During a trip to visit family in New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours walking around downtown Henniker with a family friend who is also a photographer. Henniker is a small (population 4,400+), 242-year-old town that is home to New England College.
I was initially disappointed by the overcast that rolled into the area during our family breakfast at Henniker House, thinking that we had missed a prime opportunity to capture the sunlit, snowy banks of the Contoocook River.
But as we started walking around downtown and along the river’s edge, I soon realized a new opportunity had revealed itself. The landscape around the river appeared in near black and white. Where the snow-covered ice had melted on the river, black water ran free. The stone of the double arched bridge and bark of the surrounding trees blended together in a quilt of grays. Even the green of the towering pines appeared muted to our eyes and camera lenses.
It was as if we were seeing Henniker in the past, and the sense of place and history could not have been stronger.
As we walked up from the river’s edge and along the streets of the downtown commercial district, the color of the town returned in its details.
The fruit of a barberry shrub caught my eye from a block away.
Green-leafed rhododendrons were common landcape plants in front of Henniker store fronts, but this variety’s unique purple foliage caught my eye.