Sunday, September 11, 2011

America The Beautiful On 9/11

Still beautiful. Still strong. Still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Flags still fly. Children play. Friends have late night conversations. Dads still take their sons fishing on sunny, summer afternoons. Tourists visit our historic sites. Boats float serenely in our harbors. Boys fish at midnight. Photographers may still wander the land capturing images at will. Pausing on this day to remember all that is wonderful about America.

Monday, September 5, 2011

More On Myles...

"He Reached For The Stars."
Myles Standish Monument, Duxbury, MA
©Kate Hannon 2011. All rights reserved.
As I was doing my research, I came across this piece that was sung at the Consecration ceremony of the grounds for the Myles Standish Monument on August 17, 1872. Captain Standish is one of the great unsung heroes of the Plymouth Colony. In no small way, he played a huge role in establishing the colony from his military prowess to his uncompromising integrity in running the business affairs.

Ode to Myles Standish
(Sung by audience to “America”) 

All Hail, departed Chief;
The Nation to thee brings
an offering free;
Not of mere bronze or stone,
Nor set on hill alone, —
Our memories long have flown
        O'er land and sea. 
Fond hopes in Britain left,
Of wealth and power bereft, 
           Still, spirit free,
You braved.the ocean's roar,
You wooed a frozen shore,
That we might evermore 
Wed liberty.
That seed of freedom sown,
Through frost and blood hath grown 
      A Nation free!
An empire, great in trust,
A people full of rest,
Millions, thus happy blest, 
All honor thee.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Myles & The Milky Way

Myles Standish Monument after nightfall.
©Kate Hannon, 2011. All rights reserved.
Impressive by day, the Myles Standish Monument is breathtaking at night. I believe it was divine guidance that led me to this incredible place with my friend Gene Chambers in search of the perfect star trails backdrop. As best I have been able to research the photos we took that night are the first night photos of the monument. 
The grounds were consecrated in 1872 in advance of the effort to build a monument that celebrates the life of the New World's first commissioned military officer and unparalleled public servant who served the Plymouth Colony from the moment he stepped off the Mayflower until his death. 
From Captain Standish's time through the erection of the monument, the hill was farm land without trees. Today the spot is treasured for its massive pine trees and thick forest. Fortunately for night photographers, there is still a clearing around the monument, affording a captivating view of the stars.
Two hundred feet above sea level, a 14-foot statue of Myles Standish sits atop a 116-foot granite shaft. Completed in 1898, and refurbished in 1988, during the day the monument offers a panoramic view of the South Shore-church spires, several 19th-century lighthouses, the five-mile-long Duxbury Beach, Plymouth Harbor, and the Blue Hills off to the northwest. 
Captain's Hill, Duxbury, MA 1905
On the evening before the grounds were consecrated in an elaborate public ceremony 140 years ago on August 17, 1872, the first train on the then new Duxbury & Cohasset Railroad arrived at the Duxbury station at seven o'clock with freight and passengers, bringing a section of two guns and 20 men of the First Battery. The next morning when the trains and steamboat arrived the exercises commenced with the firing of 100 guns. A procession was formed at the depot and the group went to the  monument grounds where the Executive and Finance Committees who were to oversee the design and fundraising of the $50,000 cost of the monument were appointed.
General Horace Binney Sargent, who had been named President of the Standish Memorial Committee by the Duxbury Board of Selectmen, gave the oration and of Myles Standish concluded: 
"In grateful memory we consecrate this spot of earth to a monument of the great Puritan captain. May its shadow fall upon his grave! For two centuries the stars have looked upon it. At what moment of the night the circling moon may point it out with shadowy finger, no mortal knows. No mortal ear can hear the secret whispered to the night, 'Beneath this spot lies all of a hero that could die.'
"High as the shaft may tower over headland and bay, deep as its foundation-stones may rest, brightly as it may gleam in the rising or setting sun upon the mariner returning in the very furrow that the keel of the Mayflower made, the principles of commonsense, a citizen soldier's education for a citizen soldier's work, the principles of moral truth, manly honesty, prudent energy, fidelity incorruptible, courage undauntable, all the qualities of manhood that compel unflinching execution of the states' behest, — are firmer and higher and brighter still. And to crown them all is reverence to the Supreme Executive of Earth and Heaven, who knows no feebleness of heart or hand, and whose great purpose moved the war-worn Pilgrim's feet to seek his home upon this rock-bound continent, where the unceasing waves of two unfettered oceans roar the choral hymn of Freedom."
Please take note that the area is not open to the public at night. For more information about the hours when the park is open to the public, go to:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Night Life in Boston's Back Bay

Had a little set back for the past couple of weeks so you can imagine how thrilled I was to "break the threes" last night with a photographic adventure in Boston's Back Bay. Some time back I signed up for a workshop offered by the Museum of Fine Arts and lead by Georgie Friedman, a graduate of the school, so I forced myself out and about. LOL. Though I've been shooting photos for 50 years, I believe there's something to be learned from every instructor as well as the other participants. Last night the weather was a balmy 75 degrees -- warm enough to get city kids jumping in the fountain, but cool enough to be enjoyable. I did my first night and street photography as a student at Northeastern University back in the 70s. As I celebrate my 60th year it was a poignant return in so many ways. I hope you enjoy my souvenirs of the evening.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

There is another sky

by Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Photo Collage: "Bee Study," copyright 2011, Kate Hannon

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Poem Note: "The Road Not Taken" is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. Sadly, the author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Photograph Note: "The Long Walk Home," copyright 2011, Kate Hannon

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Castle Island, South Boston: An Urban, Waterfront Oasis

Castle Island is a delightful, 22-acre urban recreation area located in South Boston. Though no longer technically an island because it is connected to the mainland by pedestrian and vehicular causeways, the area remains an oasis on the shore of Boston Harbor with magnificent ocean and city views. And a delightful spot to watch air traffic come and go from Logan International Airport. The site of armed fortifications to protect the harbor since 1634, Fort Independence -- a pentagonal five-bastioned, granite fort built between 1834 and 1851 -- is the island's eighth and only remaining fort. It is built of granite from quarries in Rockport, MA. Pleasure Bay, the M Street Beach and Carson Beach form a three mile segment of parkland and beach along the South Boston shoreline of Dorchester Bay. In recognition of what an important role the waterfront plays in the lives of residents and visitors alike, today you can walk, jog and bike along path by the water's edge from Castle Island to the Kennedy Library. Free tours of Fort Independence are sponsored by the Castle Island Association in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Click for Fort tour schedule.

While Castle Island is a delightful place to visit any time of day, I find the magic happens just after the sun sets. Here are a series of photos I took on a recent evening visit. To look at my complete set, click here for Castle Island Summer or Castle Island Spring. The albums will be updated by season over the coming weeks and months.