I apologize for taking so long to update this blog after the fact but it’s just been a whirlwind! Followed by three days with a migraine that had me within inches of scooping out my own sinuses with a sharpened spoon… but I am back! And in full swing!
Last Sunday I found myself in Deering NH working on yet another project of mine (this time expanding my photographic chops.) It went well and I met some really nice people along the way and even learned a new bit of superstition. Apparently if pennies are found in old houses, tales side up, it’s supposed to be good luck left by whoever is haunting the place, preferably your ancestors. I have known pennies have a special place in our strange New England mythology but this was new to me!
I was told the Franklin Pierce Homestead was nearby and I figured it might be fun to drive by. Franklin Pierce used to be the worst president ever… in fact in New Hampshire our schools teach us, “Franklin Pierce was the only president from the state of New Hampshire.” Then they stop talking about him. Can you blame us if we swept him under the rug? Still, it seems as if he wasn’t a bad guy, in fact he was a very likable fellow…. he just would have been utilized better in a job that didn’t require politics… and who is to say his homestead wouldn’t be kick ass? You never know!
I drove down the road and was distracted by a cemetery. It happens. There was no parking as it was an old cemetery, not many new stones to speak of, and cars probably weren’t considered in its location. I parked aside the road in a little ditch I found and headed in. Turns out this was the Appleton Cemetery of Deering NH which seemed to have mostly stones from the late 1800’s. It was fairly small and none of the monuments took my breath away at first but it was still a lovely jaunt in the summer air. And I did find some stones which had an interesting collection of moss growing on them which harvested their own sort of beauty. As I explored further I found some oddly carved stones, even one which seemed to be signed??
I got a call just about then, from a friend claiming to be in the area. Can she drop by in half an hour? OK… but I don’t know where I am going from here! I wandered back into the cemetery and found a stone with flowers growing next to it. This was weird as it was the only stone to have live flowers anywhere near it. It didn’t appear anyone was still visiting this place – certainly not long enough to plant flowers. I decided to use the opportunity to take a few tinted shots from an odd perspective. I had the time, why not? After sharing this image with a few history buffs I was given this delightful link on the 17th Maine Infantry. I can’t say I have spent much time thinking about the Civil War in regards to Maine. I mean really, why bother fighting it if you’re living in Maine, which is as far from the conflict as you could possibly get! But hey, got to hand it to them, they were there, marching with the rest of the North. Good for them!
I waited in the cemetery for two hours. I called and texted my friend to no avail. This was a nice cemetery but not that nice. I left. This time I decided to meander down a few completely random roads nearby. I am always so happy to do this because the views you can find just lollygagging about can be spectacular! I was not disappointed! Just look at this roadside shot of a typical New England stone wall edged with flowers, trees, and a mountain in the background. This was someone’s farm. Another car creeped slowly by probably wondering what I was doing just parked there with my camera. Sorry!
If you enjoy my blog please consider helping me fund my lifelong dream of having an educational farm and check out my GoFundMe. Thank you! https://www.gofundme.com/help-fund-an-educational-farm
And then I turned and started to meander down another long dirt road where I was delighted to find a big sign in the middle of nowhere directing me to a trail probably no one’s heard about. It was the Deering Audubon Society’s Wildlife Sanctuary. I was still pretty annoyed so I set off into the woods at quite a clip, didn’t look at the map. Who looks at maps? Certainly not me!
It was a pretty rough trail in the sense I don’t think anyone had been by to keep it cleared aside from some deer. Ferns grew over the path in several sections and for quite a while it seemed.. unspectacular. That is until it turned direction and led me past this gorgeous pond. I tried to snap a few photos but then after just a few shots my camera’s battery died. With the camera dead I realized I didn’t get my characteristic marble shot. I couldn’t live with that so I took out my broken cell phone and took this oddly awesome photo which totally looks like it’s supposed to be all hazy! I sat for another hour on this rock, just enjoying the gentle breeze coming in off the water and listening to the song birds. It was amazingly peaceful. I calmed down. A full three and half hours from when I got the first phone call I got a second, “Where are you?” “Fuck if I know. Not like I have an address.” I headed back down the trail thinking it was probably a loop trail and the car couldn’t be much further but by now it was getting dark and I hit an intersection which literally pointed the trail in three different directions. I could have just guessed… hoped for the best… and I probably would have if I wasn’t trying to get back to the car before they found me. Instead I went back up the path where I came, probably doing the majority of it twice, this time at an even faster clip and in squelching heat. I was a sopping mess and exited the forest just as they drove up…