I seem to have been blessed, or cursed, depending upon how you look at it, with more than my share of creative energy. As a result, I've never been a big fan of television, preferring to spend my spare time reading, writing, cooking or crafting.
Rick, on the other hand, has no problem getting comfortable in his big, overstuffed swivel chair, and relaxing in front of the tube at the end of a busy day. In an effort to spend our leisure time together, we settle in the family room nightly for an hour or two, me with my laptop and Rick with his zapper. He channel surfs while I click away on my keyboard.
A few months ago, Rick landed on a program that peaked my interest as well as his, American Pickers. For an hour every Monday night, we follow the adventures of a pair of middle-aged, antique dealers as they scour the back roads and countryside in their utility van, looking for vintage items of interest. A modern-day Lauren and Hardy, the two climb through old barns, attics, and out-buildings, hoping to find something they can buy for a song, and sell for a fortune, proving that one man's junk is another man's treasure.
What intrigues me most about the American Pickers, is the pair's ability to see beyond the layers of filth and rust that would deter most people from ever even taking a second look. Typically, they'll pull an item out of a pile, brush it off, hold it up to the light, and scrutinize it to determine its potential value as an item of either beauty or utility. Other times, an item just pops, requiring no further study or rumination. At the end of each episode, the pickers return to their warehouse in Iowa, where they unload their treasure.
Years ago, while living in the Allegheny mountains, we used to frequent flea markets and antique fairs, looking for that special piece of vintage furniture or a quirky decorative item, that we could buy at a fraction of the price of its contemporary counterpart. Sadly, our pickin' days ended with the birth of our children, and the advent of our more suburban lifestyle. Now that I find myself back in the country with time on my hands, I'm back at it, but with a twist. Nowadays, I'm a photo picker!
I had a few hours to kill last Saturday, while waiting for my cousins to arrive at the cottage for a cozy girls' night in, so I grabbed my camera, climbed into the pick-up and headed on into the woods to do a little photo pickin'. Like the American Pickers of television fame, I too scour the back roads and countryside, looking for photographic treasure from within the woodland, pastures and hillsides of western Pennsylvania.
Most of my photos are somewhat quirky, and I'm sure they're of little interest to anyone but me. Some I spend time ruminating over, waiting for just the right light or cloud cover. Other subjects just pop! I'll pull the truck over, whip-out the camera and start clicking away.
Some shots require that I climb through a ditch, or up the side of an embankment, trudge through a cow pasture or slog through a marsh. To get just the right angle or distance, I'll go down on my knees, stand on a rock or tree stump, hang over the edge of a bridge or out the car window. Rick fears that one day I'll be mistaken for a poacher or worse, and end up with buckshot in my behind.
I'm probably gaining a reputation and some notoriety as the cooky woman that stares at cows, and chases goats, but I don't care. Cooky or not, when I return home at the end of a shoot, my camera loaded with fresh pickin's, I feel like the wealthiest woman in the world.
All photos courtesy of Mrs. Green Jeans, were taken in northwestern Pennsylvania - 2010