June Week 3 – Mill and Marmot, Justice and Love

With each particle of my soul and cells I sensed that the ground on which I was walking was holy.  Each step seemed heavy, and not because of the heat and high humidity but because of the humming of the voices of history that resonated from the very soil on which I stood.

I was in Seneca Falls, New York, making my way from the visitor center at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park to the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  I passed some buildings on the main street that were over 200 years old and still in use.  These buildings are along the Seneca River and Canal.  Across the canal is the old Seneca Falls Knitting Mill.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the key figures at the first Women’s Right’s Convention in July, 1848.  More than 300 people crowded into the Wesley Chapel where the “Declaration of Sentiments” declaring that “all men and women are created equal” was presented.

Mary Ann and Thomas M’Clintock, Quakers and leaders in the abolition movement, hosted the meeting for the writing of that declaration.  Relatives Jane and Richard Hunt owned a knitting mill (I don’t know if it was this one) and refused to use cotton in their clothes or any other material in their garments that had been produced by slave labor.

The crumbling mill creates a beautiful image when reflected in the still waters of the Seneca River.  Puffy clouds surrounded it in the morning but knowing the light would be much better in the early evening I returned then.  The low angle of the light and the stillness of the water take this image from being a record shot to a beautiful rendition of a surviving part of our past.  “The National Women’s Hall of Fame is engaged in a vigorous capital campaign to renovate the historic Seneca Knitting Mill.”

Wanting to portray the “old and lasting” nature of the building itself I later applied Old PhotoPro to the image (a free app downloaded on my iPhone).  Although I captured this image many times with my Canon D7 this image was taken with my iPhone.

Voices from history as well as in nature can energize our own creative vision. The high pitch shriek of a marmot alerted me to her presence as she staved off a hawk above her young.  I share this Golden Marmot image with you because it is so darn cute (or so I think).  Marmot mom seemed to really love her offspring!  Spending a little time observing animal behavior helps you anticipate their movements.

Using a 400mm lens I was able to be far enough from the marmots to not be intrusive and close enough to get frame filling images.   Get down low so that your lens is at eye level with your subject!  Voices from history and the wild are unmistakable cries for equality and respect!

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