I believe it is fair to say that my first source of blogging inspiration was derived from the work of photographer Kathleen Connally which you may view at a A Walk Through Durham Township Pennsylvania. A quick review of my archive shows that, after something of a false start in March of 2011, posts began to accumulate here in earnest in January of 2012. I remember wondering, at the time, what exactly a blogger was supposed to do. I had just taken up photography again, after a hiatus of more than 30 years, and didn’t feel my photos were ready to stand alone. I have never fancied myself a writer and didn’t feel my words were ready to stand alone. My solution, as you have seen over the last three years, has been to do a bit of both. A Walk Through Durham Township Pennsylvania speaks, although not always in words, volumes about that place. Whether Connally’s images depict harvest, farm animals, or the simple beauty of a rural landscape, her work has an honesty that I like. It is uncluttered and tells stories of the places and people she loves best. That is what I have wanted of my own contributions. As I look back over these years of work I can see that sometimes it’s been about the picture, sometimes it’s been about the words, while all the time it’s been about this life within which I find myself. Sometimes my words are directed toward a specific object while other times they are cast broadly in the hopes of snagging some elusive thread. The last few weeks have been trying at work and the farm has found the transition to winter a bit bumpy. The combination has limited my opportunity to be out with the camera, and so I was pleased to have a couple of hours to wander as Joanna met with her sheep-to-shawl team on Sunday. The group last practiced two weeks ago and it was then that I had driven past an Amish holding. I slowed to view the steers in the front yard, an active windmill in the back, and shocks of corn in the fields behind. There was no one home. I would have loved to poke about in their absence, but resisted the temptation to do so. This time, when I drove past, I saw children playing in the front yard. I pulled in and knocked on the door. A young woman answered and I asked if it would be alright to walk out back to take a look at the corn shocks. I remarked on how she might think that an unusual request and explained that I was a photographer. She said that the shocks belonged to the neighbor and added that she was sure he wouldn’t mind if I took a look. She was very kind and in possession of a beautiful smile. So, off I went. It was windy, and the field was muddy, but I got my picture. Although many Amish use automated corn pickers, a few still produce shocks, an old tradition indeed. After removing a quantity of mud from my shoes I ventured back to Wayne’s and ducked into the barn. Shafts of light illuminated the dim interior. The wheel rake caught my eye. I liked the way it had been positioned for its long, winter, rest. Soon, it will be brought out into the warmth of June, greased and oiled, and put back to work. So in the same way that Kathleen Connally has treated me to views of her little corner of the world, I do the same for mine, and for you.