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Amish Country Sunset

Sunday, January 26, 2014

So we're tooling along Kansas Road near Kidron, Ohio, looking for snowy owls in a desultory sort of way, and the sunset is settling in and getting moreso. A pair of rough-legged hawks fusses and tumbles, silhouetted. One is a dark morph, the other, who can tell? We decide to be satisfied.

Sunlight is coming through windows in the outbuildings. Phoebe points it out and Shila and I swing our lenses toward it.

Phoebe says she wants a jigsaw puzzle made of our photos. It sounds like a good idea to me.

It all just makes me want to paint, this light and the way it hits the buildings. It's nice to think that I could do it if I wanted to, just become a painter of barns and horses and landscapes. But I like what I'm doing now, writing and painting and traveling around giving talks, too much to stop. I have a burst of gratefulness that still lingers. I wish I had more time to tool around looking for beautiful things in places I've never been. And then the time to make watercolors of them.  

This farmer sells eggs and potatoes from the house. The signs out front say so. I think those are raspberries neatly trained on stakes. If raspberries can ever be neat, these are. 

The sun is smacking the west side of the farmhouse, gilding it. The snow's gone rose-pink. It is so cold outside, but the colors are so warm and inviting. We get out of the car just long enough to ooh, ahh, click and retreat. This farm has such beautiful trees, too.

And on the lee side, some ravishing Belgians. One moves over for a little comfort from the two-toned mare as the light goes pink and dies behind them. 

We hurry on, rolling over snow-covered roads in the trusty Subaru, chasing the last light. We had planned to go to The Wilds, a reclaimed strip mine about another hour southeast, planned to go see a golden eagle and some short-eared owls, but the light has wrapped itself around us and held us here for the sunset. 

Sometimes the best part of a day can be the moment when you scrap your plans and realize that being in this moment, in the light of this hour, is the best plan of all.


I enjoyed this entire experience, but my very favorite part is your last paragraph. That paragraph will be posted in my brain from this time forward :)

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Meant to leave my name on the post I just submitted. I am the one who posted your last paragraph in my brain :). So very often your comments reflect how I feel.
Thank You,
Darlene Shamblin

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 2014 at 7:17 AM

The colors in that second-to-last photo are insane.

I have copied your last paragraph and pinned it to my inspiration board. Thank you.

It is all about the light. The best thing about a winter afternoon is the beautiful low angle light.

I do love that country, and your photos do it justice, which I'd have thought impossible. Thanks.

" ... the light has wrapped itself around us and held us here for the sunset ..."

I've admired your art, now I am awestruck by your poetry!

Thank you for sharing!

We've enjoyed Holmes/Wayne/Stark Counties for the past twenty years. Now we are planning to retire to Walnut Hills. Your lovely words and work capture the beauty that has captured us. We hope to hear and meet you sometime. Ricco and Polly Stevick

Posted by Anonymous February 3, 2014 at 4:37 PM
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