Don Ross’s photographs are
made at daybreak, between five and eight o’clock, depending on the season. Last May, during an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Ross got up at 3:30 each morning to drive an hour to Barre. With his camera, three lenses, a tripod, and a cable release crammed into a pack, Ross clambered up the
scruffy trail leading to the quarry and scouted places to station his camera. Standing in the dimness, he studied the sheer walls of the streaked granite reflected in the total stillness of the pool beneath.
“Does your husband do this?” an elderly man asks Thea Alvin, as he sweeps his arm, a gesture encompassing the loop-de-loop rock wall and the egg-shaped monument made solely of stones, and another rock wall that rises sinuously into an arched gateway before pouring itself back out the other side.
It’s now January and the cottages around Caspian Lake are locked, their pipes drained, shades
pulled. The public beach is like tundra, baring not even a dog’s footprint. A pick-up truck breaches
the boat-loading zone and keeps going, out onto the ice-cemented lake, towing something that
looks like a deluxe outhouse.