Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walking on a Wet Morning

There have been several mild cloudy days this week.
Yesterday morning, going up to feed Pebbles, the air seemed so thick I could imagine reaching up, squeezing a handful and watching moisture drip down.
The heavy atmosphere distorted sound, magnifying the usually unheard rumble of traffic on the interstate several miles away.
Standing for a moment on the squelchy path from the barn I listened to the roar of the diesel engine which powers the Amish-run sawmill a few 'hills and hollers' removed from us to the west.

Waking this morning to another damp sepia-toned day, I wondered if it was worthwhile to tog up and walk.
I had to put on wellies and such to take the cat litter box up to the dumping spot, so tucked my camera in an old jacket pocket.
Bits of mud in tire-tread shapes lay on the driveway, reminders of yesterday's errands and visitors.
Just up the road a neighbor's cattle milled about bellowing.
I stood in the gateway, watching the cattle pick their way among the discarded tobacco stalks.
This is prime weather for stripping and bundling the cured tobacco, the damp making it less britle to handle.
We have seen vehicles parked at the barn and then an old truck hauling a trailer full of piled tobacco along the road.

Just across a brook from the cow pasture is an old white farmhouse.
The house doesn't appear to be in bad shape, but sits empty.
We're told it was inherited by a man who has little interest in the property and simply rents the pastures.
In spring the yard in front of the house is yellow with daffodils.

Tobacco leaves fallen from the passing trailer lay along the verge of the road.
I spread this one out to examine it.
It had only a faint, not unpleasant odor of tobacco.
I left it there looking much like a wet brown paper bag.

This tree branch has broken off and lies caught crosswise waiting for a wind to bring it down.

As I trudged back along the road to the farm an elderly car chugged alongside.
A grey-bearded man inquired pleasantly if I needed a ride.
['Ride' in the local accent comes out as 'rahd']
I thanked him, shaking my head and gesturing toward the nearby house.
On entering the house I told J. I likely looked a bit like a needy transient: clumping along in wellies with lined Carhartt bibs, a frayed jacket and my long grey hair straggling beneath a faded 'hoodie.'
J. had the coffee going--welcome sugary warmth.  The cats decided I might not remember that they had a  breakfast treat nearly an hour ago and greeted me with coaxing wiles.

Vine draped saplings on the bank above Big Creek .
The Old Gradyville Road follows the meander of the waterway.

A cluster of poxed oak leaves shines in the surrounding shades of brown and grey.

Coppery oak leaves are a banner of color.

My favorite photo of the day--a sculptured pendant leaf glowing amidst a cluster of pearled raindrops.


  1. Beautiful photos of little details. I particularly like the leaves and vines still left on bare tree branches.
    How sad that no one lives in the little white farmhouse. It looks homely and inviting.

    Your water saturated days mirror the weather that we had last week. It has been good to see sunshine again over recent days.

  2. I can see it and smell it and feel it. Mmmm. Smells like winter getting ready for spring. The little white house calls me. I'm such pushover for hide-a-ways.

  3. What wondefully atmospheric photos ...puntuated by discriptive prose. I loved the picture you painted of yourself, trudging along.

  4. DW; There are many old farmhouses in this area which have been abandoned to a tumble down fate. It seems sad.
    I'm a "detail person" and I enjoy the minute and interesting bits that are outside even in bleak weather--I just have to go looking.

    Chris: The little house is nicely situated. If nothing else it would make a charming "second home" in the country for someone.

    Angie; I'm afraid I was a "picture" in a very ludicrous sense. I hate being cold and put on whatever disreputable layers will do for outside chores and tramping about.
    Its usually then that a neighbor drives by and sees me!

  5. "the air seemed so thick I could imagine reaching up, squeezing a handful and watching moisture drip down."
    perfectly described, I know those days.