Yesterday the sky was facinating; blue sky filled with huge black, white, navy and grey clouds. I thought about those yellow soybean fields I’d seen on my drive home from our latest camping adventure. I thought about housework that needed to be done.
I thought about it for approximately 2.4 seconds.
And then I picked up my camera, wrote a note to my husband and hit the road with no particular destination in mind. Well. I did think I might head right back toward the campground, but that was three hours away, and the clouds were moving fast. I was worried I’d miss the dramatic sky if I stuck to the freeway and drove for that long.
So at my first opportunity I exited and began to wander those back country roads. It was a part of the state I’ve explored like this before, and I always figure I’ll end up with the same images over and over, but I never end up in exactly the same place.
I guess that’s the benefit of miles and miles of farmland and the big open spaces that I love.
Good thing the car tells you which direction you’re going, because some of the time I could have sworn I was going east when I was going north. I’ve learned a long time ago to trust technology, but even so eventually I wasn’t sure where I was.
I ended up in a town with houses like this…
Pretty. I stopped to check my map (yes paper maps are still useful!) and to walk around a little. Then back on the road.
I was looking for that elusive soybean field. But instead of bright yellow I kept seeing acres of brown. The plants were about shin high, totally brown and I couldn’t tell what they were.
When I had a safe place to stop and look more closely I pulled over.
I still don’t know what they are. Are they soy beans that have totally dried? Or something else? Does anyone know? I should ask my family. They live on farmland and will surely know what this is.
Besides soybeans I was chasing the sun. I’d be driving along and the sun would pop out, striking the side of a barn off in the distance. It would be stunning, surrounded as it was with the dark stormy sky.
By the time I’d find a safe place to stop and get out of the car the sun had moved on. The clouds would shift, moving from their perfect placement, and though still pretty, the shot wouldn’t be as stunning as what I originally saw. The image that caused me to stop would have to remain only in my memory.
I guess it’s kind of like trying to get that perfect shot of a baby playing, or a dog being cute. It takes some planning and a whole lot of luck.
Eventually I just stopped trying to catch that perfect moment, and enjoyed them as I saw them, driving cris cross along the country roads. I wished I had some sort of tracker on the car so I could see, later, what my route looked like.
It would have been crazy. I turned around regularly to go back to a barn or a field. Sometimes just because. I know I went around several country blocks and at least once I wondered if I was driving on a road I had explored just minutes before.
Eventually I crossed a major road and checked the map again. I was all the way up toward Saginaw. It was getting late, so I wandered over to the freeway and headed home.
Did I ever find that red barn sitting in a soybean field? Well…
…yes, yes I did. It was just a little field and a little barn, but it was pretty. I’ve found other more stunning examples in other years, and I’ll probably go out once again this year to try again, but I was happy to find this one.
And just look at all the other neat stuff I found while I was searching!