Sometimes our appreciation of a picture is enhanced when we learn the story behind it: how it was photographed, or the larger context in which it took place. A series of pictures, whether seconds or seaons apart, gives us more story than a single image. Gay enjoyed creating photo series and she worked hard to get them right — so that the view of a tree in all 4 seasons feels like a continuous action. A photo series implies action which enhances interest and gives viewers a greater sense of connection with the characters and events thereby creating a more memorable visual image. In "Stories" we share Gay's journals with Sharon's editorial tongue in cheek commentary. We practice our voices, weaving a narrative thread and then trying another as we explore our lives -- finding what we want to say and what we must express. We welcome comments and we hope you will enjoy this experiment of images and text.
Barnswallows - Reflections on Parenting
Written jointly by Gay McDonnell Bumgarner (March 1983 outside Columbia MO on north Highway 63) and Sharon McDonnell (January 2011 cold New England Barn).
In a cold barn the photographer sits the dark, practicing quiet while also trying to stay warm and waiting to see something - anything - some kind of action besides the top of a black head high up in nest on the barn rafter. This action or change occurs in brief surprises in- between very long periods of no action
Barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, have thrived with the human race. They once lived in caves but now there are barns and porches increasing in number. For some days the photographer has watched from a loft as the nest was recycled. It was cleaned and lined with new mud and some of the mother birds own feathers. Then eggs were laid, one each day and, glory be! none of the awful predators came.
Each day the watcher/waiter/photographer climbs into her place - and the two females sit in a cold barn, one on eggs and the other in hay,watching, dreaming, and incubating. The one on the nest has come to accept / tolerate the the other.
Please share your thoughts with us. We value your responses to the story, your questions and your comments.