Saturday, January 26, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Here are some semi recent photographs which continue my on-going project made in Overland Park. I have well over 200 images in this series now which have all been made over the last couple of years. Regular followers of this blog will know that many images from this project have been posted here over this time and is on the whole largely still unedited. It has been a series which I have felt my way through more than anything else and it has at times acted like a sort of diary from home. Sometimes I have responded closely to the original brief I gave myself and at other times it has been something of an experiment and a place to exercise creativity and explore larger idea's about America. It has also been a way for me to align myself psychically with place. This year I intend to begin tightening up this project and start working in a more methodical way. I want to study local maps more closely, photograph the city boundary's, make more portraits and filling in the gaps of my exploration and then begin to edit it with a view to bringing this project to some kind of conclusion. This will not be easy, but giving myself these guidelines and discipline is important at this time.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Mockville Guest Ranch is located near the town of Mercer in the wild and beautiful countryside of northwest Missouri. Glen and Connie Mock, the owners and our generous hosts run this working ranch year round in all weather and also maintain it's six secluded log cabins of various sizes, all of which are hidden in small clearings in the surrounding woodlands. These charming cabins are basic, clean and comfortable, yet equipped with excellent amenity's and available to privately rent for weekends away or longer. It's a truly beautiful place and it was where my wife and I decided to spend our 4th wedding anniversary in April last year.
Though located within only ten miles from local towns and the old Amish settlement of Jamsesport, the feeling I got when entering the ranch was a strangely surreal one and was very much like taking a step back in time and I found the stress, pressure and pace of modern life fall away soon after my arrival. Time became itself, present, vast and still and accompanied only by the sounds of running creeks, bird calls and lazy insects. When we arrived, after driving for some time without any GPS signal on narrow winding roads with handwritten directions, we were finally met by Glen, who was standing on the porch of his ranch-house waiting for us, with dog at his side and dressed authentically like an old time Settler or Sheriff, complete with waist-coat, pocket watch and fob, collarless shirt, dusty hat and muddy boots and sporting a long white handlebar mustache. This was no costume either, but his preferred year around daily attire, all hand made by his wife Connie. After a warm welcome we were invited into their beautiful home which was constructed by themselves, and led directly into his saloon-like bar for a beer where we got to know each other and later kindly shown his beautiful collection of hand crafted knives which were made by Glen himself and just one of his many hobbies.
Throughout our stay Glen and Connie were generous and accommodating and supplied us with fresh egg's and venison steaks. And, as we were the only one's staying at the cabins at that time, we were taken out riding for several hours on some of the 10 miles of trails which wind through timber, beside seasonal creeks, steep trails with great views along the Weldon River and across open fields.
This is the note I left in the guestbook:
What a wonderful trip. Where one of my childhood dreams of America came true. To ride with an old time Sheriff and cowboy in a beautiful and remote country. Through woodlands, along streams, stopping to pick mushrooms and followed by unsaddled horses and led by a dog. Like travelling back through time to a more pure and simple place. What a gift this was, thank you.
The cabin is beautiful and a joy to spend time in. On our first evening we were joined by a lovely long-haired smoky Cat - hungry and affectionate, which slept on the porch every night.
I love the silence and stillness of this place; the clear skies filled with stars and the strange noises coming from the darkness of the woods at night. So nice to let go, feel peace, find space and surrender. Thank you for your warm welcome and generosity throughout our stay. What wonderful memories we have made. The perfect location for our 4th anniversary.