Friday, April 9, 2010

Nature's Symmetry - Along the Old Lehigh Canal

Rip off the labels, and enjoy Nature's symmetry.  Anytime.

Here we are, at Lock #7 again.  "Lock" as in a man-made chamber along a body of water that raised and lowered boats from one level to the next.  It is how man overcame the elevation change along the 700 feet of relief from Mauch Chunk to Easton, Pennsylvania.  Most locks were around 15-20 feet in height, and were built so two boats could fit in one lock at a time.  Unlike the Delaware Canal, the destination of the boats on the Lehigh Canal, which could only accomodate one boat at a time.  Josiah White, ever the ingenious innovator, created a new type of door for the upper side of each lock.  The boat moving downstream with its load of coal only needed to nudge the door down, like an upside down doggy door to enter the lock.

The picture above though is about symmetry.  And how the eye embraces the symmetry, and indulges in the muted, blurred tones as if it were a sticky oil-base on canvas.  There is no trick to the photo, except what we accept as up is actually down, and what is down, is up.

This is Lock #4, about 1 1/2 miles north of Lock #7.  The dry masonry only held up for 190 years.  You can traverse this lock, as many along the canal and check out the Locktender house ruins, and here at #4, enjoy a rest and a view from atop the 20 feet observation deck.

No comments:

Post a Comment