The Farm, eclipse, and items of collateral beauty

"It's such a perfect day; I'm glad I spent it with you."
                                   --Lou Reed( listen: here )

My husband's family owns a farm in Carlton, OR--rural Willamette Valley, where my father-in-law grew up. It's a small farm, as they were at the turn of the century, and it supported a dairy during its day. Today the brothers mostly run cattle on it, and vineyards spring up around them. 

This is where Joe and I drove for the eclipse, August 21. We were a hair outside the line of totality, but the road trip was easier, more relaxing, and we still got the full eerie effect. The entire day--warm and mellow--the company I was with--it was perfect in every way.

We were so fortunate that my father-in-law Ed joined us as well, because, you see, he lost his wife of 62-years two weeks before. She was a sweet and gentle soul; petite, unselfishly loving, and a born-and-bred Oregon farm girl at heart (even with a 50-year break in suburbia). Ed misses her deeply. We felt blessed to be there with him this day, as he enjoyed both the company and the surprisingly profound eclipse on that little old farm that's been the background of his life.

Carol's passing lent a poignancy to the day. Moments of beauty were felt more deeply. Less was taken for granted. We felt her with us.  The sun, which we usually do not completely understand, showed us what it was like without its presence, for just a moment, not really gone. We found ourselves awestruck by this. The sun that is always a "given," and the planet which it warms and lights and gives life--they are everything.

It felt good to be together for this. 

Elegant decay

I'd like to share some photographs from this summer at the farm. With the right focus and light, beauty starts emerging from the discarded farm equipment and "places between." The seemingly lifeless parts of the barn have a certain hum of their own; and there is a time in the late summer--the eclipse of 2017 was at the heart of it--when the weeds turn beautiful.  

ab 2017-07-29 10.09.22h-cr1-PhoShEl-3.jpg

Enter here.  With Joe.  (Video of driving down the field):


On our way to eclipse viewing


"The Sky was weirdly lit..."  (--Robert Service)


Sketch of the day

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Old silo

Old silo

Old dairy barn

Old dairy barn

Farm equipment gone fallow

Farm equipment gone fallow


I end with my Wednesday Vignette.  The "elegant decay" of the silo as backdrop, and the forgotten weeds that turned elegant themselves, in the fading light of that celestial day.  

Please do take the time to comment below, if you liked this post.

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted at the Flutter & Hum blog, and it is a lovely post this week. It is also a story of rememberance, of a different kind.

Story and photography by Alyse Lansing, © 2017