10 January 2013
Sandstone, Steel, Water, Birds
There's this island on the Mississippi River called Sylvan Island that boasts a decent mile-long hiking/biking trail, the kind that's great for doing laps. The island used to house the Republic Iron & Steel Co. from the year of the Pullman Strike to two years after Brown v. Board of Education, & portions of the foundation still stand, gnarled by weeds, littering the island like giant rusted, cement bones.
Connecting the island to the famed Rock Island Arsenal -- the largest island on the river -- is the Arsenal Power Dam, above (many thanks to my dad for taking this photo). Every time I look up & see the dam across the river, I can't help but see a much smaller, humbler, grittier Chenonceau Castle.
The afternoon the photo was taken, five swans were busy fishing the easy way: lingering as the fish made their way through the leftmost tunnel -- the only channel open -- & into their open mouths. Swans, in person, are always bigger than you imagine, & their wingspan alone is intimidating. But there's a quiet majesty about them, too, which, juxtaposed with the industry of the dam, is what I love about this photo.