The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

reel irresponsibly

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described in yesterday’s post, Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself found ourselves at Burlington’s Shelburne Farms, whereupon we discovered that we had accidentally wandered onto a Vanderbilt estate whose landscape had been designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. Wow.

We followed the paths down towards the shoreline of Lake Champlain. I’m afraid I didn’t get shots of the massive carriage house or the Webb mansion, as the light wasn’t on my side. Don’t worry, I’ll be back here at some point in the future.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As we moved along the grounds, it was discovered that they no longer do the “tap and bucket” thing when collecting maple sap for syrup production. There were pvc lines running all over the place that all led back to a pumping house hidden away behind a tree line. What was neat about this were the spider webs which had been erected in between the pvc lines. Clever little Ottos. As a note – all spiders, whether male or female, are named Otto. It’s a default name, sort of like “Macintosh HD.” All male dogs are born as “Fred” until they are renamed, which is the sort of hidden theosophical knowledge that Newtown Pentacle has been bringing you since 2009.

We followed the light along the wooded paths, and eventually found our way to the shorelines. I don’t know, Lake Champlain seems pretty great to me, but it’s not considered to be one of the Great Lakes for some reason or another.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Theoretically the sixth largest lake in these United States, Lake Champlain is about 490 square miles in area, and exists at an elevation of around 95-100 feet above sea level. 107 miles long and 14 miles across at its widest point, Lake Champlain’s maximum depth is about 400 feet deep. The flooded valley it exists in – Champlain Valley – is the northernmost section of the Great Appalachian Valley, a landform defined by Quebec to the north and by the State of Alabama to the south. That’s some landform, huh?

There are too many rivers and streams, as well as other lakes, that feed into Lake Champlain for me to efficiently mention.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For the photographer types amongst you, I basically didn’t leave anything at home on any of my travels in September. I had the tripod, the Canon R6, a 24-105, a 70-300, and the 35mm and 85mm primes. I used a 10 step ND filter for shots like the one above, to slow the picture down and smooth out the distraction of light glinting off of the waves in the lake. I was armed with two extra batteries, several more memory cards than were necessary, and all the bits and bobs you need to keep everything running. I was using a two bag configuration to carry it all – a knap sack for most of the stuff and a sling bag worn pistol holster style for the stuff I was going to need every 5 minutes like lens cloths and a blower.

Lessons learned from the Burlington excursion saw me carrying a laptop, additionally, on the latter legs of my travels. The laptop helped me containerize the photos from the various segments of travel, which was a real issue with the Vermont ones in terms of the prolific manner in which I gather images. This caused me some organizational angst, which was solved by just carrying the damn laptop with me and off loading shots to it from the camera at the end of each day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I wish I had a week to explore the entirety of Shelburne Farms, truth be told, and to catalog the monumental architecture erected by the Vanderbilt Webb family on the property. Heck, I could probably spend a month here and not get it all. What a spot.

Thing is, we had to get back to the central district of Burlington for our next assignation, a boat tour of Lake Champlain onboard an excursion/tourist boat called “The Spirit of Ethan Allen.” Just walking back to the entrance of Shelburne Farms was going to require a solid hour, and we had to figure in the half hour drive/transport back to Burlington.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I squeezed in one last shot, looking at the grand terrace overlooking the Lake which I’m sure that many a garden party had been held at.

If you’re heading up towards Burlington, Vermont – Shelburne Farms should definitely be on your “must visit” list.

More tomorrow.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

October 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Did you visit the Shelburne Museum too? If not, reason to go back!


    October 5, 2021 at 10:02 pm

  2. […] was analyzed during sunset in doubly potent, we visited Shelburne Farms in appalling seething, reel irresponsibly, took a boat tour onboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen on Lake Champlain in viscous end, returned to […]

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