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He Mows Around the Ferns

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mowed for no one, this farmstead, and yet there’s an aesthetic working, one I appreciate. The owner, I understand, is a well-known former basketball coach for a local high school. He keeps the place nice. I look at the traces of his presence all around.

He lets the elderberry bloom around one old outbuilding. For the birds? For wine?

 I don’t know, but I’m grateful for the lacy spray of buds that will mature to flowers, then to red-purple fruits that birds love.

There hang the Concord grapes I’ll eat come late fall. They saved me last September when I was thirsty and tired. So sweet, ichor to a runner miles from home. They and the well with its water tasting faintly of iron got me home again. I cleaned the grapes up, unashamed. Nobody else was using them. A possum might object, however.

We move on to the big barn, the one I photographed in a March snowstorm. He’s left clumps of ferns at the front, and I smile at the aesthetic operating; that, unlike some country folk on a mission to clean, he spares these lovely plants as he whacks his way around the building’s perimeter.


I smile again at the hulk of a door, twisted and collapsed, that serves no useful purpose, but is somehow allowed to hang in space from its tired hinges. It’s part of the landscape now, and he cleans up around it and leaves it be.

A golden-backed snipefly rests on a blue spruce. What a lovely fly. There have been many this spring, most of them mating, little F-16 bombers making more bombers.


I can’t wait to see the barn interior in summer light. It does not disappoint. I’m fascinated by the lush glimpses of the outdoors I get through its jagged broken siding. 

I can ask the iPhone to focus on the trees outside, just by touching the screen on the area of interest. Try that with any other automatic camera. That feature alone makes it an indispensible companion on my runs. No. Don’t focus on the grass. The bug. I want the bug. Or the newt, or the toad, the mushroom, the blossom. I find myself vainly poking at the screen on my point-and-shoot Canon G-12, wishing it would serve my needs as well as my little phone does.

In a comment on my last post, Donna said that famed photographer Annie Liebowitz, when asked what kind of camera to buy, replies, "iPhone." Yeah. Its major virtue? Being with you all the time.

This blog is brought to you by an intense mix of old-fashioned romanticism and modern technology, applied in a thin layer over Nature herself.


I have resisted the smart phone - iphone craze for years.
My phone is so old it makes phone calls. Just phone calls.
I'm rethinking my position after seeing some of the photos iphones can take.
I am just not sure I want to be that connected.

I love the iPhone camera, too! Have captured many moments that would have escaped otherwise...
And the photos have a lovely quality I can't get out of my other camera.

So peaceful. Just what I needed.

Agree completely on iPhone as camera. I eventually gave up lugging my still camera with much better shots with my phone. Julie, have you seen app called TrueHDR? With a steady hand and a little patience, you can obtain some startlingly good results. If you think you've gotten nice shots already, prepare to be very pleasantly surprised.

I loved this post....dunno just why....but it pleased me mightily.
You have a wonderful eye for and connection to nature.

KGMom here (aka Donna...not Dorothy). Annie Liebowitz talked about the versatility of an I-phone (or any smart phone) camera...and of course you do have it with you all or most of the time.

(must find an occasion to photograph some lovely GA barns!)

Thank you for the inspiration.

KG Mom, Donna, I so sorry. This is what comes of blogging in a car wif no Internet. My recall, she is not so good when I am rocketing along at 70 mph with the sun on my screen. I loved that tidbit about Annie Liebowitz and only wish I had attributed it correctly. Mwah.

Perfect. Thank you.

Julie--all is forgiven (of course). The amusing thing is I had a sister named Dorothy--she was 3 years younger than I and died as a baby. Thus I was never mistakenly called Dorothy by my mom, but I did get called Denise (my sister) and Daryl (my brother) until my mother would light upon my name.
Of course, I now do the same with my kids--and the pet names get mixed right in there with all the others.

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