Monday, May 21, 2007


You see what has happened, don't you? I returned to Straight Farmstead this evening. A week ago a shot from this very place was a throw-away, and now everything is reaching for the sunlight. In spring, especially, all things turn toward the heavens and the life-enabling energy of the sun. And the songs of the birds had changed too. Some fellow on a branch near me was whistling a fine, bold melody to the setting sun.

Before getting to Straight, I stopped at Macricostas Meadow to shoot the swallows nesting there. A week or two ago they were flying around everywhere, so I was surprised at how quiet it was at a time when I expected them to be even busier. A peek into one of the bird boxes, and I knew I was being watched. At another, a swallow head popped out, but the meadow remained quiet except for 5 circling turkey vultures. Their wings caught the light nicely, and I thought about taking aim with my lens, but I knew they were just too far. Their presence made the meadow all the more desolate, and I swore I would wait only until 5:50 and then buy myself a new set of birds.

I've concluded that what I witnessed in the meadow earlier was the nesting, and the commotion was the busy work of gathering and delivering bedding in preparation for the laying. I know that last year in June the meadow was filled with brigades of swallow arriving and leaving, feeding the young. My guess is that now is the time of waiting and feeding and getting strong for the work ahead in which every bird will have to gather food to feed himself and herself and few others beside. The meadow needs to be watched for signs of the first hatching.

I left Macricostas Meadow disappointed and made several productive stops on my way generally toward Straight Farm,. I wish I had arrived at Straight earlier to see how the turkey's dance had changed, but the light was turning sour by a haze of vapor. This shot was almost the last of the evening. It's a keeper. I'm going home to play some Schubert.


Ginnie said...

Definitely a keeper, Ted. Both the pic AND the text! :)

Emery Roth II said...

And if I must chose (and I must) between this image and Rolling Straight #3 for the exhibition, which should it be?

Ginnie said...

Wow! What a decision, Ted. I actually think I'd choose this one, but that's just me in this moment.

Emery Roth II said...

In the end, I chose this image. Looking back and thinking about its placement in the room, I'm not sure that was the right choice, but I'm sure nobody else would have cared. This image was harder to grasp quickly and the spot on the back wall was such that people had been through a lot of images when they reached it. The other would have had a more instantaneous impact and in so doing had more interaction with the companion image.