“If the boulders are moved,
Even a river will change its flow.” ~Deng Ming Dao
We had a photographer meet up and fun walk along the Eno River, NC last weekend. A beautiful day with unusually cool temperatures, inspiring, creative people and no snakes (It’s copperhead season here in the south, yikes)!
Lots of lush green along the river trail thanks to higher than usual rainfall.
I have passed by this old house on my drive to the lake for several years always wanting to stop but never have until now. The sunrise light was perfect and the timing right. Sitting empty but cared for, it stands perhaps as a monument to it’s past. it shares the property with a more modern lived in home.
Known primarily for her work depicting migrant workers in the American West, the Dust Bowl migration, and the Japanese American Internment, I learned that In July of 1939 while working for The Farm Security Administration the great Dorothea Lange with Paul Taylor spent several days photographing the farms & farmers in Person, Chatham, Orange, Durham & Wake Counties in North Carolina – my backyard. Taking directions from Ms. Lange’s field notes, researching her images, searching Google Maps, and driving around the counties I set out to find those buildings and places depicted in her iconic photos. I’ve been exploring those places and the farming architecture that still exists in the landscapes of these North Carolina counties. Many of the buildings and farms no longer exist, some structures are only ruins. Left over from the depression era, scattered like totems in the fields along old rural highways and mixed among the modern crops and machinery stand the remnants of tobacco curing sheds, barns, country stores, and the long-deserted homes of the sharecroppers and landowners. Some have been preserved and put to utilitarian use in the present but most, having long since served their purpose, are left to decay and collapse into the fields.
I’m such a sentimental goof I even got choked up standing in one of the very spots I knew Lange had stood. I doubt I’ll ever achieve anything close to the skill and mastery of Ms. Lange but standing where she stood, imagining what she saw, and what life was like back in 1939 not only for the people and places she photographed but for a pioneering woman photo journalist, is an inspiration.
My project is expanding and I have a lot more exploring to do…
This old cemetery is at Trinity Church, Scotland Neck, NC established in 1732. I love the light patch illuminating the markers. I imagine the spirits, dancing among the markers, reveling in the beautiful light. A friend told me her father used to play hide & seek in this cemetery as a young boy…