Everything I ever needed to know I learned in the barnyard.

November 15, 2019  •  2 Comments

The weather gave us one fine day. Thank goodness for fall allowing us a break-in period before the s**tshow of the impending New England winter. It figures that my first blog to live on my photography website should have a curse word in first sentence. What do you have to say about that Google anyalitics?

As I was saying... while I still have the desire to embrace the great outdoors before a steady haze of Netflix settles into my subconscious for 6 months, I better get out and shoot. Since I last consistently wrote my blog nearly 5 years ago, I have been on a journey that sometimes feels like a kidney stone rumbling down a urethra. In my five trips around the sun since some of my last blogs I have weathered a lot of turbulence. Man-oh-man does this turbulence make it hard to get a good photo, even with a good anti-vibration lens, you barely want to bother hitting the shutter. Thankfully,  there's one good thing about turbulence; in most scenarios, it eventually calms and the plane lands safely. As I see it, every time I am lucky enough to pick up a camera, I'm flying again...throddling forward and looking down at a beautiful life. 

I have learned some since I last wrote, mostly from failure. As I continue to kick the can down the road, I can say I have a more robust life view, and frankly, if this road was a dirt one, I've learned to like the dusty plume that follows my tread. Today, I walked down a dirt path to a home that I have always admired. I came upon an idyllic place, and my heart immediately felt at ease as I came upon the barnyard.  On the wall of the pig pen, "Bronx" was roughly scribed into the wood. I looked down at the muddy dishevelment and thought about the accuracy in its name. Sometimes, it's little pieces of your past, that visually pop into your present, that makes your realize life is just one giant treadmill we're running on..
I felt like Norm, walking into the Cheers as all the barnyard creatures welcomed me. I met alpha goat, who looked wise like Confucious; a waddling duck who apparently waddles for x rated reasons, a sweetie pig, who rolled over like a dog to have her belly rubbed, and two donkeys who I immediately greeted in my best Shrek voice.  I couldn't help but just smile it all in as I sat in my dirt covered Hunter's. 

In this barnyard, there was a pecking order for sure, just ask the chickens. As I talked with the farm's keeper, the animals settled back into their routine, except for Confucious and the pig who seemed enjoy cuddling with me.

It became clear that despite the number of different species in this space, they lived very peacefully. Perhaps humans who tout such high intellect, could learn from this scene so similar to Charlottes Web. 

 So here are a few things I learned: Watch out for gossips. They just pretend to be friends. "Watch out for gossips, They just pretend to be your friends."

"There's a crazy cluck in every bunch. The sooner you embrace this cluck for the cluck he or she is, the happier you'll be."

"Be truly thankful for the people who care for you."

"Don't every let your self get caged in, it makes you boring and uninspired."

"The threshold of being neither in or out is a place we all dwell in whether we like it or not. Learn to accept this."

"Looking back too much can make you paranoid or over contemplative and likely make you walk into a wall."   

" The muffin top is real, no matter what the species." "How you walk tells your story."

"Duck face looks weird, across species lines. Give up on selphies"

"Look content, it makes you seem more approachable."

"Friends are you every strength."

"How you first posture yourself, make's a lasting impression."

" You can say that again." "You're going to knock heads...

.. ...but try to hug it out."

"There's strength in number's, based on a bunny's life view." "Don't chew with your mouth open."

As this goat was born with malformed horns.

"It's ok to be different."

"Pairings and love don't always follow a formula. Love is love." "Community is the best form of democracy."

"Never hide from reality, it will always catch up."

"Family is everything."


A very special thanks to Leaning Oak Farm for letting me play in the barnyard. It's a perfect little slice of rural living in our own back yard. They are quickly growing into a wonderful destination and CSA to enjoy. I'll share more information as they begin their new season. www.leaningoakfarms.com They have so many great things coming up in 2020!


ROBERT J ELLIS(non-registered)
Your first blog in a while is amazing, thank you. Your continuous growth makes me smile. Also, your website is first class.
Darlene Allen(non-registered)
Such a beautiful job Jenn. Your pictures are wonderful. I love the farm and the joy it brings to my family.
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