We've entered deep fall here; the first thick snowflakes fell on us on our way home from town this evening. Lately we've been noitcing our neighbors barns and haylofts fill with winter feed. So far we have just a few animals and no need for a full barn of hay, but we feel that same urge to secure our resources, shelter in, and tighten things up for winter. Today's image was made in this same gathering-in time of year, a while ago. Noah's story of finding and photographing the barn along the Blackfoot River:
Haybarns get full. They become emptied easily. The couple that maintain this barn keeps patching one board on top of another; solidifying the structure between cycles of filling and emptying. They think it is the most ugly structure on the river; especially because early hay often means no alfalfa. I had to wait almost a damn year to take this photograph. I was waiting for the couple. The growing season. The light. The seasons helped with the weathering and the building. They taught patience. When everything was right, I clambered over the barb wire with my husky sneezing from the invasive knapweed. She chews knapweed, like a cow, and sneezes a lot from all the chewing. I pivoted on the fence. Horses shyly charged and retreated. Hearing the river, I remembered a wolf I saw loping along the Blackfoot one winter evening when the snow reached the car doors. Wind carried radio static from the dusty Subaru. More hay traveled down the road, probably towards Missoula. Logs moved down the mountain to get ahead of the fires. I didn't think anyone saw me, but in one of the passing trucks, there was one hand that passed, hanging in the air. The sky changed color. The light began changing. I tripped the shutter; I hung on to the fence; I wiped something out of my eye from the buildup of all these seasons and brushed the ground.