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The Little House


Little House

 When I am out on the road to do photography, I generally travel alone, my camera gear on the passenger seat beside me. I will often drive somewhat aimlessly, looking for roads and lanes I have never before traveled.

  Because of this, I tend to keep a GPS available in case I get lost. The coordinates for home base, wherever I am, are programmed in so that I can plot a reasonable course at the end of the drive.

    I love to come upon a scene that compels me to at least stop, and consider whether it should be added to the files on my memory card. Obviously, in the digital world, there is little to be lost by shooting a few frames. But one hopes to have developed enough judgment to decide just what will work, and what won’t, and avoid photographing the latter.

   I spend a lot of time on backroads. On a Sunday morning in early April in Pennsylvania, I took a drive in the hope of capturing some early spring images.

   I encountered this little house, on a winding lane east of Berwick, on a country lane that first climbed out of the river valley through a lovely, remote, hemlock ravine, and then opened up on a plateau over the Susquehanna River. I pulled over, and turned off the ignition, to avoid letting the engine’s vibrations blur the shot.

   I rolled down the driver’s side window, braced the camera on the door top, and shot several frames.

    I have no wish to intrude on people’s privacy, but I was drawn to this house, and especially its outgoing motif. I wish I had encountered the owner, but from their display, I feel I understand the personality of the occupants.

   Obviously they are religious. From their devotion to the Blessed Mother, they are likely Roman Catholic. Probably they’re a little serious and devout. Maybe they were at Mass when I shot this image.

   On the other hand, it had been cold, with snow on the ground until several weeks before this was shot. The fresh tablecloth, the flowers in the vase, and the grill at the ready suggest a desire to embrace the joy of early spring sun.

    We have a tendency to admire stylish, stately, homes, professionally decorated to a fair-thee-well, and thus devoid of character.

   I like this little cottage, and I think I would like the owner.