Classic Carriages In The Berkshires. November 2, 2012Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, poetry.
Tags: Colonial Carriage and Driving Society, Horse-Drawn Carriages, Orleton Farm, Stockbridge MA, the Berkshires
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an event put on by the Colonial Carriage and Driving Society, a collective of folks who practice the fine but fading art of driving horse-drawn carriages.
It turns out that this is a time-honored tradition here in The Berkshires. Back in the nineteenth century, when the well-monied elite had beach-side properties in Newport, RI, The Berkshires became known as “The Inland Newport.” And why not? It’s an area of great natural beauty tempered with a pastoral placidity, with miles and miles of shaded country lanes. They’re a good deal hillier than many of the Southern haunts of horse-lovers, but then, meeting that challenge is a badge of honor among Coachers.
So vacation cottages sprung up, many in the towns of Stockbridge and Lenox (think names like Carnegie, Westinghouse and Vanderbilt.) You might not call these impressive edifices “cottages” if you saw them; they look more like mansions to me, but hey, I’m financially challenged.
Anyway, back to the present:
This event was held at Orleton Farm in Stockbridge. Our hosts were Harvey and Mary Waller, who are principals in the Colonial Carriage endeavor. They were most gracious to Susan and me, total strangers in this environment.
The Wallers have a stable of about forty carriages, not buckboards mind you, but rather splendid rigs with history, which aren’t just conserved as in a museum, but restored and used. Perhaps their most well known carriage is Old Times, which didn’t come out this day, but I got a shot of its backside in their museum:
While many Colonial Carriage events are formal, with rather strict guidelines for the wearing of period clothing and such, this was a more casual affair with participants and spectators alike clad in whatever was comfortable for the weather:
This pair of ladies had no intention of freezing on this dark and blustery Autumn day.
The Wallers’ contribution to the event consisted of tons of tack:
…four beautifully matched German Warmbloods:
…and a carriage filled with enthusiastic participants, the entirety of which approached a weight of five tons, which is quite a lot to haul through the Berkshire Hills:
This was a magnificent sight, infused with the power of four-in-hand horses and, simultaneously, the simple elegance of a bygone day.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of this in the future, and in particular their Winter Classic Sleigh Rally.
Thanks to the Wallers and the Colonial Carriage and Driving Society for this beautiful day in the Berkshires.
Speed Limit. March 12, 2010Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, poetry.
Tags: E=MC2, god, speed of light
In a car, it’s a really good idea;
On a beam of light, it’s immutable:
186, 282.39705 miles per second.
That would get you a long way in a short while,
Except that you can’t do it.
Bill Gates can’t do it;
Because at 99.9% of that speed,
Your mass has been multiplied by a factor of seven
Without even changing the size of your pants.
And at 99.9999999% of that speed,
Seven decimal places if you’re counting,
Your mass has increased 360,000-fold,
Time has slowed to a crawl,
And space is constricting around you
Like a starving anaconda.
And if you have the audacity to summon
The collective energies of a billion stars
And push on, faster, faster,
Things will get a bit strange;
Your mass will grow toward infinity as space loses all meaning, and
Time will cease to exist as you consume all the energy that is, and
You will be everywhere at once,
And nowhere at once,
Let There Be Light!
A Crack In The Night. November 21, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, poetry.
Tags: blanket, night, poetry, sunset
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The Earth turns, the sun recedes and the blanket of night descends
like the closing of a coffin lid.
Light and dark, night and day, black and white, right and wrong, alive, dead, pretending.
It’s all relative, isn’t it?
Coronation. February 20, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, poetry.
Tags: love, pure and simple
Outside the wind howls,
An east-bound train on rippling blue rails.
Maroon sheets surround my back, hold me still
As your angel hair traces my meridian, dances across my chest,
Swirls in the candlelight while your warm lips find
Each depression in my man-belly, Oh!
What a delightful turn of fate
To be so lovingly crowned
King of The World!
Friday Kittehz Blogging! January 3, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in poetry.
Country Kittehz galore, different ones at every turn of the road!
There wuz Porch Kittehz:
…and Field Kittehz:
…and a Horse.
Flame Grilled! September 24, 2008Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR, poetry.
Tags: grilled veggies, raviolis
…Veggies from my garden: summer squash, Hungarian wax papers, and red onions. Veggies from the farmer’s market: organic wax beans, bought from a farmer who smilingly and lovingly gives all the left-over stuff away at the close of the market. Seems like he’d rather you have it than see it wilt.
I paid for the beans before closing time, but it was that weekly attitude of his that made me check his stand out first among the many to chose from.
Grilled on the porch/deck, with frequent spoonfuls of olive oil drizzled over it to flame the grill, and a stick chucked in the corner of the grill to let the lid close only half-way, for that smoky effect:
…and served over (sorry to bore you with this stuff, but it’s one of my favorites) fresh mascarpone raviolis:
I was pleasantly surprised that the simple marinade of vinegar, olive oil and tamari, applied a mere 15 minutes before grilling, added so much flavor!
Dinner For One. September 3, 2008Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos, poetry.
Tags: a summer rain, and an aster, Japanese beetle
Actually, a Banquet at The Asters. Very nicely appointed, that;
Crepe-paper petals furled, curled, some relaxing after
The passing storm like a perm after a shower.
And what will you be having, my little Popillia – nectar perhaps? No?
Just some sparkling water and a bite:
Try not to make too much of a mess, Dear;
Your reputation is already
In the shitter.
At The River’s Edge. April 11, 2008Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, poetry.
Tags: the river's edge
Standing here, Where the swift, cold green Rides up on the warm rocks, Infusing itself with sunlight, Leaving a bit of its mystery For me to unravel,
Is this my womb, my cradle, my destiny?
Perhaps not today, perhaps There’s more for me out here, In the air, in the light, Where the birds are.
Where you are.
Death and Transfiguration March 20, 2008Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, poetry.
Tags: Maudy Thursday Meets the Vernal Equinox
In the twilight door of tomorrow, as
A long-haired preacher begs for the
Courage to meet His destiny, this
Wildly tilting world sits
Suddenly upright, transforming the
Snow white innocence of a
Season into a subtle