Every year for the past three or four years, my family and I drive out to see my Aunt Janice. For the first two years, we piled in our mini-van and made the drive out to Arkansas, where my Aunt was living at the time. Then, last year was the first time our family drove to Missouri where my aunt had moved to, my brothers and I packed in my car, and my parents and sister in their car.
It's that time of year again, when we load our cars and head out east to Aunt Janice's house. We left at 7:45am, the sun just beginning to rise. I sat in the back seat, my camera on my lap, and the sun warming my face and chest. I watched brown trees and grass rush past me in a blur, catching details of the scenery as often as I could. I saw skeletal trees, and others fully clothed in yellow and brown leaves. I saw the familiar morning haze, covering the grass and hills in the distance. As soon as we crossed into Arkansas, the trees got taller and thinner, and there were definitely more of them. We saw farm houses, with cattle and fencing accompanying them. All while listening to Pearl Jam, U2, Kendrick Lamar, and older songs like September, Easy, and American Pie.
After an hour or so of driving, we were all getting hungry, so we stopped at Sonic. As we pulled in, we noticed the big field of what looked like tall yellow wheat. And Kirsten noticed the cows, munching lazily in the field. After we had gotten our food, Josh parked the car closer to the field, and we all got out. Kirsten and I got right next to the fence and began taking photos.
I did try taking photos with my Polaroid SX-70 camera, but sadly, the film got stuck inside the camera and I had to take it out myself. Even after that, the camera would not take another photo. :'(
We finally arrived at my Aunt's house, around 3 pm. My parents and younger sister were in the house, talking with my aunt. We were treated to some delicious coffee cheesecake that my Uncle Kenny made, and we began unloading all of our stuff.
Aunt Janice showed Kirsten around the homestead, introducing her to the goats and chickens. My siblings followed the two of them as went. I later joined Kirsten on her walk to see the neighbor's cows. Last year, I had walked to the fence by myself and took photos of the cows and one horse on the other side of the fence. I spent a good hour there, soaking up all of the cow's attention and freezing my fingers off.
This time, Kirsten and I took photos of the only cow who was willing to come near us, who we named Teddy. He stood at the fence, watching us, and let out the occasional "mmooOOOO".
The light was so gorgeous. Golden hour always treats the earth and it's inhabitants well, giving every animal a yellow and orange halo, the plants and weeds beads of light to adorn them like jewelry, and the people around you a hazy glow.
I took advantage of the remaining sunlight to take a couple portraits of Kirsten.
After we said goodbye to Teddy, we went back inside the house. Dinner was being prepared, and we were called back out to see the sunset, which did not disappoint. I did not get a chance to take photos of it with my digital camera because it was in the process of transferring photos onto my computer, but I did take an instant film photo. The jarring orange and deep grey clouds reminded me of Halloween. The sky was filled with orange, pink, and purple light. It reflected onto the house, the window screens, and my dad who was standing next to me.