About Town: Landscape

Summer is for landscape painting.

Painting out in the open air is traditionally an exercise in “mixing greens” and in catching the light. And the darks. You have to work fast, too. I’d be hard pressed to count how many times I have started a painting of a barn and fields, for example, then looked up and suddenly seen that the subject had taken on an entirely different appearance.

In the morning, the sunlight and shadows are in a totally different position than they are at noon.  And later in the afternoon yet again. Although working on three paintings at a time isn’t a bad idea.

It is such a privilege to live in Weston and to be able to enjoy our landscapes. Particularly in the summer when places such as School Road are not the beehive of activity they are in other seasons.

One could almost be lulled into thinking that time has stood still in Weston over the years. While some things have changed, and vacant lands have disappeared, the personality of the town remains the same. Families come here to educate their children in a safe environment. Many stay after the children have left because it is so darn gorgeous.

Water supply

If we were to express Connecticut’s financial issues in environmental terms, it would be fair to say that we are in a drought of historic proportions. Fortunately, though, the actual water drought seems to have abated, for the time being at least.

But looming over our beautiful summer is the knowledge that Connecticut is sailing into the fiscal biennium without a state budget. No one seems to want to say it, but Connecticut is out of cash. This is happening while population is dropping, and major employers in our traditional economic wheelhouses relocate.

The bleeding has not stopped, despite an initiative undertaken by Governor Malloy’s administration near the beginning of his first term establishing an incentive program for corporations that would come here or not leave. That was for the “First Five” such corporations, which soon became the second five.

Perhaps we should focus, though, on preventing other issues that affect Weston from becoming similarly intractable. We could start by reviewing and commenting on the state’s draft Water Plan, which should be online now at the Department of Public Health’s website, ct.gov/water/site/default.asp.

Watching the Water Planning Council’s meeting last week we learned a few things that Westonites might like to hear. And some that seem ominous. First, the good news. We are ahead of the curve in understanding that groundwater supplies are not infinite and must be preserved and protected from pollution.

The bad news is that the rest of the state has some catching up to do. Can we trust ever larger entities in the private sector to protect public water supply? Especially during future drought conditions?

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at aboutweston.com.

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