As a photographer, I often meet wonderful people whom I would never otherwise encounter if I did not carry a camera. This is one reason I am so thankful to do what I do. On a warm October morning, in search of old, weathered barn wood to use as a food photography prop, I found my way to Birdie Johnson’s farm. (Our mutual friend, Sue Ross, who breeds sheep with award-winning fleeces for handspinning, had introduced us. To see photographs of Sue and her flock, check out my blog post about her annual shearing day.)
Birdie has a half dozen or so sheep on her farm, as well as a lovely home and garden, a welcoming Golden Retriever and a friendly cat. What she and her husband Ed also have are acres of old buildings, antique cars and rusting farm machinery. Birdie, her friend Rachel and I walked around the farm in search of interesting photography props. I felt an instant connection to these two kind women as we walked, explored the fields and woods together and felt the warm sunshine on our faces. Along the way we did find some weathered barn wood (that Birdie expertly cut in two with a table saw so that it would fit in my hatchback), as well as some beautiful pieces of tree bark and a delicate oriole’s nest that had fallen from a tree.
Thank you, Birdie, for your generosity and kindness. I am so happy to have met you. Once I finally use that barn wood in a photograph, you’ll be the first to know.