Riders on the Storm

I have been trying to keep this more or less chronological and still have some more to blog about Asheville and Greenville but I had the most amazing experience yesterday evening.

I drove the back road from Davidson to Mooresville during a thunderstorm.   I was listening to Jackson Browne sing ‘Your Bright Baby Blues’ with the windows down, the wind was blowing in my hair and the storm was raging all around me.  Heeding the call of the Open Road.  Driving in the UK is just not like it is over here – I wanted to keep driving forever, but I don’t know the roads around here, yet. . . . . . . . .
I stopped at a beautiful silvery white barn and farm buildings and spent about an hour photographing it against the back drop of the steel-grey storm-torn sky. 


I’d driven past it twice in the past week and finally got the courage to stop this evening and walk up to it.  From the road it looks like a fairly prospering dairy farm.  But when I got up close to the farm buildings, the trucks parked inside were stranded, rooms were strewn with forgotten debris and the paint was peeling away.  But that made it all even more beautiful and . . . . . . . . . . . . melancholy.  The cavernous barn was like an abandoned cathedral.  I wonder if it will be knocked down someday and a Wal-Mart put in its place.  The farmhouse looked in very good repair though, obviously inhabited and kept up. 
So, there I was, traipsing around this dicrepit barnyard, with my Fine Linen trousers rolled up to my knees and wet from driving in a rainstorm with the windows open, my calves were scratched from walking through the stubble field and my hair all crazy and windblown.  I’ll never be a Southern Belle. 

I have a confession to make Dear Readers . . I’m still a tomboy.  I try to cover it up by wearing some makeup, shaving my legs and even growing out my finger nails from time to time.  But sooner or later, I go camping or mountain biking or scrambling around a construction site and break my fingernails and scuff the paint off of my toenails and my cover is blown.  And I’m a Southerner – my mama was from Conway, North Carolina and my daddy was from Muscogee, Oklahoma and I was weaned on bacon fat.  HEY wouldn’t that be a great line to a song?  
Yep, even though I was born and raised in Los Angeles, I am a slightly misfit, quirky, Southern tomboy – in the fine tradition of Idabel (Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote), Frankie Adams (The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers) and Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee).

Anyhow, I took so many photos.  I was there until it was too dark to take any more.  The thunderstorm had moved about a mile away and was sitting there like a lowering grey toad, sending down bolts of streaked lightning.  The wind was blowing and the air was electric with ozone from the storm.  It was very exciting.  At one point an air raid siren started to wail and I thought ‘Hmmm, maybe its not such a good idea to be out here during a severe thunderstorm’ but I could not leave.   Anyhow there were plenty of lightning rods on top of the barn and I wasn’t wearing my silver bracelets.  I would love someday to learn how to photograph lightning.  Any tips from you all?


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