Blow-Me-Down Mill in Cornish, New Hampshire is a lovely place to photograph, but what’s with the name?
I love an assignment so when Cam Mirisola, Senior Editor for New Hampshire To-Do Magazine emailed me last week about a project
|Aspet House, Saint Gaudens, |
Saint Gaudens Retreat Blog
Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
The next day I got up early to search Cornish for the intriguingly named “Blow-Me-Down Mill”. Of course I first Goggled the mill and learned that it was now part of the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site. In the morning I cruised up Route 12a along the Connecticut
|Cornish-Winsor Bridge, Mount Ascutney|
The Cornish Art Colony
My initial directions to the mill were unnecessarily vague and sent me
|Cornish Colony & Mill|
of the founders of the Cornish Art Colony. The Colony was renowned as a seasonal gathering place for a remarkably varied group of prominent artists of the time, including painters, sculptors, writers and actors. The Blow-Me-Down Mill was used by the community as a grist mill until its close in 1920, Now, only the restored building remains, along with a nice mill pond/wet land and a water fall.
Working the Mill
The day remained mostly overcast with only early hints of spring foliage, but the area provided a wealth of interesting angles and I had a great time exploring the various options. My first challenge was to find a place to park the car that wouldn’t intrude on the pictures. Despite my efforts, I still had to relocate as I moved around the site. The waterfall had good flow, and with the overcast sky, I was able to get a nice soft effect with only my polarizer and f22, but I also pulled out my variable neutral density filter to extend the exposure over several second. The compositional challenge was to find angles that included a nice balance of the mill building and the falls. From the side the building was rather flat and one dimensional so I moved down stream for better
perspective. During the summer and fall with the trees in full foliage views up the brook to the mill house would be obstructed, but on this
|Four Second Exposure with Variable ND Filter|
Bridge offered an especially nice perspective on the whole site. Along the edge of the brook, I used my trusty Mini Bungee Cords to pull back branches and, unlike most times, I actually remembered to retrieve the cords when I was done. In most compositions, I tried to minimize the dull sky, but I was able to bring out some of the texture in post using highlight
|Downstream with Bungee Assist|
|Stone 'Bridge"/Tunnel HDR|
Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge
|Blow-Me-Dow Bridge over |
Blow-Me Down Brook
Brook. Seriously?! Is everything "Blow-Me Down" in Cornish? The bridge itself was not especially unique, but then I move off to the side and discovered that it spans a spectacular little gorge("Blow-Me-Down Gorge I presume). I could have spent much more time here, but I had to get back to town.
All-in-all it was a productive morning given the weather and the scant early spring foliage. As always I have this place recorded in my brain and in my GPS. I will return. Whether or not something gets in New Hampshire To-Do, I still have to thank Cam for a great tip and a good excuse to get away from the endless spring chores at home.
Oh, and the name. From what I read Saint Gaudens himself picked “Blow-Me-Down” as a joke. I’m not sure about that, but it is as good an explanation as any.
43° 29' 49.806" N
72° 22' 32.544" W