A Walk Along the River
The First Branch of the White River is the waterway that defines the town of Tunbridge. Flowing north to south, it collects the waters of the numerous streams that tumble down the surrounding hillsides. A small waterfall powered the early mills. The valley broadens below the falls, supplying the relatively flat and fertile soil on which the village was centered.
Yesterday, Marion and I took advantage of the mild afternoon for a walk along the river through town. Snowshoeing alongside trails that a neighbor grooms for cross-country skiers, we wandered the fields along the river’s western bank between the Cilley and Mill bridges (both historic wooden covered bridges).
The old Tucker barn (above) has stood witness to much of the village’s history over the past century and a half. Today, this iconic English-style field barn appears to be sending out new life through the trees that surround its weathered timber frame.
I stopped briefly for a few photos yesterday with hopes to return for more exploration and documentation of this nineteenth century timber framed beauty.
The photos of the barn’s interior offer many lessons. While today’s timber framers rely on mathematical models and engineering theory, the builders of old drew their knowledge from that which survived the test of time. I will study this old barn well.
A handful of skiers shared the meadows with us as we wandered along.
The waters of the First Branch lie under ice and snow after one of the coldest winters in recent memory, but the coming week promises rising temperatures that will open the flow.
Even with temperatures below freezing, the lengthening days and bright sunshine have initiated the thaw. Hints of the coming mud season puddle in the approach to the Cilley Bridge. The smell of warming springtime earth (a.k.a., mud) is a fond memory that I’ve cherished since my earliest days.
Following our hike, we visited a couple we’d met at Tunbridge’s annual town meeting the previous Tuesday. We shared dinner and an evening of games before returning home under bright moonlight.
So often when we’re coming down the path to our house under the spectacular night sky, I have thought I’d like to capture the scene on “film.” Last night I shook off the urge to stay close to the warming fire. Grabbing camera and tripod, I headed back outside to experiment with the moonlit scene. I have much to learn about nighttime photography. The image below is from lesson number one.