Shaking Off Winter
I’ve been getting the van ready for my Spring trip. Tires rotated, oil changed, new brakes. I had a brief time at the mall the other day while waiting for my tire rotation.
For me there are four signs of Spring’s arrival. First of course is the first Robin. Saw that. In fact there are loads of them now and they seem totally oblivious to me as I pass them walking to my car every day. The second is the first warm breezes out of the south. Not just a little warmer, but truly warm and humid with that smell of Spring and the feeling of warm water that rushes over your face. Such that you just want to stand with your jacket off and your face into the breeze and feel the texture of the warm air as it pours across your skin. That was Tuesday. Third is the Spring Peeper. They’re singing now up by the pond across the road. The last is the appearance of the first buzzard (turkey vulture). I call them buzzards because I grew up in the South so always knew them as buzzards. My daughter said she had seen a couple last week. I finally saw my first of the season Thursday. They like to congregate right behind our house and float on the updrafts out of the gorge. Buzzards are ugly birds, but very graceful fliers, and for me, my final reassurance that Spring is definitely here.
I was called for jury duty a couple of weeks ago. It means about a 45 minute drive up to Waterloo to the county courthouse. I didn’t get selected. In fact I didn’t even get interviewed. They filled the jury before they got to my name. So I’m off the hook for another four years. I did get a little time to shoot some up in Waterloo before going to the courthouse. I like Waterloo. Small town with a quiet main street, sitting on the Canal that runs across upstate. Like many upstate small towns its somewhat depressed economy means empty storefronts and closed businesses.
But Waterloo is a proud village and a place of historical significance and patriotism as the Birthplace of Memorial Day. Flags are prominent throughout the village.
With some sunny days I’ve been encouraged to take my camera out again and just ride, despite the current cost of gas. The maple tree sap is running and occasionally you’ll see some trees tapped around the wood lots. The ground is still very wet, but at least my basement is finally drying up so I know the water table is going down.
I stopped at an old empty house on Route 96 that I have passed again and again, thinking that I wanted to photograph there. The light was good in the late afternoon and I had a little time on my way home. I have always had an attraction to abandoned and empty houses and buildings. You can sort of feel the spirits of the past.
Just up the highway are the remains of what used to be the only drive-in movie in the area. It’s been defunct for years, the big screen having succumbed to wind and weather. I wandered in to see what remained of the old buildings there. Remnants of an entertainment industry that has changed with technology. Kind of sad actually. I watched many a movie at the drive-in with my first daughter asleep in the back seat.
Like 45 rpm records and eight-track tapes, black and white TV and dial phones, there are young people who will have no memory of them and people such as myself who can only remember fondly the speaker hanging on the window, the walks to the concession stand, and the warm summer air at night, watching movies under the stars.
All images Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.