Better take a good look at this barn. It is slowly but surely losing its battle with gravity, time, and the raucous meteorological behaviors of southeast Arkansas. The old barn is a few miles south of U.S. Highway 79 on Prairie Road in Cleveland County, Arkansas, a patch of mother earth that has thrown a plethora of photo opportunities in my direction. This picture came from my second and only deliberate trip to the barn. The light was wrong when I first laid eyes on it during a stumble-on visit. Due to the barn's placement, the light was not much better on the second trip, but the image was salvageable, thanks to digital post processing.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
When I rounded the curve, I was taken aback by the old barn pictured above. Like many of its vintage, it showed the progressive march of construction. The center section came first. The wings were apparently added as needs and budget permitted.
The process is reversing now. The right-hand side is succumbing to forces greater than its strength. The added stress on the remaining structural members will hasten the demise of the entire structure.
It's like an equation written over time. At some point, the strength of the structure is equal to or better than the forces that would tear it asunder. Since the forces of nature never take a break, the human side of the equation must pay continued attention to the structure, or else the battle is lost. If you happen to draw any parallel conclusions regarding what we hear on the six o'clock news, so be it. I merely record observations.
Somehow when a friendly dog shows up, your day seems to be brighter. He seemed friendly (with a bit of due-diligence reticence) from the git-go. The three-week-old Cheetos I salvaged for him from the back floorboard of the truck seemed to make him even friendlier.
On the positive side, as I was shooting, a small dog (35-40 pounds or so is small when you live with a 105-pound Rottweiler) poked his head around a fence post to check me out. I invited him to join the shoot and he accepted. Off camera there was a home, and he obviously belonged there. His benevolent and trusting attitude says that his "people" treat him right. A couple of old Cheetos cemented our new relationship.
This was the last shoot of the day after an early start. On the short drive home, I thought about being open to revelations sent one's way. As I was bemoaning the demise of an old barn and letting my thoughts meander from there, the Master Playwright put the dog on the stage. And that made a happy ending.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.