I believe it was sometime last winter, while driving through New York, that I pulled over and brought the truck to an abrupt halt. On the north side of the highway just west of the town of Worcester I saw the remains of what appeared to be a mill. Nestled among trees along Schenevus creek it was a real beauty and called out to be photographed. I got out of the truck with my camera and with my good shoes on. The object of my fascination was several hundred feet away. After negotiating the embankment I noticed that a woven wire fence lay between us and the ground beneath my feet was becoming increasingly wet as I walked. In fact, the creek bed merged imperceptibly into wetland which I now could hear breathing beneath my feet. I got up against the fence and took a few distant shots. Having been able to only take distant images of a place that called so strongly reminded me of a wonderful line from the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Though? Delmar asks Everett, “Care for some gopher?” And, Everett replies, “No thank you, Delmar. One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down.” Capturing these images only served to heighten my intrigue. I did not want to climb the fence and trespass and I wouldn’t have been able to get across the creek in any event. I turned toward the truck and immediately sank to my calves in the very cold waters of Schenevus Creek. Weeks passed and each time I thought about traveling that part of New York again I thought about the mill. In April I spoke to the Postmistress of Worcester and asked if she knew who owned it. She wasn’t sure but suggested that I contact some folks connected with the local historical society. So I did. They were kind and offered to show me the mill at my convenience. This past weekend Joanna and I were traveling and I knew that our journey would take us past Worcester. We exited the highway and turned onto Main and then Mill Street. As the pavement approached railroad tracks the hard surface ended and the mud and gravel began. A sign to our right read, Private Property. Enter at your own risk. We started, stopped, looked at one another and backed up and on to the hardtop. I noticed that the front door of the home nearest us was open. I got out and knocked. A somewhat bemused young man answered and I asked if he knew about the mill. He did indeed know about it and said that he rode his ATV down there as a kid. I asked if I’d be shot if I ventured down in the truck to take a few photos. He said, “No.” I asked if I’d be shot at if I ventured down in the truck to take a few photos. He said, “No.” So, it was back in the truck and down the muddy path to the mill. We stopped, made a many-many-multiple-point turn around (to enable a quick get away if need be), parked, and got out. Joanna and I spent the next hour exploring. The image below is the approach which greeted us; click it for a better view.


10 thoughts on “Fruition

  1. You certainly take some risks to get your images. Between sinking into mud, risking begin shot at … I thought you lived a pretty mild-mannered life! Reminded me of trespassing on Jed Clampet’s land …you know … from the Beverly Hillbillies! 🙂 But certainly a great shot. Love the color and texture of the ferns against the ragged opening in the stone.

    • Truth-be-told I was anxious about the imminent arrival of the landowner for the entire time we looked around. I don’t know where this persecution complex of mine comes from (yes I do) … although the sign only read Private Property, and not Keep Out, or No Trespassing. Anyway … anything for a good photo.

  2. Fascinating. I start with the stones, which were laid, one-by-one but now moved by the forces of time and nature. I then move to the lush greenery, growing on the top loft. All of it serves to remind me of how short life is and how near our vision of it can be …

  3. “Will I be shot?” then “Will I be shot at?” brings to mind some of my husband’s stories surveying oil wells and gas lines. All good for potential future blog posts. Great shot (er, I mean photo).

    • Hey M. Your comment provided me with my first laugh of the day … many thanks. I would very much enjoy a series of posts, perhaps under the title “It’s a Surveyor’s Life.” I am sure he’s got loads of fascinating, heart stopping, anecdotes. I hope you are well and that the home renovation is proceeding apace. D

      • Thanks for commenting on my last post; as hinted at, we’re on break. I felt like I hit the wall with everything that involves any thinking more complicated than deciding between one cup or two of coffee in the morning. I’ll be back with some oil patch stories at some point; thanks for expressing an interest.

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