in this open country


Fond greetings from Joshua Tree, California.

How lovely it is to be out under the open skies, and to see the great landscape yawning before me! These dusty desert towns are great fun to explore. It is definitely strange and surreal to see the contrast between the new buildings and the vast ancient desert hills; they make you feel like civilization is awfully small and flimsy. It sure is different from the Vermont kind of countryside, where timeworn farmhouses and historic little villages are tucked away behind twisting mountain lanes and dense forests. There is no quaint or cozy here; instead it is fresh, big, and exciting. So far I've mostly stuck to the towns and highways, leaving no thrift shop or abandoned building safe, but I hope to venture even further into the wilds soon!

(These are just li'l old iPhone snapshots; we'll just have to wait 'til my first roll of film is developed to see more...)

Over and out ♥


sights & sounds II

Woody Guthrie sings "House of the Rising Sun".

Photographs of boarding houses by Walker Evans. 

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“Went to the depot and looked up on the board…. It said there’s good times here, but it’s better down the road.” – Jimmie Rodgers, “Brakeman’s Blues”

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my morning at blanchard

Though I've been driving down this country highway for years, I only just caught sight of Blanchard Cemetery last winter. It's quite hidden, nestled high upon a ridge and nearly out of sight from the road, and the path leading to it is close to entirely overgrown. The newest headstones I found here dated to the 1850s, while the majority were 1770s-1820s. Imagine, buried here are some of the first Europeans to settle the Vermont woods! Today pasture land spreads all around, and dairy farms dot the hillsides... all thanks to the hardy pioneers who now lie in rest at Blanchard.


greetings from sunny california

Sorry 'bout the grainy Mac Photobooth shots here, folks; somewhat stupidly, I only brought my film camera with me. Just couldn't wait to send y'all a little postcard from glorious Palm Springs, where I'll be hanging my hat for the holiday season! (Dunno how long I'll be able to fit into these vintage duds, though, if my addiction to date shakes keeps up.)


miner forty niner

Oh boy, look what I found!! Not only was this Pendleton 49er in mint condition, and wonderfully vivid, but it's got matching trousers to go with! Best part: they were labelled on eBay as "pajamas", so no one else bid and I got 'em for a steal, ha. Now I'm not sure if I'll wear the duo together beyond these photographs; it might be a bit too weird, even for me. Honestly, I can see how the seller mistook them for pajamas. Could do with a trip to the tailor's, too. They're pretty neat to have, though, and satisfy my long-held desire for one of those buffalo plaid hunting outfits. Not that I'd ever hunt. I'm a vegetarian. I just love the charming Olde New England-ness of them.


PS: By the time you read this, I will no longer be in New England. Destination: California!



the woman in white

"So the ghostly figure which has haunted these pages as it haunted my life, goes down into the impenetrable Gloom. Like a Shadow she first came to me, in the loneliness of the night. Like a Shadow she passes away, in the loneliness of the dead."

 -- Wilkie Collins, The Woman In White (1860)

Between Hurricane Sandy and my own state of geographical limbo, Halloween got away from me this year, but I'd had this costume schemed up since late summer and couldn't let the idea go to waste... so here we are. I really wanted to dress like the Woman In White, from Wilkie Collins' infamous novel of the same name. Though the remarkable Marian Halcombe is the true heroine of the Collins' 1860 Gothic masterpiece (and among my favorite female characters in 19th century literature), I've always been a little haunted by the character of Anne Catherick. How I love the sad, spectral Miss Catherick: slipping around the lonesome swamps and country graveyards, just polishing the headstones & doing her own spooky thing, yet so entirely dismissed and alienated that her only hope is to lie in death beside the only person to ever have shown her kindness. It's Victorian melodrama to the max, which is always fun, but she's also oddly likeable. Hear me out: the girl wears weird clothes, and spends a lot of time wandering the countryside alone in a melancholic mood.... eh, not so different from yours truly.

{ The blouse is antique 1910s, found at a thrift shop for $3.
It was horribly stained, but an OxyClean soak brought it back to life.
The petticoat is also antique, and was $5 at an antique shop.
The velvet cape is 1930s and was a gift from my aunt.
Cameo inherited from my grandmother.}