Amish Countryside

The Amish countryside has a gentle tranquility and inviting, humble hospitality to it. We saw many rare sites, including this round barn.
round barn
The terrain is gently rolling with a beauty that is very hard to capture.
hills
It was laundry day for some homesteads.
laundrylaundry2
Even driveways had an eye-catching beauty.
driveway2driveway
The farms gave evidence of a modest prosperity in the midst of living a simple life. We saw beautiful homes as well as well-kept farms and fields. Most farms had corn storage as well as a vegetable garden near their houses. Many of the vegetable gardens were bordered with beautiful flowers.
corn criblilies
One barn that caught our eye had gently aged wood and a beautiful green roof.
barn
As we came closer, we realized that the round silo was also constructed of wood.
silo
I chuckled at the sign below. I don’t want to give the impression that Pat and I look for bakeries (we do, but I don’t want to give that impression), but sometimes they come looking for us!
bakery
The Amish live a simple life in the midst of a complex world. Not all of the countryside population was Amish which seems to illustrate the paradox of the lives of the Amish. They do not drive motorized vehicles, but will accept a ride in one. The women dress plainly and modestly, but make beautifully colored quilts. They harvest in fields with nearby cell towers. They have paradoxes, but live lives mindful of a quieter, gentler time. A simpler time that many today sometimes envy.
paradox
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Horse Apple Trail

Pat and I took a trip to the area around Shipshewana, Indiana (population 658 in 2010) this week. It was raining as we approached our destination, but that didn’t discourage this driver (or us) a bit.
rain
The sun came out just as we reached our destination. After a quick coffee break, we decided to take the roads that had evidence of buggy travel . . . usually horse apples. We knew these roads would lead us to Amish farms. We saw beautifully kept horses used both for travel and work. horse
horses
shoppingmowing
We also had a visit from a little bird that Pat wrote about in her blog (http://imissmetoo.me/).
bird
We also saw many milk cows.
lunchtime

Camera Shy Calf

Camera Shy Calf


Probably one of the most unusual moments was to see this rather unusual barnyard creature.
Barnyard Camel

Barnyard Camel


My favorite picture of the day was this one of girls off an a trip together,
girls on bikes
More from Amish country next week.
camel head

Growing Old with Delight

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,” has sadly become trite, warm fuzzy, greeting card mush. The very powerful rest of the Robert Browning stanza from Rabbi Ben Ezra is usually ignored. It reads:

The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Despite dealing with chronic pain (from moderate to severe depending on the day), I have found my latter years to be the best. I am able to celebrate me, be at peace with the world, enjoy life, and not give a d#%# what others think. Those I love have grown more dear. My senses have been heightened to the grandeur of creation. My trust in God is deeper. In short, my dotage is a delight.

What has this to do with my photography? When I first look at my pictures I delete the ones I dislike for technical or composition reasons. I print or publish the ones with which I am satisfied to have my name connected. There are often some pictures in the middle; I don’t hate them, but I am also not quite satisfied with them . . . yet. I often “grow old” with these photos and go back to view them again and again. Some I delete with the passage of time. Others I grow to understand, discover anew and “see all” (or at least what I find meaningful to me).

Here are a few images that I have grown into with a brief explanation of what finally captured my pleasure.

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest captured my delight when I converted it to a black and white image. Thirty years ago I only shot black and white and sometimes I return to that love. I think black and white both honors the simplicity of Amish life and brings a healthy contrast to the picture,

Seed

Seed

This picture also jumped out at me more in the contrast of black and white. The picture was shot at a rather slow shutter speed due to low lighting conditions. Because of that the white extensions from the seed have a glimmering quality that I like.

Curve

Curve

This was a nice, but “not yet” picture until I saw it in black and white. The detail in the concrete wall along a bridge over a pond contrasted with the water and water images in a way I liked.

giraffes

This picture grew on me as I became happier and happier with the composition. What I liked (and appreciated) more and more were the diagonal lines that drew attention to the unseen.

Hope you enjoyed my musings and the photos. I also hope you are growing old well.

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