Waves at Wallis

Today was a rough Monday. I felt tired, and stretched out, and couldn’t really settle. My mood was volatile, and I did only did the least expected of me. My daily life has been boring as of late. Right now, what is getting me through is the thoughts of tomorrow. The trips we are planning for this Summer is helping me through Winter. After work, I decided to look through pictures, to cheer myself up.

A few weeks back , we went out to the ocean on Sunday. We went up to the Hampton Beach. We got caught up doing family stuff, and didn’t get to the beach before sunset. My plan was to be there earlier, and the delay frustrated me. Honestly I was angry that that we didn’t get to the beach earlier. The plan to go to several beaches changed to a quick stop at Wallis sands. My opportunity seemed to have been lost. I rushed out, and began taking pictures.

Despite the challenges, it was a good trip. My pictures came out great, and It brought me peace. I got to thinking about everything on the way home. I tend to get wrapped up in things. My emotions tend to run wild, and cause problems. I get all bent out of shape when things don’t go the way they were planned. But that is life, and I have to learn to breath.

I have to let go and enjoy the twists in the road. That is when the best adventures happen.

Sleepy Spring Evenings

It is a sleepy Spring evening. I walk slowly, drinking the entire scene in. I make my way off the road, and onto the brown dead grass of last Fall. You can just see new grass beginning to come up, though it hasn’t quite made it yet. Past that lays a pond, thawing out after a long cold Winter. The cloying smell of mud and water hits my senses and reached deep into my past. Back to the walks down the beaten up railroad tracks, past the wetlands and next to the lake. I remember the hum of the Peepers. The way the Geese threw out their lonely cries before touching down gracefully on the lake. Once you see these things you never forget. They become part of you, no matter where you may wander.

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Down The Tracks. Photo By Colleen Ann.

It brings back the memories of the past. Those endless Spring days when anything seemed possible. In many ways it still does. Yet now it is tempered with a realistic cautiousness. An understanding that dreams will not just come to me, that I will have to fight to achieve them.

Lakes Edge. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Lakes Edge.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Yet as I sit here, listening to the cheerful songs of birds outside, I fall into my old habits. That childlike optimism returns to me, and for a moment can smile, looking forward to Spring.

Phrases on The Wall

Nothing makes me angrier than those who have no respect for History. I don’t know if its more common, or that I’m simply paying more attention. Whenever I visit a landmark I experience the disappointment of seeing how some have defaced it.

“Ariel + Josh”

“David wuzzz here”

No one really cares that David was here. No one, except maybe David. And he is most likely embarrassed. Ashamed that his sixteen year old self wrote such a stupid phrase on the that 100 year old covered Bridge. If he’s not he, should be.

On the Wall. Photo By Colleen Ann.

On the Wall.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Ariel and Josh are likely broken up. I always look at those hearts and laugh. Can you imagine returning years later with your family? You look up to see that heart carved into the wood next to your ex-boyfriends name from high school. You will always be immortalized in that tiny heart that was forged in a passionate lapse of judgment.

I came to think about this subject this weekend. I visited Odiorne and witnessed this first hand. I went down the paths towards Battery Seaman. Down towards the old structures from World War Two. All of them bearing layers of graffiti. The only ones that have been spared are those at the front that lay-under watchful eyes.

I have loved the area since my friends and I discovered it. Two years ago while we were exploring, we stumbled upon the large concrete caverns that once housed the 16″ guns. The grass was high and the sun was on our backs. We were pulled in by our curiosity. Even in the summer, the deep caverns of the turrets were dark and cool. Our footsteps echoed as we delved deeper. We looked around the expanse opening all around us. It was awesome to be in such a historical place, yet also so sad.

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All on the old concrete walls lay graffiti. Some of it was juvenile, such as stars, animals or genitalia across the wall.  The weak attempts made to cover it up had failed. New graffiti had blossomed up where the old had been. Some of it was beautiful, big drawing and great art. I admired it, but at the same time it did not belong on these historic walls.

But some was much more malignant. Phrases about anarchy and strange drawings. There were also swastikas too. To see such a symbol of hate carelessly put upon a wall is unnerving. It is a symbol that represents hate in such broad and destructive terms. It should be a symbol that is buried deep, yet it is here, splashed across a wall with spray pain. Here in a place that was meant to keep that evil at bay. It makes me sad that these places are forgotten and left to people who do not care.

Part of me gets it, we have an inherent need to put out name on something, to claim it.  We need to leave our mark on this world. Yet there are ways to do this without defacing historical landmarks or marring places of cultural interest. Because when add your little bit of yourself, you are taking away from the bigger picture.

White Mountain Winter

“Aren’t you sick of all this snow?” The girl at the bank asked

“no, not really” I said smiling.

The girl looked at me strangely before changing the subject. I’m used to it. I’m one of the few people that loves when we get three snowstorms in a row. Winter can be absolutely beautiful time of year. That afternoon my boyfriend and I went up to the Basin. I found that myself reveling in the snow that was falling. I was kneeling in snowbanks to get new shots. As I was sitting there I realized how much I enjoyed it, taking shot after shot and realize I was thinking about how to present it.

Looking Up. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Looking Up.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

I have come to the realization that I want do do something that makes me happy. I find that when I’m out in the woods, that I cannot hep but take pictures. I am constantly looking around me, and trying to find perfect pictures and finding things to write about. I want to take what I am seeing and bring that to others. With new technology, we are supposedly closer. Yet as years go by I cannot help but see that we continue to get further and further from nature and the wonderful things that are outside.

The River. Photo By Colleen Ann.

The River.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

I hope that by portraying these beautiful places I can bring some attention to them. I can show others how valuable they are and why they need to be protected. In turn I can spend my time outside and be able to do something fulfilling with my life. I am not the type of person that can climb the corporate structure. I want to blaze an independent path, and look back at my life and be proud of what I accomplished.

The Stubborn Nature of Fall Leaves

We enjoy the vivid colors as Fall passes us by. Yet as the colors fade, so does our attention. We move into winter and our attention is drawn away. Onto bigger and better things, onto the long cold nights, and the snow that piles up in drifts outside the door. Yet even with it’s harsh vengeance, Winter is never able to completely obliterate what came before.

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves. Photo by Colleen Ann.

Every year there are yellow folded leaves still clinging the trees. They stubbornly hang on refusing to let go. They stand strong through the late fall rains. They hang on through the high winds, and the furious blowing snows. Ice clings to them on the coldest days, but still will not let go. They still stubbornly hang on as the days thaw and winters chill begin to ebb away. They hang on until winter finally breaks, only giving way when the new buds for spring start to open.

Beech Leaves. Photo  By Colleen Ann.

Beech Leaves.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

I have always had respect for them. In a tiny display, they show Natures strength. It shows that in even the smallest unobtrusive places nature is tenacious. So every year I look for them, and when I find them I smile. The yellowed leaves that hold on when everything else lets go.

The Comming Of Spring

With these warm past few days, it is hard not to turn our thoughts towards Spring. I love winter, yet I am looking forward the transition. The change in season brings us a host of new things. In New Hampshire we have long drawn out Winters. By their end, even Winter enthusiasts are ready for Spring. The frozen world that we thought had no end is melting. The sun shines brighter as we move further from the dark days of January. While Winters chill still hangs in the air, a noticeable change coming. The days are beginning to get longer, and I cannot help look forward to Spring.

If I had my way, I would constantly be outside. Unfortunately right now I do not have that luxury. Yet I am starting to get to the age where I am really beginning to understand the type of life I want to live. It is a life full of simplicity.

Greenfield NH. Photo by Colleen Ann.

Greenfield NH.
Photo by Colleen Ann.

In Spring, days seem to go on forever. Of long walks down the single-lane road to Zephyr Lake. On the far side on the main road, cars rush by barely noticing anything. As they pass by the sound fade until once again it is quiet. Its is this quiet that makes this town what is is. Greenfield is the type of place many people just pass through. Yet that is how it maintains its identity.

Sunset on the lake. Photo by Colleen Ann.

Sunset on the lake.
Photo by Colleen Ann.

As I make my way down to the edge of the lake, I look around, taking it all in. The sun sets around seven, and I am able to watch the sun throws its many colors against the horizon. The reds and oranges are cast across the tops of the pines and the clouds. Even the far reaches of the lake are lit up. The colors continue to change, until the sun finally slips below the horizon. The colors fade away as the twilight grows. The beautiful scene is accompanied by the harmony of the Peepers. The tiny frogs come out in early spring, and at dusk they sing. The ringing song of thousands of amphibians is calming, and each year I look forward to it.

Looking out over Zephr. Photo by Colleen Ann.

Looking out over Zephr.
Photo by Colleen Ann.

These things remind me why I am lucky to be here. The stillness of this small town. The way the Peepers songs causes my eardrums to vibrate. The sunset, and the cold brisk air as I begin my journey home. I need more monuments like these. possessions mean so little to me, that their acquisition seems pointless. We spend so much of our energy in the acquisition of things. We allow ourselves to work more than we should and compromise our happiness. I am striving towards a life where I have the freedom from things. I want to gather experiences. I want a life full of beautiful memories. I want to know that I enjoyed every moment given to me.

The Outdoors and Life Musings

I was created to roam in wild open places.  As I grow older I find that my patience for staying inside all day grows thin. I cannot bear the thought of spending my life being walled in.

I think that’s why I love these places. Being in New Hampshire puts life into perspective.  I was lucky to grow up in a state that has a wealth of outdoor places, as well as historical sites. New Hampshire is full of lakes rivers and streams. With each passing season, we are given a new set of changes, and I think that is what makes this place so special.  New Hampshire is a place of natural diversity and history, and it has shaped who I have become.

Looking Out Photo By Colleen Ann.

Looking Out
Photo By Colleen Ann.

I have always had an issue with worrying. I let small insignificant things weigh me down. Being outside helps.  The outdoors brings balance into my life. Whether I am photographing rivers, skiing or hiking I feel centered when I am outside. I love examining my relationship with nature. I feel like so much of our daily stress comes form being cooped up constantly. We lead regimented structured lives. Yet there is no time to get out there and explore, and  I really think there is something sad about that.

In The River. Photo By Colleen Ann.

In The Rivers of The White Mountains.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

My goal in life is to spend more time in the mountains.  I have realized that while I am glad for the opportunity, office work is simply not for me. I am a creative personality who needs more to thrive. I  know its going to be a hard path to get to a place where I am successful on this non-traditional road, yet I want to try. I do not want to look back in forty years and wonder where my life went.  I want more than this path offer, all that lays in front of me now is what is next.