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Block Island – Settling In

June 21, 2012

My contribution is a mix of small adventures and experiments in photography. The pace is definitely slower when one doesn’t need to get from one place to another place—30 to 50 miles away.

 

Tim’s brother Andy and his wife Anneke arrived for a Block Island visit on Monday, the day after we settled in at the Schneiders’ house. Andy and Anneke rented a condo from a friend, not too far from us. The greenery shows the view from their porch.

I love Block Island because it reminds me of Tuckernuck, a small island off the coast of Nantucket. Unlike Tuckernuck, Block Island has shops (and electricity), but like Tuckernuck, it is surrounded by accessible beaches and crisscrossed by trails. Tim sent scenes from our walk out Clay Head trail on the north end of the island. What he didn’t report was our adventure in “the Maze”. I tried to find a link to describe this part of the island, but didn’t find anything as good as the description by Keith H. Lang and Scott B. Comings in On This Island, The Block Island Trail and Nature Guide.

If you choose to branch out into the maze, you are welcome, but you are also on your own. To preserve the enchantment of the area, these trails are not shown on any map. If you become disoriented, remember that the Clay Head Trail is to the east. It may take a while, but heading in that direction and listening for the sounds of the ocean will bring you to the marked path, and you can continue your walk with the confidence of knowing your location. There are approximately 12 miles of trails in the maze system, running to the west of the main trail and frequently intersecting it.

I’ve never dared to venture into the maze on my own. I have a terrible sense of direction and can only hear in one ear, so finding the direction of the sounds of the ocean isn’t so easy. Since we were in a group, I kept suggesting that we might try a side trail on our return walk to our bikes. The discussion led to no action, until Anneke decided to set out on what we thought would be a small side loop. I followed her. Andy thought about it for a short while and decided to come after us. Tim stayed behind to figure out with his GPS where our loop would lead. By the time he was ready to follow us, it was too late. We were gone. Within three turns I didn’t know which way would lead back to the shore trail. Andy and Anneke had a bit more confidence so we continued on, one turn after another, until I thought I might get out my iPhone GPS and check—where was the water? Andy used the compass on his iPhone to check as well. We were completely turned around. Texts to Tim (who wanted to walk on the beach instead of the trail, but settled for returning to our bikes) helped us know where he was, and in the end, we all returned safely. I now can say that Andy, Anneke, and I (along with our trusty iPhones) have had a small adventure on “the maze.”

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The next day, as Tim has also reported, we explored the south end of the island. After the Farmers’ Market we stopped at Abrams Animal Farm and visited North Light Fibers.

Tim sent you a journal of our visit to the South Light. I offer a portrait of Andy and Anneke taking a short rest on the lawn, and a 1988 BMW that was in the driveway.

 

On our tricycle journey I have been documenting our adventure, but as time passes on Block Island my camera slides back to closeups. It’s what I like to do. Above is the first chicory of the season. For me it’s a flower that never gives up hope. To the left is a maze of stems that Anneke pointed out.

 

I keep looking for new backgrounds for my hand pictures—always wondering what might happen if I line up my iPhone with ProHDR, put my hand in the picture, and give it a try. I made a book in photography class last year called Hand Prints. I’m still looking for more possibilities.

 

I’ve tried a few pictures using the same technique without the hand. Something to keep in my notebook and think about.

But today we took a rest from our adventures. It was hot! Andy and Anneke had to go back to the mainland, and Tim and I rested. Here is Tim, perhaps thinking about what we might try next and enjoying a piece or two of leftover pizza.

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 10:56 pm

    In our part of California (Central Coast), we don’t often see Chicory. We did find a clump in a park last week, but that’s how we usually see it here – isolated clumps – if we see it at all. I guess it’s too dry here. For roadside weeds we have the usual Brassicas, fennel, and poison hemlock (the latter very abundant). Have a great vacation!
    Love to all,
    John

  2. Libby Hedrick permalink
    June 22, 2012 9:19 am

    Wonderful photos, as usual! I am going to miss Andy and Anneke!

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