Sunday Photo Essay: Glass Pieces

Glass Pieces

Chef David came inside from an outside task yesterday and said, You should look at the ice formations where the river has grabbed the trees. It’s photo-worthy.

And so it is, as it was last year. But this time, I believe it’s safe to say the river is roiling, and even so, yesterday when I made these photos, it was relatively tame compared with earlier in the week, when it rose higher than I’d seen it thus far: not quite to the top of its banks, but all the way to the bottom of the small bridges we can see from our back yard.

Other places in the area flooded, and badly. Over in upstate New York a few boats were swept away from their moorings and smashed into railroad bridges on the Hudson. Extremely cold temperatures cause waterways to freeze over, but when the temperatures climb into the lower 50s in the days following a winter storm, as they did, the massive ice chunks break loose and cascade downstream, and all hell breaks loose. These wild variations in temperatures are out of character for the region this time of year, I am told.

I named this essay ‘Glass Pieces’ because it’s the first phrase that popped into my head looking through the camera lens yesterday. But it’s also the name of a Jerome Robbins ballet, set to the music of Philip Glass. If you’re familiar with his music, you know about his penchant for using repeated phrases, sometimes quiet, often frantically rhythmic, occasionally building to a cacophonous crescendo, unrelenting and pounding unsettlingly. It’s the perfect soundtrack for an abstract ballet.

Or a roiling river.


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