ANN BAILEY: After a foggy night, a photogenic dayI wanted to capture the winter wonderland not only in our farmyard, but out in the countryside surrounding it, so I took the camera with me when I went to my mom’s house to feed the chickens.
The other night when I was driving home after a basketball game, the fog was so soupy I couldn’t see more than a quarter of a mile in front of me. I was on a familiar highway so the lack of visibility didn’t bother me. I knew that a half mile after the farm house on the right side of the highway, I had to turn left, so I started slowing down.
When my headlights shone on the street sign that marks the road to our house, I turned. From there, it was a straight shot to our house. I continued to drive slowly, though, because the visibility was poor and I wanted to make sure that I straddled the hardened snow drifts on our road so I didn’t bounce the car on top of them.
As I drove, I glanced at the fields on either side of the road, so alive with crops during the summer, lying silent under a blanket of white. When I got home, I stepped out of the garage into the utter blackness of our farmyard. I walked slowly to the house, enjoying the quiet, dark world.
The next morning I woke up to a world of dazzling white. Hoarfrost covered the trees, fences and buildings. The snow shimmered in the sun.
I wanted to capture the winter wonderland not only in our farmyard, but out in the countryside surrounding it, so I took the camera with me when I went to my mom’s house to feed the chickens. The chicken yard fence, covered with a thick layer of frost, was my first shot. Then I took several pictures of the red barn, the chicken house and the shop against the white grove of trees behind them.
After I fed the chickens, I walked across the road and took a picture of my mom’s house against the backdrop of the flocked woods behind it. Then I headed back to the car and drove home, stopping when I got to the groves on either side of the road at our farmstead. I took a picture of the trees that overhang the road on either side, making a ceiling over it.
After taking a few pictures of the groves, I drove into our driveway and took several of our house against our frosty trees, then put the car in the garage and went over to take pictures of our horses. They whinnied at me, hoping for food as they obligingly hung their heads over the fence, their dark muzzles and whiskers frosted with white. I snapped a few shots of Zammie and Isabelle, and then gave them each a handful of hay as payment for being my models.
On the bright side
As I headed back to the house, I thought about how the bright, white day symbolized everything that was right about North Dakota winters and how it made the bitter cold, windy days a little easier to take.
Though, there are days I complain about winter, I still am glad that I live in the north. Experiencing, and capturing in photos, a day like that one is something I don’t want to miss.
Reach Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 779-8093.