Trusses & Time

Trusses & Time

All roads lead to the future, I’m told. And I believe it’s so. Bent on getting you where you need to be, mindless of where you’ve been, roads come, roads go. But bridges–bridges old enough to remember the sound, the weight, the heft, the feel, when men made of iron drove wheels made of steel–bridges like this keep time as they please. All roads lead to the future. But bridges, when your heart is calm and the light right, when your thoughts are quiet and the boards and beams and trusses are feeling charitable, when there’s no one present but the critters in the creek and the ghost of the boy you used to be, bridges can, if you let them, lead you to the past. *** Photolog I shot this the day after Thanksgiving 2011 in Bond County, Ill., eight miles north of the National Road, in back of beyond. The day was warm and the bridge quiet. We had turkey in the fridge and Christmas on the horizon. A good day,...
F-Stops: spindles, springs, shutters and things

F-Stops: spindles, springs, shutters and things

I spent a good bit of winter running hither and yon. Obligations personal and professional took me to the Vandalia Statehouse and across the Kaskaskia River at Vandalia, Ill., ’round a riverside casino and atop a Civil War Era bridge at St. Louis, through the Missouri Bootheel and New Madrid quake country, across a southern Tennessee cypress slough, and into a quiet cemetery a whisper north of Mississippi. Total miles traveled: Lost count. Maximum miles covered in a day: 780. Most unlikely encounter: dromedary camels watching the highway from a field outside Bolivar, Tenn. Most unlikely event: Passing through three states without shooting a single photo. Yes, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. But sometimes, it isn’t.  * February found me shooting photos for a regional travel guide. The blog shot, taken at the Collinsville Museum, in Collinsville, Ill., didn’t make the cut. I shot these items in captivity rather than in the wild, where the best photos are found. I photographed the display through glass, couldn’t dodge the reflection, and never really found the right composition. That said, I like the shot. It recalls an age when cameras relied on spindles, springs, shutters and things to make them go, rather than complementary metal oxide semiconductors and a lithium-ion charge. Nope, not kicking dust on the wingtips of digital photography. DSLRs allow us to make images we otherwise couldn’t–or wouldn’t. I’m just saying there’s art in the architecture of old machines, and pleasure in their heft and feel. Be it camera or cash register, you don’t find that in today’s stuff. Everyone laments the passing of...
Pressing Matters

Pressing Matters

Why settle for pressing a leaf when you can impress an entire tree in paper? Okay, maybe it isn’t the same. But I do like the soft tones and texture. *** Today’s word count came in at 1,360–which is on target for the discovery draft. In the interest of full disclosure, my weekend writing combined didn’t net that many words. Many other items in play this week, all important, many of them timeconsuming. Which is no excuse to fall short of words. Onward we go. Here’s hoping Wednesday treats you well. *** Q/A. I saw this tree daily for eight years. It was virtually devoid of charm or character. But that can’t be said of some trees I’ve known. Have a favorite tree? Maybe a maple that lights up the neighborhood with lemon-yellow leaves each fall? Or a hickory, pine or oak that stands out in...