Instant Grammar – page 43

The railroad that runs through West Boylston does not carry a large amount of traffic.  The occasional cargo train will rumble through town at a rather slow speed; if one gets caught by the train at one of the two grade crossings in town, it is best to turn your car’s engine off and relax, as it will be a while before the crossing clears again.

Past meets present, as we reach infinity.
Past meets present, as we reach infinity.

When I am fortunate enough to meet a train in this way, I enjoy the time to take a closer look at what is passing in front of me.  There is much to learn by watching a train pass by.  The railroad is a veritable history collection on steel wheels.  Ranging from the collection of freight cars and their owners to the cargo that they haul, each train tells a story.

The train may be made up from a large variety of rolling stock from carriers, such as Green Mountain Railroad, Boston and Maine, Pan Am Railways, Bangor and Aroostook, Maine Central, Providence and Worcester Railroad, and the list goes on.  Each of these railroads has their own background and current state of success or trouble.  Some railroads do well financially, but many small railroads’ fate often hinge on consolidation.

The types of the railcars tell another part of the story: what is being carried.  Usually, I see a mix of tankers, car carriers and loads of building wood on center beam cars.  One part that is always a mystery, is where the cargo originated and what its final destination is.

Additionally, the train is a rolling canvas for graffiti artists.  Often just a stylized writing of the artist’s chosen name or some clever message; occasionally, there is a true masterpiece that rolls by and you cannot help, but be amazed by the talent.

By the time the train completes its passage of the grade crossing, I have been entertained, puzzled and stimulated.  It’s time to fire up the engine once more and continue the journey.

I hope you enjoyed my musings about page 43 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen

Instant Grammar – page 11

During my (then) rather lengthy daily commute, I always opted for the scenic route, which, albeit 10-15 minutes longer, was much more relaxing than using the highways.  And it had the added benefit of providing some interesting scenery to enjoy!

The Cows are Hamming it up!
The Cows are Hamming it up!

One of the points of interest is a set of farms near the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, one of which literally had a road right through the property of the farm.  This did make for slower travel and the occasional scent of true farm life, such as organic fertilization; from time to time, I would stop here and capture something or other.

On this fine day in April, I wanted to get a bit of a wider image of the cows feeding in the very New England farmland (read: large rocks intersperse grass and mud).  However, the cows had a completely different idea!

As soon as the cows saw that I had pulled over, they decided to come over and find out what I was up to…after all, there may have been food involved!  So rather than getting the wide shot, I got this wonderful close-up of the cows vying for attention.

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 11 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.

Instant Grammar – page 34

The interest to capture this image came to me, as I was looking to get some nice sunlight reflected in the pond that is right next to this little building. One of those nice, quiet October mornings when you feel like it might still be Summer.

Beauty and Otherwise.
Beauty and Otherwise.

I didn’t really like the reflection that I could get, given the (self-imposed) constraint of using my iPhone for every shot during the year, and I had already photographed the nicely restored mill building across the road (you can see part of it in the “Instant Grammar – page 3” post and another part later).

So I started looking for something different and my eye was caught by the splash of red from the somewhat dilapidated berries in front of the very dilapidated building.  Putting the graffiti in the frame behind the berries allowed for a bit of juxtaposition of nature’s beauty against what can otherwise be created by humankind.

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 34 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.

Instant Grammar – page 21

On August 13th, we had just finished a very nice dinner at one of our favorite Worcester, MA, restaurants: Bocado (highly recommended).  As we were leaving, I had this gnawing thought that something was missing…

What Lies Between Buildings.
What Lies Between Buildings.

Of course! I hadn’t captured my image yet that day!!  As we walked out the door at Bocado’s, I noticed that there was a small hole in the wooden fence between the two buildings and took a peek!

What I saw, intrigued me for the lines that were formed by the various surfaces, pipes, bricks, and the buildings, only to be broken by the pure organic texture of nature coming in to play.  Luckily, a small hole is enough for an iPhone’s lens, so we get to see the result here.

I still enjoy looking into this image and wondering what lies beyond the fence and who will use the plywood, or what is in the blue container…

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 21 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.

Instant Grammar – page 4

On page 4, we find ourselves in the cold of Winter with Thoughts of Spring.

Thoughts of Sping
Thoughts of Spring

Of course, one may think that those thoughts are a bit premature, given that the image was captured on January 7th and plenty of cold and snow could reasonably be expected… While that is certainly the case, seeing the farm tractor catching glorious sunlight got me thinking of Spring well before its arrival!

In an instant, I knew that the farmer was prepared for the next season to arrive and take on the tasks to get his fields ready for whatever their purpose was to be.  It was almost as if Winter allowed me to peek into a diorama of things to come…

A little piece of magic for all of us to enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my musings about page 4 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen

Instant Grammar – page 26

The image on page 6 was shot on September 5, while I was waiting for my car to be serviced.  It had just rained and I sauntered over to the Panera close to the dealership to get a bit of breakfast.

A Sunny Flower on a Rainy Day
A Sunny Flower on a Rainy Day

After a (somewhat) healthy power breakfast with a cup of hot green tea, I was walking back and rather liked the sky that presented itself, so was looking for an opportunity to photograph it in some fashion.

As it happened, the dealership had planted a nice row of sunflowers along the edge of their lot to dress things up a bit.  I liked the idea of juxtaposing the sunflower against the doughnut shop and the sky; a bit of a 3-way contrast between sun and rain, as well as healthy sunflower seeds vs killer doughnuts.  A bit of finding the position to line up flower, shop and sky, and you see the result here.

I hope you enjoyed my musings about page 26 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen

Instant Grammar – Page 8

Page 8 displays an image that was captured on April 7 in East Haddam, Connecticut.  The location is in Devil’s Hopyard State Park, which is a great spot for hiking and interacting with nature; the small cascade is called Chapman Falls.

Chapman Falls in Devil's Hopyard State Park, East Haddam, CT.
Chapman Falls in Devil’s Hopyard State Park, East Haddam, CT.

I was visiting friends in East Haddam for the weekend to explore some photography opportunities, help with a web-site and do some off-roading with my newly acquired FJ Cruiser.  On this beautiful Sunday, a bit of exploration along a tricky bit of trails (great boulders and such) led us to the vicinity of Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

As we were all ready to stretch our legs a bit and new there would be a bit of scenery, I parked and we started following trails.  The trail that took us down to Chapman Falls provided access to a bit of clambering over a couple of rocks to get a seat right across from the falls.  The falls feature potholes that have been created by stones that were caught in eddies and spun to wear holes into the rock; as these holes formed, larger stones would get stuck in them and continue the process by carving a deeper hole.

The origin of the name ‘Devil’s Hopyard’ is not entirely clear, but there is folklore surrounding it.  One of the more believable accounts is that hops were grown in the area by a man named Dibble; maybe not as fun as a supernatural dance location, possibly.

Hope you enjoy page 8 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen