Saturday, September 06, 2014

Pictorial procrastination on the way home... State Park, Art Center, Retreat Center, Farm Stand, Roofline Variety

 Another thing about Massachusetts and New Hampshire is that since there are relatively few huge urban centers, few huge highways, there are LOTS of little roads that can get you to the same places.

I've been exploring some of them on my repetitious trips back and forth to the radiology center.  Thanks to the GPS in the car I can usually tell which streets are "through" streets and which ones are definitely dead ends.

So last week while exploring one that headed away from the main drag toward the Merrimac River, I discovered a road ends in a "T" intersection at  Maudslay State Park.    The park was apparently the estate of the Moseley Family at one time.  There is a helpful and explanatory map at the State Park website.

It wasn't   obvious which land was "State Park" land and which was privately owned.  The right side of the "T" intersection presumably heads back toward Newburyport.   My GPS showed that the road to the left side of the "T" intersection  would take me South across the Artichoke River.  So I zoomed in that direction until I couldn't zoom any more.
Obviously I wasn't going to cross THAT river!  But wouldn't you like to live in this out of the way house with sky lights, and your own private bridge?  So I back-tracked toward the "T".

This more traditionally designed and cobbled-together house was totally boarded up.  What made me wonder is who was mowing the grass (and why) if nobody was living there... Or... perhaps it is on the Maudslay State Park property... but no one is in a rush to do anything about it.  Might make a great B&B for all I know.

On the same narrow drive I discovered a traditional bright red house with non-traditional "yard art."  One thing about the lack of zoning restrictions, HOA rules and the like is that property owners have lots of leeway to do what pleases them.

The imposing bricki and wrought iron gateway seems to lead to  nowhere. Again, the grass is mowed, but there are no tire tracks in the grass before or after the gate way.  Doesn't it make you wonder where the house is that went with the gate?  Must have gone to the Moseley's home... but I didn't see any evidence of a "big imposing estate."

There was a well walked path toward the Merrimack.

 And a long long long stone fence delineating something... Mostly I just thought it was pretty and beautifully built.

Back at the "T"  I saw a small sign indicating that some of the buildings comprised an Arts Center.  YAY!  ART!
And this cluster of buildings is it.  
I'm not sure where this small tight knit herd of cattle fit in.
But I artified some of them, just in case.

 From dowdy to daring....

from prosaic to a puzzlement
 Some were synchronized.  Do you think there could ever be a bovine chorus line?

This one was as curious about me as I was about them.

 After communing with the cows, I went back to Maine and made the next right (back toward the river) to take pictures of Emery House.  I'd been by a day or two before and taken photos with my phone... but those got eaten up by the ionosphere or something... so I did it again.
The retreat house has its own website on which there is a long, complex, interesting history of the Emery family, the property and the relationship to Newbury and Newburyport.  All of the politics aside, what remains is an almost pristine piece of land that would indeed be a perfect place to get away from it all.  On the days I was there, you could hear birds, smell wild flowers, NOT hear automobiles, radios, yelling or anything grating.
 Even the gates and fences weren't major obstacles.
 This road would surely lead one to a green pasture...
 The house itself was built in the 1700's.  I think the brothers of the Brotherhood live in the house.
 They keep bees.
 If you go on retreat, you can stay in one of the little cottages down the hill and around the bend.  I can so imagine having a few winter days to myself and my sketch pad or journal with a fire in the fireplace.  If you want to, you can join the brothers for meals, prayer, chapel and spiritual direction.  If you don't want to, you don't have to.
 There was a solitary small stand of white-trunked birch trees at the crest of one of the hills.  South of it was another traditional farm building with at least one red side... to the North was a one of several large open grassy meadows.

 And this hammock in the shade of a huge maple... between the clothes line for the brothers' house and the road.
 Even native, wild perennials can be inspirational.

 Trees with holes in them seem "special"... but I'm not sure why.  This one seems to be a survivor at any rate.
 The long view of the house from near the cottages.

 And a more primitive "hut" in which some people stay during the summer.  It has been over 20 years since I went on any kind of retreat... but I'm sure there are lots of people to whom such primitive surroundings would be a balm.

Next, I turned the car for home.  Again.  New England in warm weather seems intent on celebrations.  Big ones and little ones.  It might be sheep and wool, quilts, Scottish highlands or just the fact that the ground was thawed out and producing produce.

This farm stand is humble but happy.  I bought zucchini, roma style tomatoes and a bouquet of mostly zinnias.  Nothing like months of snow to make you appreciate the rest of the year!
 While the stand's baskets weren't over flowing like those at a super market, nothing was the least bit over or under ripe, blemished or imperfect in any way.  I also saw PURPLE "green peppers"  which was a furst for me.

 Had to take one more back road.  Look at the view from this home!
 And the view the home owners made by putting a Japanese maple in a prime spot.
I think your house has to be more than 300 years old for anyone to be impressed.
 This house is on a newly developed road on what was apparently Parish land (Possibly related to the St. John the Evangelist Church across from Emery House.  It's exceptionalism comes, in my opinion, from the way it is situated on the lot.  I can imagine most anyone's well-heeled grandmother (or grandfather) holding court here.

And then there was actually a semi-contemporary home with LOTS of wood and California style (?) roof angles.
 Eventually, I crossed the Merrimac River back into New Hampshire.  Of course I had another visual adventure there.  But I'll save that for another entry.

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