Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snapshots of New England Part 2

Well, this is not quite 'tomorrow' but I'm afraid that life got rather hectic so this is the first chance I've had to do Part 2. The photo above is of Sagamore Creek at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth. A lot of the local places have names taken from the language of the original local Native American tribes and I really like these names even though some are difficult to pronounce - it took me several visits to finally be able to say Piscataqua properly:) I gather that the word 'sagamore' referred to the chief of the area and Piscataqua is from the Abenaki language and means roughly 'where the river divides into 2 or 3 branches and one must decide which one to follow'. This is when you are travelling inland from the coast. The Piscataqua is an impressive river, the third fastest flowing river in the world and full of treacherous currents that can catch even experienced sailors unaware.

This little building on a wooden jetty on Sagamore Creek is decorated with the tails of marlin - it's an original idea!

Yours truly at the entrance to Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.

I'm really more interested in the lives and culture of the Wampanoag people than the settlers to be honest but the photographs I took were mostly rather poor, partly because the sun was very bright and in the wrong direction and partly because I couldn't get a good view because of all the people. As a result there are far fewer to show you than I would have liked. Above is a Wampanoag house which is called a wetuash - it is a framework of wood covered with birch bark and cattail reed mats.

I didn't get chance to ask what this was but it seemed to be an outdoor living area, there was a fire at one side and the women were cooking and doing various crafts and household tasks. There was a party of high school students on the site and this bascially meant that nobody else got much of a look in either here or on the English Village site.

This is a mishoon(dugout canoe)which is made by burning and scraping an oak, pine or chestnut log. This must have been hard work especially on an oak log which is extremely hard and doesn't burn easily.

A small Wampanoag boy - I love this photo:)

Two of the women with a baby, she was the same age as Kaitlyn and gave me a lovely big smile when I spoke to her. The two photographs with children in are deliberately not showing their faces in spite of the fact that both were delightful.

The fort, built in 1622, which stands at the top of the English Village. This isn't the original of course, Plimoth Plantation is a replica and the original village stood where the modern town of Plymouth now is.

The view from the upper storey of the fort looking down over the village to the sea.

The upper floor of the fort showing the cannon that would be used in case of attack.

The lower part of the fort also doubled as the church!!

One of the window shutters in the fort - the play of light and shadow appealed to me on this photo.

A bread oven at the back of one of the houses.

The interior of one of the houses which were not as sparsely furnished as you might expect. Many of the better off colonists had furniture shipped out from England.

Some of the colonists busy constructing a new building.

I love these pewter dishes and the colours of the earthenware. I have quite a few pieces of replica pottery myself, some bought here in England and some brought back from Plimoth.

Two of the colonists - they make an attractive couple don't they?

Another interior with a lovely baby's high chair and also showing how carpets were used to cover tables rather than floors in the 17th century.

More lovely pottery and wooden plates etc - to me there's something very satisfying about these handmade items. They are simple and practical but still beautiful.

Presumably he's popped in to see whether dinner is ready yet:)

A lovely horn lantern - I can't imagine that it gave a very good light really but it looks nice.

A wood fired kiln............

......and clicking on this photo will tell you more about it than I can.

If you've soldiered on to this point then congratulations! That's enough culture for one day though so more in Part 3 which will be the final push for the finishing line:)


Julie said...

Hi, Rowan,

I'm always thanking you for showing me scenes of England. Now, I'll say thanks for showing me New England through your lens, as I have never been there.

By the way, I don't know the artist of the moon boat painting. I believe I borrowed that from Daisy's blog.


Janice said...

What a beautiful day you had in Plimouth. I was in Plymouth for the day a few weeks ago. What a great place!
I love the harbor area, which can get pretty touristy, but the town is charming with beautiful old houses built on the hilly streets up from the harbor.
New England is filled with such history. Thanks for the tour of the earliest part of our country.
Janice (upstate NY)

Mary said...

Enjoyed returning to Portsmouth through your interesting story and nice pics Rowan. Several years since I visited there - we always had such a great time on the NH and Maine coast when we lived in New England.

meggie said...

More enjoyable travels with you. Thank you for sharing, it is very interesting.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us, most interesting. I'd like to visit that area one day.

Endment said...

The many things we don't know. We drove right past you Thursday.

Thanks for sharing your trip!

Anonymous said...

I never made it to Plymouth Plantation when I as in Massachusetts to it's nice to be able to see it! Thanks for being my tour guide, Rowan. ~ Lynda ♥

World Wide Alternative said...

Oh the houses & living structures! It must have been wonderful...

Patty said...

Having thanksgiving dinner there is quite an experience. I laughed when I saw all the skunk pelts curing, I have one that a native friend gave me and there is still a tiny hint of the skunk scent to it

Rosie said...

As ever, wonderful photos. I've always been fascinated by the Plimoth plantation as one of the curators at the last museum I worked in told us tales and had loads of photos of when she used to work over there in the early 70s I think. She used to work on the costumes. Like you I love the replica pottery it's so solid and reliable. I too have a replica jug which I bought from a workshop in Lincoln. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us.

peppylady (Dora) said...

What a great tour of New England and you got me wondering now how they figure the fastest flowing rivers.

I like looking out how the native people lives and our local native tribe here the kootenai lived in tepee.

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks Rowan, wonderful photos and information about the plantation. My daughter wrote an essay last year on the settlers in New England and the consequences, I found it all very interesting.
Kim x

rel said...

D. and my kids have been to Plymouth Plantation. I was at a conference and missed it but they said it was great. They took many of the same pics as you. I may get there some day, since Boston, Mass. is my second favorite city to visit.

Anonymous said...

It's fascinating to learn about different cultures and you're a very good documentarian. Did you find any of it sad at all?

The river photos were lovely too - it looked to be a massive river.

Can't wait to see part. 3!

PAT said...

Just simply wonderful, Rowan. I enjoyed this, so much! I need to plan a trip!


Jenny said...

As always, I loved reading your comments and seeing the pictures you took. I particularly enjoyed the shots of the inside of the houses- they were much "nicer" than I would have thought. The pottery and wooden plates were lovely! I'll be looking forward to the final installment of your trip. :o)

Miss Robyn said...

thankyou Rowan.. that was a wonderful walk with you xo

a past life perhaps?

Sheila said...

It's so interesting, I enjoyed the tour with you. Do the people in costume speak in an old English dialect. I ask because they do on the replica Mayflower, and I can't recall if they did at Plimoth too..?

Rowan said...

Sheila, the people in the English Village at Plimoth speak in old English dialect and know nothing of the time beyond 1627. The Wampanoag people are in the present and are not role playing, they are there to tell people about the Wampanoag culture and way of life.

Alchamillamolly said...

What a wonderful blog with those lovely pictures and interesting info - you have patience to write all this. I am determined to get ot New England before I am too old - perhaps when we have finally downsozed hopefully this year we can try and have a holiday there. Where would be the place you would head for now if it was your first time. Catherine

Tea said...

Hi Rowan..

I`ve enjoyed again seeing all this and New England looks interesting.


Anonymous said...

Such beautiful pictures. I love the native village, although the fort looks great too. Thank you so much for sharing, it's as if we are taken on a tour.
You must be having such a wonderful time !!!
Have a great day.