I had a half-mile walk across Woods Hole the other day, from a friend’s house to the ferry. The walk was slow, and was mainly devoted to looking at stone walls and masonry. A good stonemason with the right set of skills can produce work of extraordinary quality. One of the key talents is being able to visualize objects in three dimensions. If you add the ability to move those visualizations in one’s mental space, toss in a photographic memory, plus the ability to think ahead, you have a person able to create high order grace and beauty. I’m working on a post about this, but it may be a while in coming. You have to go to the walls, they don’t come to you.

I stopped in front of one of the waterfront WHOI lab buildings, a building full of memories, for my father used to work at this place, and as a child, I could visit. Even though magic is the last thing practiced in such a place, what a magical-seeming place a scientific institution is!

Back then, back there, it sometimes seemed that behind every door was another Merlin.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been around for a long time, long enough for some of its buildings to become ivy-covered.

Here is the north side of one of the older waterfront labs.


Lichen is usually drab, but some species possess startling color.


Color worth getting close to, to properly appreciate.


Let me know if you have any favorite stone walls, OK?

2 responses to “WHOI Wall

  1. Ah, there meanders slowly a man who knows how to stop and wonder at the lichen when everyone else never looks further than the roses. Amazing indeed how beautiful even the most un-noticed things still are.

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