Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bridge to Somewhere

Yesterday hubby and I went on a daytrip.  First we stopped in at my favorite not-so-L-QS; and then, because we'd driven two hours to get there, we decided to do a little local sightseeing. Shelburne Falls, MA, is a lovely little town, very artified (is that a word?).  There's a gallery or artisan's co-op every six feet.  Loads of neat browsing.

I wanted to see the glacial potholes - deep round holes carved into rock by water coursing over and through it over the centuries - so we took a walk down to the river (not far, the Deerfield River really is the heart of the town.)  The potholes are at the edge of the dam/sluiceway, a structure much damaged in last year's storms and vital to the safety of the community.  Too bad it isn't actively harnessed for hydropower today.

The potholes were very much in view.  We ended up with a pair of lovely tour guides, Yvonne and Sam, who gave us lots of local lore; they said that it's rare to see this much of the potholes, that they're usually completely covered in water.  You're not allowed to go in there wading and exploring anymore, sigh.  I bet the one the locals call "the hot tub" is very warm this week!!

Then we walked to the Main Attraction.  Bridges, of course, are hugely important in our symbology - there are bridge movies, bridge songs, bridges named by poets,  and several varieties of Rainbow Bridge, including this kind, this kind, and of course this kind.  But we were looking for a very specific bridge:  The Bridge of Flowers.  This was once a working bridge, and now the entire surface is planted by volunteers every year.  Our guides told us it will be more beautiful next month but it's gorgeous now!

Some of the shrubs have their trunks wound through the actual bridge structure - isn't this wonderful?

In this setting even spent flowers look fabulous!

Neat factoid:  apparently there was a problem with vandals breaking into the donation boxes, so someone suggested that they use metal boxes.  Students from the local technical high school made all of the wrought work you see here; they must have a heckuva program, it's very impressive work!!  All of the signage has the terrific work you see here.

One of the highlights of our walk was going into Ann Brauer's new studio and chatting with her.  We had a great time talking about her latest obsession, teeny strips.  She's been working with 3/4-inch strips lately and she's so enthusiastic it's a genuine pleasure to watch her work and talk about it.

She's a real Phoenix:  last year while she was away at a quilt show, Hurricane Irene struck new England with a vengeance.  Ann's shop was physically carried away from its foundation and swept some hundred or two yards away, stopped from joining the river my a maple tree. 

Here's a little footage of the flood damage.  I can't imagine how devastating that must have been; but her trusty old industrial Signer was saved, and she had some of her best pieces with her for the show, so not all was lost.  Cloth Paper Scissors Studio magazine has published a vignette on her studio resurgence in the summer 2012 issue.

Thanks for sharing the walk with us!


  1. Loved seeing your photos! Looks like you had a really wonderful day!

  2. It looks like that was a wonderful day! Beautiful flowers and ironwork.

  3. Wow! I love the flower bridge! It is really beautiful, and what a great way to "embellish" a bridge. The flood images are scary. I heard a lot about the flooding in New York State and Vermont, but didn't know that Massachusetts had such heavy flooding also.