I dropped a mic a couple of blog posts ago when I announced at the end that I was marrying the guy in the picture. Haven’t said much since then. So here is our story, as written for our wedding website:
Jeff and Elise met for the first time in July 2018 at a local Purdue Extension meeting on agritourism. Elise was part of the speaker panel and talked about New Zealand. Jeff was looking for ideas for the Christmas tree farm on which he was working. The two bumped into each other a couple of weeks later at the county fair. Then, in October, before the melodrama at the local theater began, they ran into each other at the concession stand. He was buying a drink and attempted to strike up a conversation about her tour guiding experiences during the Covered Bridge Festival, but she had to tell the workers that her mother had spilled her Coke and it had surged all the way from the back row to the front row and ice was everywhere and could someone please bring a mop?
A few days before Thanksgiving, Elise’s brother asked her if she wanted to use his extra artificial Christmas tree. However, she had resolved to always have a real Christmas tree and declined the offer. After Thanksgiving, she drove to the local Christmas tree farm to scout out the possibilities.
She picked out the perfect Charlie Brown tree, a tiny Eastern White Pine. Jeff handed her the saw to cut it down, and she proudly carried it away.
When she loaded it in her dad’s diesel F-350 truck, she heard someone yell, “Is that truck big enough for that tree?”
She turned around to see Jeff with an amused smile. He had just insulted her tree.
But he was carrying a Christmas tree on his shoulder.
We finally put hay up for the first time this year earlier this week. Rain had delayed the operation for a while. Most were round bales. Two rows of alfalfa became square bales for the horses.
The next morning, early, rain came. Storm clouds stayed for a while.
Sunrise brought rays and shadows of bales, and I stood outside the barn gaping at the sight for a few minutes before sense finally said, “Go get your camera!”
Standing on the bales, I played with the light, snapping before the gold changed to dull yellow with no shadows. Sometimes, the colors changed so quickly I could see the progression in photos shot just seconds apart. Continue reading “First Day of Haying”
A Report on My Recent Two-Week Trek Around the North of Scotland
Skye has some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen. The ancient, volcanic Cuillin Hills rise 3,000 feet out of the ocean and The Old Man of Storr towers above the northern Skye roads.
I spent three days on the island (known best through “The Skye Boat Song”) driving the single track roads and stopping to watch wildlife. The most beautiful sight from those three days was an albatross gliding in the arc of a rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean. The powerful bird glided for a few minutes, only flapping its wings once, facing the wind head on.
My two favorite photos from Skye feature sheep in front of the Cuillin Hills. The sheep grazed with the cattle near Glenbrittle Beach, and there was no fence to prevent them from wandering over to the car park. The first picture gives a sense of place for where that sheep lives: at the foot of the Cuillin Hills. The second picture shows the ewe square and balanced, head up beautifully, as if she were performing for a judge.
Ireland is a country that has danced through books I’ve read and songs I’ve sung for many years. Myths and legends grow here. So do sheep.
And I am finally here.
Here are my five favorite photos from my first five days in Ireland:
The first picture is from my first hike on this island. I walked to the top of Knocknarea Mountain in County Sligo where the cairn of Queen Maeve, who was buried with her spear, standing upright and facing her enemies, towers over the landscape. The trail wound through these trees. This was the view on my way back down the steep stairs. This was Ireland, the country in all the songs and the movies, the country where banshees and will-o’-the-wisps were real, the country where an informational placard on a house associated with the poet William Butler Yeats said, “The ghosts of smugglers used to tap on the window panes,” just matter of factly, no “Legend says” attribution accompanying the statement. Continue reading “Five Favorite Photos from Ireland (So Far)”
One Sunday morning while I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, I met two women from Singapore. We connected immediately over food and good conversation. Upon parting, we said that if we were ever in each other’s countries, we would be sure to catch up.
Three months later, I was searching for plane tickets from Perth, Australia, to the Philippines and discovered a route with a long layover in Singapore. I could experience two countries on one plane ticket!
So I contacted my new friends, and we planned a 21-hour Singaporean adventure.
Some exciting news: I am officially a contributor for AgStockPhotos! Stock photo websites have been places to which I’ve been encouraged to contribute in the past, but the behemoth sites didn’t seem like a place where my photos would be found easily.
Then along comes AgStockPhotos. There are over 1,000 photos of livestock, crops, equipment, barns, and more on the site.
It’s a beautiful May Saturday, full of autumn colors. I have several photos from my recent trip to Oamaru and my drive from the dairy farm where I worked in April to Dunedin, where I will be for the month of May as a teacher’s assistant at a primary school.