Travel Theme: Contrast

This week, over at Where’s My Backpack, Ailsa has challenged us to find a photo that means “contrast.” I’ve chosen this one from last fall (because fall and spring contrasts) which shows the color of the leaf contrasting with the color of the ground, and the droplets of water provide a textural contrast as well.

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Springtime Flowers!

We spent several hours at Arnold Arboretum today, taking pictures and people-watching. I’ll start off slow – two of my favorite pictures of the day. Now, all you have to do is tell me which you like better (and why), and guess what the flower is!

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Imageflowers, photography, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

A Few Historical Inaccuracies

As you may have heard, Monday was a holiday in Massachusetts. Not, as some would have you believe, a holiday to celebrate the Boston Marathon, but that is certainly one way many people celebrate. In actuality, Monday was Patriots Day (also, not in celebration of the New England Patriots, as many believe), a celebration of the Battles at Lexington and Concord which began the Revolutionary War (it was actually April 19, but it’s celebrated on the third Monday, and the day off for most workers helps clear the streets for marathon runners/observers).

Many people begin their day with a 5 a.m. commemoration and re-enactment in Lexington, but we are not insane, and settled for the re-enactment of the North Bridge Battle outside Concord, a little later in the morning.

As we found ourselves at Minuteman National Park, watching the group re-enact the North Bridge Fight, we were impressed by the care participants took with their costumes to ensure historical accuracy. Unfortunately, not all of the participants remained “in character” until they were off-stage.

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Cell phones were all the rage in Revolutionary War times. That story you heard about Paul Revere? Pish. He just sent a blast text and went back to his PlayStation.

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Before Starbucks and Dunkin’, coffee was served in black, logo-free cups.

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Walkie-talkies, for the soldiers who were on AT&T, and didn’t have service at this location.

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Ear plugs, obviously were part of any soldier’s equipment.

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Even the Redcoats have AT&T.

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Keeping in touch with the Minutemen, so she’d know when to bring sandwiches to the battlefield.

A Little Good News

There’s been so much tragedy all over the world this week, I can’t even begin to express how badly I feel for the people involved. Instead, I’m going to try to bring a little light to my readers. Flowers! It’s finally spring, flowers are blooming, and there is beauty to be found in unlikely places. I challenge you to look for some beauty, as well.

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I do not know what type of flower this is. They were very small, mixed in among the grass at Minuteman National Park near Concord, Mass.

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Spent a couple hours wandering downtown Quincy last night, and made the above image of a magnolia blossom from a tree between City Hall and a small cemetery where many Revolutionary War soldiers are buried. The image below is from a cherry blossom tree in front of city hall, in the last light of the day.

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I hope your day is blooming with beauty.

Boston: Trying to Process

As you might imagine, folks in and around Boston are very subdued today. It’s school vacation week, so a lot of people are on vacation, but many more are here, and it seems everybody knows someone who was at or near the scene of yesterday’s explosions. One of my co-workers was around the corner from the Marathon’s finish, and his friend had left him to get closer to the finish line. She was a block away from the explosions when they happened.

Another co-worker was in a bar in the Fenway area. He said the bar had televisions on, as many do, and each was showing footage of the explosions, the injured, etc. While some of the bar’s patrons became subdued, others continued their loud, cheerful celebrations. He went outside to use his phone, and was not allowed back into the bar. He and his friends then moved farther from the scene and into another bar, where there were no televisions, and it appeared no one inside had any idea of what was happening in the city.

A co-worker lives in the area, and was on his roof, tending to his garden, and heard the explosions (I am 47 percent sure he’s the “rooftop guy” social media’s all abuzz about).

Then, there’s social media. How many times have we seen pictures of a little girl, running a 5K, or a little boy, running down the road, and seen claims that these two children were the 8-year-old who was killed in the blast, and he/she was running in memory of Sandy Hook. I understand the need to grieve, but at least do so truthfully. The boy’s name was Martin Richards. He was at the finish with his mom and two siblings, waiting for Dad to cross the finish line. Mom and one sibling were critically injured, and the other sibling is unhurt. It does them all an injustice for us to make up, and perpetuate stories that simply aren’t true.

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A year ago, my daughter was visiting me in Boston, and we took in the Red Sox game on Patriot’s Day. The tradition is that the race and game are taking place at the same time; when the first runners cross the finish, their names are announced at the Sox game, images of them finishing are shown on the big screen, and the crowd cheers. When the game is over, some 30,000 people leave Fenway Park and mob the Back Bay to watch the end of the race. A year ago, my daughter, her friend and I were part of that mob. We watched runners go by outside the Kenmore T stop, then walked along the race route toward the finish. It’s possible the reason this has hit me as hard as it has is because, but for some quirk of fate, that could have been my daughter lying on the street with a tourniquet on her thigh, or worse.

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We were lucky, because we weren’t there. So many others cannot say the same. Even those who were not injured, or didn’t lose a loved one – those who just saw the explosions and the aftermath – those people will be forever changed.

I have no words that can explain or comfort. All I have is hope. Hope that whoever did this will be caught and punished, and that Boston, and the Marathon, will be stronger because of the goodness inherent in most people. People are mostly good, and for that I am grateful. The stories and images of people running toward the blast, instead of away, so they could help the injured – the stories and images of the individuals and businesses that have gone out of their way to help those affected – those are what I will remember. Once the shock wears off, I hope we all remember the good.