had a terrible ice storm this past weekend, a coating of ice almost an inch
thick over grass, trees, cars, and anything else exposed to the weather.
Tree limbs and power lines fell, cars got stuck on the ice, animals
who live outside suffered.
The people who planted these dozens of sunflowers last
spring did so with the intention of feeding birds this winter. It worked.
Seeds from the dried flower heads dropped to the ground, and snow beneath
the sunflowers was covered with tracks of little bird feet. If birds
have the capacity to be grateful, then they probably were.
is the most expensive picture I've ever shot. After photographing the
sunflowers, I was backing out of the driveway and my truck got stuck on the
ice. The homeowner, the man who planted the sunflowers for the birds,
offered to pull me out with his four-wheel-drive truck. His truck got
stuck, too. I had to call for a tow truck to get us both out.
While we were waiting for the tow truck, I was invited
inside the house and met the man's family. The ice storm had knocked
out their electricity two days earlier, and they were having their supper
by candlelight. Their house was dark, but a woodstove kept it warm
enough. They offered me something to eat and drink. Someone
got up from the table and offered me her chair. We sat and talked about
the ice storm, and about the old days before electricity, how hard it must
have been, how dark it must have been on a winter night like this one.
The tow truck arrived and pulled out both our trucks.
Paying the driver for the tows was my responsibility, my having set
in motion the entire calamity.
Was this picture worth the $120 it cost me? I really
can't say. Some things are hard to figure.