Sssss-s-s-su-wamped! ... a photo essay

... slow down, look around, find the beauty ...

by Don Norris

There's a lot to be said for slowing down, looking around, scouting
out the beauty of our land. In this case, slowing down meant backing off on the
throttle of my racing bike, taking a hike, -- and capturing the beauty of
this place. In photographs.

Strange but not many people would consider a swamp to be a beautiful place. I
seem to have a special eye for forms, and color, and light. Maybe that's why I'm an
artist. So what better way to enjoy my pleasures than motorcycling the back roads,
searching the land for beauty, then recording it with my Canon camera.

Back home, all those photos -- usually some fifty to one hundred frames -- get put
through Adobe Photoshop, and come out at competition quality.

Here's a quiz: In the left photo, what do you see -- besides the beautiful
reflection? Why, it's a chicken leg. At the right, try separating three-dimensional
stuff from mere reflections.

Actually this was not the first trip to The Swamp. I happened across it late last
Fall, and, recognizing the beauty of the fall colors, jumped off the bike and began
capturing the changing scene. Like this one, where the vivid green of the patches of
grass complement the blue reflection of the sky.

In younger days, I used to hunt -- but I never shot anything. Today, I have to ask,
who gave me the right to shoot another creature? Well, somebody did shoot this
Canada goose. It wasn't until I was able to blow up his picture that I saw the wound
in his left side.

The swamp isn't a popular place -- although it is near a very nice young village in
North Andover. While I didn't get to see the dam, it is quite obvious that, ten
or a dozen years ago, a bunch of beavers built their homes downstream, flooding some
dozen acres of forest.

Yes, young people had used the swamp to dispose of their bottles -- at one place
there were three large, empty bottles of vodka -- but on the whole, it is a clean
place, a placid place, a beautiful place.

It's not far from Melrose, maybe 15 miles. The swamp would be on the northeast side
of Highway 114, a couple of miles north of the Middleton line, in North Andover.
Scout through the area, as I did. You can't miss it.

April 6, 2012

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