the blackbirds


Decades ago, my grandfather planted cane around the houses to provide privacy from the open cotton fields.  The canebrake, dense and as tall as the magnolia trees, is where the blackbirds roost.  Every winter they arrive by the thousands, and their droppings soon coat the yard and the trees. I’ve tried to describe to friends what this experience (the odor, the noise) is like, but it is pretty unimaginable.  

During the winter of 2001, my brother, Steele, and I both returned home to live on the farm (He stayed. I left.) During that first winter, he tried to frighten them away with shotgun blasts and air canons.  Nothing worked, and now, the birds have become an inevitable part of our holiday experience.  

This was shot a few weeks ago in the field behind my brother’s house. 



2 Responses to “the blackbirds”

  1. 1 Charles L.

    What a powerful, evocative photograph. I grew up in cotton lands like these, and the photograph brings back strong, good memories

  1. 1 Collective memory « In Medias Res

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