Primary panes

We attended another sheep-to-shawl meeting over the weekend. The plan was to spin enough weft to weave a scarf as a trial for the state championship scheduled for January. I always bring along my camera to keep busy while Joanna practices with the team, so I was off to explore. Wayne’s family was well into the bean harvest with 70 acres taken in on Saturday, leaving 20 more to bring in when the meeting was done. The corn would follow. I walked about and eyed the photographic potential of the combine, tractors, wagons, elevators, and grain bins. Nothing caught my fancy. I walked among the sheep, chickens, and bales of haylage. I walked the corn fields and what remained of the beans. Then I noticed that one of the barn windows was missing and the one immediately adjacent looked different somehow. I walked over and discovered an entire frame of colorful panes – how wonderful. I wanted to shoot inside-side-out, so I lifted the latch to one of the small doors, ducked, and stepped inside. The wind was howling but the air was still enough with the door closed. Cobwebs told of the tumult just outside. A space about 20 foot square had been walled off with chicken wire clear to the ceiling. I recall that Wayne housed meat birds here at a time when he was having particular difficulties with varmints. The space was now being used to store poultry equipment, bee hive bodies and supers, a variety of waterers, a few fleeces, and a bit of straw. I walked carefully. When I turned toward the door my eyes were greeted by a most beautiful display of color. I worked hard to steady myself as I stood atop a bale, the strings of which weren’t all that tight. The flakes separated under my weight. Standing on two bales worked better. I could see the farmhouse and summer kitchen through the panes and worked to nestle them, frame them, within the established geometry of the window. Although I didn’t look as closely as I might, I noticed that the panes had texture like that of drawn antique glass. The colors had the same effect, to my eye, as the sepia tones of very old photos. When combined with the texture, I saw age through the panes. It was as if I was looking at the homestead through the lens of time. Having taken what I thought was the shot I got down off my perch and made my way back out into the wind and sunshine, glad for having had a little glimpse at the past.


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