I went looking for skunk cabbage in a small stream near my home. I didn’t find any. I walked back to my house stopping for a moment to enjoy the sounds around me.
The wind whooshed through the trees. I could feel the cold. I noticed the empty playground. My kids used to play here when they were much younger. I waited for the sun to peek through the clouds to provide some shadow and contrast. I stood still for five minutes being present to everything that surrounded my senses.
I was feeling stir crazy. I have not been outside the house since Wednesday. I bundled up and took a walk over to the stream in the forest behind the playground near my home. In the past, I had seen skunk cabbage, an indicator that spring has sprung, growing here.
The air was cold and crisp, and a steady breeze blew against my exposed cheeks. The path to the stream leads behind the tennis courts to an open grassy area with a volleyball net. The grass was soggy wet, but I made my way through to the muddy area under the trees. There were lots of small dead branches across the swampy area under the trees.
I made my way down to the stream. No ice. Usually, the side of the stream would be lined with ferns and skunk cabbage growing in dense clusters. Not today. Not yet.
A few weeks ago while waiting for a response from my new client about my start date, I drove into Rocky Hill Borough for a latte from Buy the Cup. Buy the Cup has had various operators over the years. The current owner, Vitality, is a friendly Russian man, who probably knows more people in the area than the mayor. Whenever I visit we end up chatting about which coffee beans he is bringing into the store soon, local politics or POTUS.
As I exited the cafe, an elderly woman asked me about the camera and lens. We chatted about photography — hers and mine — about the neighbourhood, about the photographs we had taken of the First Reformed Church, the Rocky Hill Inn, and some of the other properties around the town. She gave me a history of some of the homes in the area and pointed out that some of the larger homes were in some state of disrepair.
After we said our goodbyes I walked to Crescent Street where I parked my car. On this trip, I had taken the Canon EOS 5D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm L USM II lens. The conversation with the elderly photography sparked my desire to capture a few photos along the intersection of the major streets in the borough.