Thanks to Amy for this week’s challenge. Last week’s actually – MB comes to it a little late!
The below shot isn’t anything to write home about MB guesses. It would never win any photo prizes. It isn’t nearly as spectacular as the many landscape shots that others have submitted for the challenge, if one cares to click and look.
The metadata tells MB that he took the shot at 3.35pm on 20 December 2018. When he was back home for Christmas. It’s a shot of a small field, with some trees and bushes that are throwing long shadows across the grass from the low-lying winter sun. A jet plane rises from the horizon. The sky is blue with an abundance of clouds. In the distance, one can see a farmstead.
But for MB the photo memory-rush of 50+ years. It’s the farm where MB grew up with his parents and siblings, and where he worked outside of school hours and during school holidays. Milking cows, looking after beef cattle, vegetable gardening (which he hated), saving hay in the summer, assisting cows to deliver their calves by hand (and a piece of rope!) in the spring, penicillin injections, castration of young bulls, training greyhound dogs, a farm guesthouse run by MB’s mom for 40 years or so, meeting people from around the world who stayed on the farm, and lots of other great stuff. A great childhood and young adulthood.
The field in the photo is called the ‘House Paddock’, lying as it is next to the farmhouse and farm sheds and haybarn. All the fields had names, for convenience sake. ‘The Abbey’ had the ruins of an old stone Abbey on it, many hundreds of years old. ‘The Orchard’ was a large field close to the apple & berry orchard next to the dwelling-house. ‘The Six Acres’ was so called because of its area. ‘The Middle Field’ was smack bang in the middle of the farm. And so on and so on.
It’s especially poignant now for MB as he again looks at the shot. Memories of MB’s dad come flooding back. He passed away last year, in mid-March, a few months shy of 96 years, just two days before St Patrick’s Day, the Irish national holiday. MB will head home shortly for the anniversary.