“The Castle Grounds” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


Soundscape: Listening to Stay-at-Home Cornwall

Scampering flight of mice, incensed at dog in full time residence
Crescendo of bird chatter in April
Clunk as Housatonic RR freight cars traverse a bad joint in the tracks
Joyful barking of spaniel as masked walkers tromp the road, banishing cabin
Skipping splash of wood ducks using Housatonic River as runway
Comforting hum of conversation at RIchard Bramley’s “Raise the Spirits” an
          essential business
Beep of documents sent to the omnivorous server collecting our remote work
          at all hours
Violins of Mozart’s Prague Symphony at full volume to defeat ill humor and
Popping of cork at Canoe Buffet for socially distanced lawn parties
Hissing of turkey vultures landing on porcupine carcass, banquet on the tracks
Low rumble of volunteers at West Cornwall Fire House, landline ringing as
          houses go dark
Noisy silence of refrigerator during week-long power outage
Buzz of Eversource saws, as crew clears trees after storms
Thunk of tomatoes rolling into a basket at the farmer’s market
Contented-baa-baa-baa of Dody Clarke’s sheep, oblivious to human turmoil
Fierce whine of Gary Heany’s torch etching gravestones
Thwack of my door shut at dusk, to collect moths thrashing on the windows
Cough of bear cubs en route to a cooling plunge in the river
Grass blades bouncing to the restless footsteps of thirsty readers heading to
          the library’s
outdoor lending carts
Despite the hush of shutdown, an expectant hum hovers over village green and country roads.


Kathleen Hulser writes about culture and society. She has also created multi-media history projects and curated many exhibitions including Slavery in New York, Petropolis: A Social History of Urban Animal Companions, and Up on a Roof. at the New-York Historical Society. Her latest maverick “history on the hoof” project was a “Bad, Rad and Boho Women” walking tour for the Village Beat and Folk Festival in September 2021.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street, The Somerville Times, Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal. Her work is archived at Harvard University, the University of Buffalo, and Poets House in NYC. Bonnie loves to capture, in images, a very wide range of subjects, and to learn and experiment with shooting and editing techniques.