Sunday, August 06, 2006

Farm life

It's nice to be home after so many nights in other people's houses. I'm glad I came to stay with my parents for so long, because it's letting me get used to the new house. I began thinking, "I'm so glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed in my own room!"

I've been playing with the big, gorgeous new Nikon N50 camera my parents gave me. It was a present out of the blue, not for Christmas or my birthday or anything! Well, maybe it was kind of a graduation present, but either way, it was a nice surprise. I've never had a manual camera before. I love photography, and I'm really looking forward to trying new things.

I've been wandering the farm taking pictures. I love how the farm pretty much looks the same as it used to when you look toward the highway from the front step. Mom and dad put a chair and a swing on the step, which makes me feel more at home. Sitting on the front step in the morning and the evening used to be a habit of mine.

The pets would all gather around me to be pet while I watched the sun rise or set, looked at the stars and lightning bugs at night or the mist rising from the crops in the morning. Now I can do that again, though only Hooligan can make it onto the step, as it's too high off the ground for the dogs. But the dogs would follow me as I walked around taking pictures of them, Hooligan, crops, even pretty weeds, like chicory and morning glories.

Yesterday, the barn swallows gathered: hundreds sitting side-by-side on the telephone lines and swooping open-mouthed through the air, swallowing blue sky and the insects therein. There's something beautiful about the way they fly that is different than the starlings and the sparrows.

The swallows flutter, then glide, and it's so graceful that I can't look away. The golden hawk glides more grandly. The killdeer run swiftly on their long legs before taking flight. The vultures circle ominously with their vast wing-spans. But it is the swallows who hold my gaze the longest.

I don't remember seeing them on the farm before the tornado, but now a few nest in the barn. I hope they've come to stay.

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