I begin the last thirty days of my journey through Vermont’s 251 towns with eleven towns yet to visit; ahead of my goal of visiting twenty-one towns per month, which would keep me on track for reaching all 251 in 365 days, but still not feeling too confident to relax and call it a success.
Cambridge, Underhill, Coventry, Irasburg, Browningtown, Barton, Westmore, Sutton, Newark, East Haven, and Barre Town, many of which I didn’t know existed a year ago, are the nine towns I’ve yet to visit. There are also those towns I’ve promised to revisit because for one reason or other I found it impossible to do them photographic justice during my first attempt; Walden, Cavendish and a few others will be added to my September itinerary.
The landscape is ripening. As usual in late August and early September, I’ve starting seeing patches of color; a glimpse of what’s to come. The days are shortening, and I’m gearing up for my favorite time of year to photograph Vermont. This year however I have a sense of direction I’ve lacked in past years as I’ve found myself wandering aimlessly through the back roads of Vermont looking for that quintessential Vermont foliage shot. The guidelines of my self assignment have dictated that I disregard what I’ve always considered the ideal shooting conditions, and photograph the Vermont landscape as it really exists; four seasons, twelve months, 365 days a year. Sunshine, clouds, fog, rain, snow, mud, late evening, early morning, and even occasionally in the dreaded middle of day lighting conditions I typically avoid; it is after all, how we who live here see Vermont day in and day out.
As I’ve traveled what feels like every road in Vermont over the last year I’ve been struck by how different a place can look from season to season. I’ve often found myself approaching a cluster of buildings or a village green thinking "how have I not seen this?" only to realize that in fact I was there back in March when the trees were bare, the light was cooler, or perhaps the brushstrokes of the early morning fog painted a very different picture. How different it looks, and how inspiring it is to think that as I venture out after I complete this first phase of my journey through Vermont, by revisiting places at a different time of year, I have a fresh palette to continue building my collection of Vermont landscape photographs.
For now however I’ll stay focused on Cambridge, Underhill, Coventry, Irasburg, Browningtown, Barton, Westmore, Sutton, Newark, East Haven and Barre Town.