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Life in our Backyard: Photographs by Harold Sandford

June 27 – September 1, 2018

Bumblebees on a Dahlia
Bumblebees on a Dahlia
(click to enlarge)

A still small voice spake unto me,
"Thou art so full of misery,
Were it not better not to be?"

Then to the still small voice I said;
"Let me not cast in endless shade
What is so wonderfully made."

To which the voice did urge reply;
"To-day I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.

"An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

"He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew."

I said, "When first the world began,
Young Nature thro' five cycles ran,
And in the sixth she moulded man.

"She gave him mind, the lordliest
Proportion, and, above the rest,
Dominion in the head and breast."

Thereto the silent voice replied;
"Self-blinded are you by your pride:
Look up thro' night: the world is wide.

– Excerpt from The Two Voices, a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Blue Dasher Dragonfly on Russian Sage
Blue Dasher Dragonfly on Russian Sage
(click to enlarge)

Harold Sandford, Groton resident, and retired research chemist has a fascination for dragonflies and has made a hobby of photographing them. Over the course of one summer he focused his 50 to 250mm zoom lens on the varieties he found in his backyard. His interest in visual cataloging of small creatures has since grown to include an array of insects, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. He has extended his search beyond his property to explore habitats in surrounding regions of Groton and Pepperell.

Monarch butterfly on Liatris Flower
Monarch butterfly on Liatris Flower
(click to enlarge)

Harold enjoys sharing his wildlife studies with others, and he hopes the photographs inspire people to learn more about the ecology of their backyards and respect the environment.

In retirement, Harold has immersed himself in artistic pursuits apart from his photography. From a world of silicon wafers and integrated circuits to one of drawing pencils and paint, he began with several introductory studio art classes at Brown University, followed by coursework at the De Cordova Museum School. A regular presence at many of the art programs offered by this library, such as the Art Matters and Boston School series, as well as presentations by exhibiting artists in our gallery gives evidence to his appetite for learning. An avid watercolorist, he has previously shown paintings here, as well as at the Morse Institute Library in Natick.

Wood Frog
Wood Frog
(click to enlarge)

Meet Harold Sandford: Thursday, July 19, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, in Sibley Hall. All are welcome to drop in at any time during the reception hours.

This exhibit is made possible by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.

Ken Hansen,

Blue Dasher Dragonfly on a Day Lily
Blue Dasher Dragonfly on a Day Lily
(click to enlarge)