Water, Water Everywhere

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Muse.”

There are certain subjects that I constantly take pictures of, like my dogs,

Drooling.
Drooling.

A Pit Bull/Bull Mastiff with a heart of gold and loving eyes.

my breathtaking campus,

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and, of course, my love (who is also my muse, but rarely allows me to photograph him).

My best friend.

However, one thing that I am perpetually amazed by– and take photos of every chance I get!– is the Pacific Ocean.

The majestic Pacific at sunset.
The majestic Pacific at sunset.

Being near such an extensive and vast body of water is humbling, to say the least, but it is also empowering.

More of the Pacific.
More of the Pacific.

Dipping my toes in the water feels like going home. It feels like hitting the refresh button.

Even more of the Pacific.
Even more of the Pacific.

Breathing in the salty air causes my true soul to resurface and renews my hope for the future.

Sunrise of the Pacific Ocean; view from Catalina Island.
Sunrise of the Pacific Ocean; view from Catalina Island.

Those crashing waves that dance eternally with the coast remind me of childhood, and waiting impatiently until summer to jump into that first wave. I hope that every opportunity I get, I will wade into the water and reconnect with Mother Ocean.

I’ll tell you everything about living free.

Wilton Windmill

The Wilton Windmill was built in 1821 in a remote part of Wiltshire, and is the only working windmill in Wessex. The building of the nearby Kennet and Avon canal caused the closure of many watermills, and thus the Wilton Windmill was constructed!IMG_0412In the early 1920’s, in a changing economy, the demand for domestic grain decreased as the price of foreign grain decreased.
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The windmill stumbled along for a few years, but ultimately the repeal of the act combined with steam roller mills and cheap bread lead to the windmill falling into disrepair until it was restored in 1976.

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Click to enlarge!

It is unique in that it is brick, when most were wood, and this, along with it’s remote location, are potential reasons that the windmill has endured the decades. Many other windmills either burned down (the sparks from the metal gears often caused this) or were torn down to make room for other buildings.

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When the windmill was restored, the teeth of the large gear were constructed out of wood. This was done for multiple reasons: first, to eliminate the sparks caused from grinding of metal against metal; second, in the hopes that if something were caught between the two gears, the wood might break; and third, to make it easier to keep the windmill in working condition!

However, the view from the top was beautiful.IMG_0426

And though it was a bit rainy, cold, and windy throughout the day, the sky was breathtaking as it constantly changed, making each and every photo unique.

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Click to enlarge my personal favorite photo of the day!

Starlight Walk 2015

As much as Dad and I love going to pubs on the weekends, last night we participated in the 2015 Starlight Walk! This 10k walk raises money to support the Prospect Hospice, which serves families in Swindon, Marlborough, and North Wiltshire.

Dad and I before the walk, decked out in boppers and glow-sticks!
Dad and I before the walk, decked out in boppers and glow-sticks!

The walk began at 9pm, just as the sun started to go down, and was a beautiful beginning to the night

The M4 at dusk.
The M4 at dusk.
Walking over the M4.
Walking over the M4.

This walk was significantly improved by the volunteers who constantly encouraged us to “Keep going!”, both verbally and with this positive signs!

IMG_0393 As the night went on, the glow sticks became more vibrant…
IMG_0400 … and near the end of the walk, we were treated to a brilliantly lit garden!
IMG_0398 IMG_0399 Though the walk was tougher than anticipated, it was all worth it to raise money for a good cause, make memories by participating in this unique event, and receive this token to commemorate our effort!

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The Floating Cinema

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Driver of The Floating Cinema barge. He said he took the job because he wanted to slow down in life, and with the barge topping out around 4 mph, I think he found a good fit!

Last Saturday, on the second half of our much longer than anticipated walk, the driver of The Floating Cinema canal barge (above) was kind enough to offer us a ride from one lock to another. While this act of generosity was interesting in and of itself (and allowed for some new photos!), it was also incredibly fascinating just to learn about The Floating Cinema!

Although normally stationed in London, the barge is traveling around England using the canals, and hosting events along the way.

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Crofton Beam Engines at sunset.

One of these gatherings took place on Wednesday, the 24th of June at the Crofton Beam Engines (above). The oldest working steam engines in the world, it was constructed in 1807 and was absolutely essential to the building and maintaining of the canals.

The view from the beam engine window!
The view from the highest story open to visitors of the beam engines.
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The Dead Rat Orchestra
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The Dead Rat Orchestra

My favorite part of the evening, though, was the entertainment provided by the Dead Rat Orchestra (above). These brothers sung folk music dating from the days of the canal builders, while also providing the history of the song and/or a comedic anecdote, and did so with a smile on their faces, a laugh in their bellies, and a beer in their hands.

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The field next to the Beam Engines, just before we left.

Although we went to this event on a whim with low expectations, both The Floating Cinema and the Dead Rat Orchestra were worth the drive, and this event truly reflects one of my favorite professor’s sayings:

No one does history quite like the English! – Molly McClain

Kennet and Avon Canal

On Saturday, my dad and I embarked on what looked like a short walk from Great Bedwyn to Little Bedwyn. Even though it was significantly longer, the Kennet and Avon Canal was absolutely beautiful, especially in the gray weather, and there were just too many beautiful shots to choose from. These are just the pictures along the canal, and tomorrow will be photos of the neighboring landscape!