Friday I spent the day on a photo shoot in the Scoharie Valley. The cold came at me like I’d done it wrong, turning my fingers white and making my insides quiver. It was alarming to be so cold, but it also felt good. It was all consuming. There was no phone checking, no idle fretting, the cold made me purposeful and focused.

The animals made me believe again, even as I grappled with the idea of food and the way I love flank steak with hot-from-the-oven-tortillas and green tabasco. There are choices and consequences.

I returned to start. Land, people, and animals. Farm. Farmers. Innovation. Resilience. Respect.


The light repeatedly took my breath away.

The animals, from goats and lambs to cows and horses, were irresistibly curious about us.


I talked to each of them and, in doing so, I talked to myself in ways that I haven’t recently been able to.

Oh, and I laughed.


This guy, super stand offish when I’d talk to him, but as soon as I turned around curious snorting and nudging on my neck.


This was before I climbed into the pen. She gummed and gnawed on my boots for 5 minutes straight. When I joined her inside she buried her face in the front of my jacket.


And this gal, she grabbed on to my right back pocket with her bottom teeth and wouldn’t let go. I didn’t mind.

Turns out that letting someone else, in this case farm animals, set the tone can be a really restorative gift.