Friday, July 10, 2009

Stickney Brook, Vermont, Early Spring, 2003.

Stickney Brook is a mountain stream that cascades over broad granite shelves, around boulders, and across razor-like miniature cliffs, creating long, shallow falls; the stream empties into the West River just north of Brattleboro. The terrain is mountainous, pocked with small gorges, rock outcroppings, dirt roads, and miniature valleys. "The Ledges," the section of the brook where I spent the most time, is just a few yards from Route 30, but the sound of the stream overpowers the SUVs. It feels very wild and isolated for all its proximity to civilization, and I often had the place to myself, even in the summer. I took countless photos of the stream, in all seasons, and was in awe of the color, mostly provided by algae that grows on the rocks under the shallow water. Greens, reds, and yellows give the water an almost otherworldly feel, echoing the coloration of the surrounding woods. Sometimes, I would set up my chair and have a sandwich, read, or just stare at the falls. If it was terribly cold, I would take a brisk walk up the steep road by the stream (deep snow sometimes prevented direct access to the water), and drive an hour home. In hot weather, I would often dunk myself in the frigid water, and dry off on the warm rocks. I miss the brook terribly, but have promised myself I would return on trips back east. The photo above was taken in early spring, just as the deep snow was beginning to melt. As spring progressed, the stream became a torrent, overtaking the boulders in a Niagara-like frenzy, and reshaping the stream bed. These were some of my favorite moments at Stickney Brook; the fierce drama of a stream gone mad, the swirling mist of a formerly serene, Arcadian brook, thrashing its way to the swollen, ice-banked river. 

1 comment:

  1. Paul,

    Didn't you and I spend the day there with my dog Sparkey many years ago? Sparkey was so afraid of the metal bridge across the river, we had to carry him across!