A Special Place in Nighttime Woods Hole

One of the joys of my life is to play guitar in the Woods Hole Folk Orchestra. We play regularly for the “First Saturday” contra dance at Community Hall, plus occasional special events. I will never be in the leagues of virtuosic soloists, but play well enough to add musical colors and to provide a reasonable backbeat to the tunes we play. The back beat comes as the dancers’ feet are rising up from the floor, so if I do my job, people don’t put their feet on the floor quite so hard on the downbeat, which means they don’t get as tired during three hours of dancing, and they don’t go home with sore feet. That’s a worthy musical job, even if it’s not flashy solo work.

We take a break partway through the 8-11PM dance. That’s a time I will often look out the windows. The southernmost window on the west side of Community Hall is one of my favorites. Next door is the old fire station. The view out this window isn’t special scenery. It’s almost totally a built environment. But— It’s an interesting built environment. There’s a single bright light that provides wonderful nighttime contrast between bright-bright and dark-dark. The shapes and angles and textures are fascinating.

Last Saturday night was our August dance night, and I took a chunk of our break time to admire and to photograph this view. Here’s what you might have seen had you been looking out that window with me.

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I moved back a little, to add a triangular glimpse of the windowsill.

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Then I moved a little to better see the “Z” shape of space made by the alley walls, and to change the placement of the plants growing up in a gap between the asphalt and the concrete pavement.

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Looking up, you can see the tower of the old fire station, where the old linen fire hoses were hung.  The the intensity of the lamp and the darkness of the night sky add full-range contrast. The camera was tilted. I tilted it on purpose, because the shapes in the image looked better, “worked better”, to my eyes.

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After I came home and downloaded the pictures, I converted one to black-and-white.

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This is a location and a view that fascinates me. In the past, I’ve looked out this window and taken pictures.

In the future I’ll revisit this place.

And take more pictures.





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