Text and images © 2006 John B. Blackford. Do not reproduce without express written permission. All rights reserved.
The Geese Runner
The geese paired off early this spring and began ushering around hatchlings weeks ago. The fowl are in a protective mood, forming skirmish lines between visitors and any geese with chicks. Cassie the Lab, never one to miss a skirmish, dashes at the birds in shallow water. They're pretty unimpressed. If Cassie gets within about 15 yards, they'll offer the obligatory few flaps and lift off to about 25 yards... insultingly close. But what's a dog to do? They swim faster than she does. 5/19/06

For me, a real dry spell is when I can walk to Raub's Island without getting wet. I could almost do it--but the rains came at last. The same weather that topped a 70-year record in New England has the Delaware River rushing along, carrying seaward any hope of walking the riverbed. In fact, the water seems to be moving anything that's not nailed down. 5/17/06

Sunsets and Stones
This spring the river can't seem to make up its mind. The land bridge between Raub's Island and Pennsylvania has been high and dry, then submerged by a rushing torrent, then dry again. That zone between land and water is rich in artifacts and strange forms--the more so when it changes back and forth. The plants can't figure out whether to put out roots or leaves.

The shallows between stones offer beautiful muted colors. And for some reason, I've begun noticing the sunsets from this vantage point as well. After the sun dips below the horizon, the last thing to light up are the high clouds, and they do so with muted but intense colors.

Anyway, that's what I've been photographing lately: shallows, stones, and the last moments of sunset. 5/10/06

Corporate Refuges on the River
Pulling into the parking lot near Raub's Island, I noticed two dogs and two hikers returning to their car. One of them, Scott, recognized my dog and reminded me of the great time our dogs had had a couple of weeks ago, along the tow path.

“This is the dog I was telling you about," he told his companion. "Cassie up and down the canal and all over," said Scott. "My dog Kody used to be like that, but now she's about 12 years old and slower."

Scott mentioned that he takes care of peoples' houses, including light maintenance, and contracts additional work to a lose network of "other refuges from the corporate world."

"Refugees," I thought. I guess I'm one, too, having commuted into New York City for over 15 years.

I’m not sure what kind of work Scott did, but he's one of many who've found ways to skip away from intense corporate jobs for a slower pace, often in business for themselves. In the future, I'll talk with some of them.  4/16/06

I enjoy chatting with visitors along the river because folks seem to shed their day-to-day habits a bit. But sometimes I'll find myself passing by a parking lot that has cars in it, since one of the key river attractions for me is solitude. There's peacefulness in observing the daily rhythms, whether it's the water rising and falling day by day, geese and ducks protectively ushering around their hatchlings, or my own dog racing up and down the banks. This lifts my spirit...when I can quiet down enough to feel it.

Perhaps the stillness of the river attracts some fishermen, though others keep up their chatter nonstop and fill ice chests with enough for Super Bowl Sunday. Trouble is, they often leave much of it behind, from half-eaten sandwiches my dog adores to beer cans, soda cups, foil wrappers, bags, and even empty Pringles cans.

Still, the litter is part of a freedom I sense on the river. Most folks are respectful of others' space and privacy--but also share a comraderie with strangers that just doesn't happen in the malls. They're less likely to take you for granted, too. 5/3/06

Beached Speedboat

Two old friends eye each other warily.
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Scott is one of the many folks who walked away from the corporate world.
The Delaware at Dusk
Silence grows tangible as light fades on the river, enveloping the rustle of leaves and the hiss of a fly-fisher's rod. The muted, flattening light embodies a mood I try to capture, and many of the galleries on this site contain images taken near the Delaware River.
Cassie likes to get a rise out of the geese.
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