the broad glow of the streetlights on those biggest avenues.
Heavy traffic isn’t restricted to city centers! This summer, Canton’s bridge over the Grasse river is being repaired, cutting it from four lanes to two. Around 8:00, 12:00, and 4:00, traffic backs up for half a mile down Main Street. (But I’d rather the traffic than skipping the bridge repairs…)
North Country temperatures abruptly rose from 20ºF to nearly 60ºF before suddenly dropping to -20ºF—all in under 36 hours. The result was rain that completely melted almost all snow, followed by freezing rain that deposited a layer of ice, followed by a new 12″ of snow to replace what came before.
In the midst of that chaos, I visited the Grasse River through the center of Canton to see it rising above its banks and jamming the shores with ice.
Autumn is my favorite season for flying above the North Country. Heading back toward New York, there’s a lot to look forward to with the shift in the seasons.
Canton’s bars are pretty specific in their target markets: bars for students, or for locals, or for the staff of the local schools. There’s not a lot of overlap. The Buccaneer Lounge, housed in the blue and white building at the lower right of today’s quadcopter photo, was the favorite hangout of faculty. The bar closed this winter, and (as with many third spaces) it will be missed.
Flying a quadcopter feels a heck of a lot like flying did in my childhood dreams. Nap-of-the-earth flying reveals new textures and geometries that were invisible from the group. I was perhaps most surprised to realize how bright a road can be, relative to dense summer foliage.
Autumn in the Northeast has its particular look and feel, but it comes quite a bit earlier to the North Country than to elsewhere. Canton, New York is looking its most charming and just over the horizon, Ontario, CA is doing the same.