The Orchards

I was attracted by the generous nature of a group of apple and prune trees on a family farm in Yamhill County, Oregon — a place I return to again and again with my wife, my dog, and now, my young son. We walk the meandering paths, watch for osprey from the house's front porch, and visit with the beloved great grandfather, who has tended this land. I wondered: Is it possible to capture a sense of this place by focusing my lens on the trees?

In the last ten years, I've witnessed the gentle process of letting the orchards go. In a way, they are returning to the wild. They continue to be governed by the passing seasons, and the toll of each year can be felt. As the orchards lose attention and care, they've gained overwhelming blackberries, exploding sweet peas, burdened branches, blankets of lichen, and a measured chaos. All this, and they still give fruit.

— Daniel Ernesto Schmeichler