It must be spring! Farmers in Virginia’s pastoral Shenandoah Valley are out and about preparing their fields for this year’s crops. In fact, farmers in Rockingham Co., Virginia, have already made their first cuttings of hay for silage to feed their livestock.
This farmer, riding his ubiquitous John Deere tractor, was heading back to the farm.
There’s an old adage in photography that goes something like this: When others are shooting the obvious, look around, look behind you, look up, look down. I try to remember that when I focus on a particular subject matter, be it a landscape, sunrise, sunset, or wildlife. Another perspective might bring you greater rewards.
Such was the case when I stopped to photograph a church in rural southwestern Virginia. Rolling, high hills lined with Christmas trees served as the backdrop of the distinctive country church, which was outlined in bright, red paint. It made a very satisfactory photo.
However, when I turned to return to the van, I spotted this old, weathered building across the road. I loved its unique character, especially the age-dappled clapboard siding sandwiched between the two tones of green. I wondered about its history. What was its original purpose? Was the building being used for any reason now?
The old building’s aged appearance jumped out at me. “Weathered” is my Photo of the Week.
My wife and I are fortunate to have the view to the west that we do. Farm fields flow down and away from our home until they meet a steep hill that juts into the western horizon. A windmill that supplies water for our Amish neighbors serves as the centerpiece for the view.
We have lived here for 37 years, and each evening brings a new look west. I recently found this golden glowing backlit cloud hovering beyond the windmill.
Tradition says Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer in U.S. culture. In Ohio’s Amish country, seasons are often determined by harvests. The year’s first cutting of hay marks the summer harvest season in rural America.
Friends, neighbors, and family members of all ages pitch in to help make the hay. These youngsters gathered hay bales and held the reins to the horses pulling the hay wagon while the adults did the milking. Giving youth such responsibility teaches work skills and reinforces the already strong work ethic of the Amish.
I am fortunate to live among the largest Amish population in the world. A photo opportunity is seemingly around every curve. On a recent nice day, I was out and about taking some photos of spring emerging. As I topped a small hill, I saw this pastoral scene and just happened to catch this horse reaching across the fence to munch the same lush grass it was standing on.
Apparently, the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. “The Grass is Greener” is my photo of the week.
Winter arrived in earnest this week in Ohio’s Amish country. Once the snow quit, I went out to shoot some snow scenes. This one took the prize for me. And when a friend asked me where he could buy the postcard, I knew I had my Photo of the Week.
This current polar blast is hitting a lot of the country. I hope “Winter Postcard” will at least warm your spirits.
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