Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to run into Andrea, from HKS Clydesdales in Duxbury, during a winter holiday stroll assignment for a local paper. I’d been searching for a farm to photograph, for a competition, and Andrea was kind enough to let me poke around the place with her, while she did chores.
To be honest, I only really like a few photos in this set, mainly because of how the tricky lighting situations appear in post. But that’s okay – I’m going to go back Wednesday, to make more photos. I’ll likely concentrate more on the actual landscape of the farm itself, rather than so closely following the people.
Oh, also – what you see at the end is a visit from the vet, for Lexi’s pet cow. The cow’s eye had to be surgically removed, due to a cancerous mass in and around it, earlier in the year. Unfortunately, it seems the cancer is still present, and may have made its way into the bone.
You know those days you awaken, and everything is dismal? Those days where it feels as though stress and grey anxiety are already scrabbling at your rapidly-cooling body, even though you’ve just thrown off the covers?
That’s what the United States feels like, right now. It feels as though the nation is collectively holding its breath, just waiting for January 20, 2017. Some of us who are afraid are trying to stay busy and active, calling representatives, donating to organisations, trying to do something. Others who live in fear bury their heads in the sand, hoping to wait out the next four years.
(‘Maybe, if I stay quiet, they won’t notice me.’)
Still others are excited about the next four years. I can’t explain this, because I don’t know this feeling.
We went for a hike at Borderland State Park Sunday. It was beautiful, and it was tragic. I could see the bottom of one of the ponds. It was covered with rocks, and very still.
I am scared I will not see the bottom of this pond – or that this pond will not even exist – within my lifetime.
Climate change is real. This is not a political statement. It is a fact, just like the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. But, instead of living in harmony with nature, and seeking to learn within it, we distance ourselves from it, in many ways: climate change denial, video games, television, social media, the 24-hour news cycle, fitness programs that simulate being outside – you name it, we’ve done it.
There are many of us who are trying to take steps to mitigate what we see as a disastrous next four years. Most of these steps are social, and that’s not a bad thing. But we cannot forget that the planet needs care, too. We cannot forget that, at the end of the day, we breathe the air in which our birds fly. We drink the water in which fish have swum, and delicate amphibians have once bred. We walk on earth that is far older than we, its balance necessary to sustain the greenness of the world. We live in ecosystems that are much more fragile than they appear, and we cannot forget about them.
The only life we know exists here, right now.
In the spirit of this knowledge, please consider donating to, or giving your time to any one of these causes.
(And nope, no one is paying me to write this. I just care too much about our planet to let it come second, in our hearts.)
Wildlife Conservation Network
Environmental Defense Fund
Standing Rock – I am including Standing Rock, because the cause is more than about ‘just’ a pipeline. It quite literally will dictate the future of a very large area of land and water, as well as the futures of the people on and near it, and may very well set a precedent for future industrial projects on First Nations land, and other delicate places.
The Nature Conservancy
Oh, also: go for a walk.
The following are photos I made, during a small session with a friend, who wanted me to make photos for her New Year’s cards. The younger girl is ‘at that age’ where she doesn’t like anyone – and she did not like my camera (or me) at all, as you can see in the photos. I’ve gotta say, she is a shade-throwing master. The only time she smiled was when her dad was bouncing her around, or her mom was tickling her. Those little grins sure weren’t for me!
As I was making the photos, though, I couldn’t help but be reminded of photos of myself, when I was just about the little one’s age. I remember my parents kept it above a fireplace in our creepy Virginia basement (which was totally haunted; but that’s a story for another time). I am not sure if it was kept down there, because they had nowhere else to put it, or because they probably needed a stiff drink or five, following the session, but I am pretty sure it was the latter …
In any case: after this (admittedly, hilarious to me) session, I have gained much more respect for parents who go through the hell of getting family photos done. They should give out medals* for this.
The other baby you see is the child of my friend’s neighbours. They came over to check out the session. Needless to say, their little girl was equally nonplussed by the camera, but displayed it more in curiosity than dislike.
Anyway, as always, the faces tell the story. Enjoy.
*Or copious amounts of alcohol. Whichever you prefer.