22 September

Photo Journal, Thursday, September 22: After A Dark And Gloomy Storm, Light And Color. Tonight, The Cold

by Jon Katz

It rained all day yesterday and all night and into the morning. It’s going to get cold tonight for the first time since June – wind chill of the mid-30s. We’ll bring some plants in, but I think the flowers will be okay; there is no prediction of a deep frost.

Just after 1 p.m., the skies began to open up, the sun came out, and color and light flooded the farm. The day turned beautiful. Lulu came out to try and hustle a treat out of me. It worked, of course.

I saw my surgical podiatrist this morning, and my foot is fine.

One of my favorite things is to take  Zinnia out into the pasture while the sheep and donkeys are grazing. The clouds were gorgeous and forbidding.

The sheep and donkeys pay no mind to Zinnia, even if a ball bounces off one of them or lands right in front of them. Zinnia maneuvers around them. We do the ball tossing until her tongue hangs out; she’s a water and winter dog, not a summer dog.

She never seems to notice the cold or the rain.


(The Marigolds are just coming up now, and I’m exploring different ways to photograph them. They will be fun, as they were today, a mother and baby photo)

On the way home from Saratoga, II came across an astonishing Parisian cafe stand right in the middle of Greenwich, the farming capital of our country. I’ve seen it before but wasn’t sure what it was.

A Parisian Cafe here in Washington County? Could this be for real?

I stopped, met the very wonder full retired couple to start it earlier this year, and bought some fantastic food. They are very much for real, gourmet French food in the middle of farm country.

Maria and I are going back at lunchtime tomorrow for some crepes, and I’ll write about this beautiful and creative couple behind the new and startling cafe later this evening. They are just the loveliest people.



This cornfield has become my favorite landscape place, and the angry storm clouds left dramatically and forcefully. But they did go.

In this journal, I wanted to capture the feeling of opening up as the farm returned to life after some gloomy days. It was beautiful to see, and I want to share the beauty.

I love my photography; it has helped me see the world in a new and different way and capture things I didn’t always have words for. Thanks for all of your generous support for that work. I’m just getting started.



The donkeys wanted some attention after the storm; heavy rain rattled them. They got some attention from Maria. She cuddled with Lulu for a while. They talked to one another.

I threw the ball for Zinnia; Fate got out to run around the sheep; Maria took a walk in the woods and finished her excellent Heron hanging piece.


The White Hen, the leader of the Imperious Chickens, took advantage of the sunshine to hop back up on the fiber chair when Minnie took refuge in the barn. She was making a stand, and Minnie wasn’t back on the porch after the rain.

She has an excellent idea for a new quilt, but she can tell you about that herself.

She thinks it will jink her if she talks about her work before it does, and I respect that, not that I have a choice.

Tomorrow it will finally feel like fall; our hay is coming in the next week or so, and some straw for the Mansion fall display. Because of all the rain, the grass is still green, and we might be grazing into late October.


The grazing usually ends after the first deep frost; the animals miss the grass very much.

Since climate change, the day the hay comes out gets a bit later every year. Some farmers wait until Thanksgiving. I’m not that tough.

We went into town to buy some red wine, and the beautiful beef cows on a nearby farm were all out living the life of cows, feeding their babies. It was a lovely cap to the afternoon.

These cows are slaughtered for meat when they get heavy, but they have beautiful and natural lives until them. So many cows lead awful lives on factory farms now; they never leave concrete, they never eat grass or sit in the sun, chewing their cuds.



I enjoyed putting this album together today; I felt alive and grateful for my life and my love of Maria. We’ve been riding around together for over a decade now, and it always feels like the first time, full of excitement, thoughts, and love.

We belong together; we don’t think much about why anymore.

Every day, I give thanks for my life.


  1. What an AWESOME photo album – combining the animals, the flowers, the beautiful landscapes, and Maria all in one album. Your photos just get better and better! I love the donkey pictures. Am invited to visit a farm nearby in October and will get to see/pet my first REAL donkey – what a treat at 81 – can hardly wait. Accepted the invitation only because of getting to know Fannie and LuLu from your pictures.

  2. Perhaps the White Hen, the leader of the imperious chickens would like to hear the old song “Leader of the Pack.”

  3. Jon thank you for your beautiful photos. It’s a lovely way to start the day. I appreciate your photo journalism and your positive attitude about life.

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