Thursday, July 19, 2012

On the Farm

I grew up in North Dakota.  During those youthful years I considered its countryside neither picturesque nor beautiful.  This summer I came home for a visit.  From the moment the plane cleared the clouds during its descent, I was struck by the landscape that is eastern North Dakota.  Its flat land is covered with a piece-work quilt of farmland.  Golden tan, shades of green, earthy brown, and rich black geometric patches appear as though laid out with care by a women's quilt circle with highways and roads like strips of ribbon stretched frugally along the patch borders.  The Red River of the North twisting and turning like ribbon candy.
It's neat.  It's tidy.  It's simple. 
It's beautiful.  

With my new found appreciation I was anxious to get out and capture some pictures of the countryside, particularly shots of the farms so iconic to the Red River Valley.  The Sherlocks, longtime friends of my parents, live on such a farmstead, and they graciously invited us to come out for a morning photo shoot.  
My mom and I headed out mid morning, stopping on our way to capture the sun shining on this gorgeous wheat field.

We arrived at the farmstead and my heart smiled at the sight of the big, red barn!

Another outbuilding with gorgeous weathered red paint. 

A beautiful, old cupola sits among the blooms in the Sherlock's flower garden.  

The shed, with its weathered, white paint, provides the perfect background for hollyhocks.

The gorgeous architectural salvage piece on the back of the shed came from a discard pile from a renovation project. Plans for a meditation garden complete with salvaged doors, stained glass windows, prayer flags, and a large St. Francis of Assisi statue are developing.  Feeling serenity already.

This lush garden provides evidence of incredibly rich soil!  

Ilene's childhood bicycle stands along the back fence with wire baskets, front and back, full of gorgeous blooms.

I love the little door and metal cap Carl installed on this piece of culvert.  It's industriously being used to dry and store chopped wood.  

This second piece of culvert is being used for larger wood planks. I'd love to sit inside it on a rainy day. I imagine the soothing sound of the rain playing on the metal.  (sigh) 

Another salvaged cupola awaits its final resting place.  I can't wait to see where they place this one.  I love the cow weather vane.

The view as we walked up toward the back of the outbuilding. Just look at that sunshine!

You've gotta love a weathered, red barn!

The back and side view of the barn and silo.

You may have seen a glimpse or two of my tour guide, Tux, in some of the above photos.  

I've never lived on a farm, but I'm certain that somewhere in the matter that makes up my being there is a farm girl.  A farm girl who loves to swing from the rafters of the barn.  Who finds the smell of manure and hay somewhat pleasing. Whose feet are either bare or in boots.  Who has dirt under her fingernails, smudged on her face, and swiped across the front of her apron. And who always prefers to drive the '49 Chevy truck.

My sincere appreciation to Carl and Ilene Sherlock for their hospitality and friendship and for allowing my inner farm girl to find home.
Thank you.

All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.


  1. Wow! What beautiful photographs. I always love to stop by & see what you're up to.

  2. You are a fabulous photographer!


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