No turnaround.

And then there were the days when she simply decided to leave town altogether.

Yesterday, I realized that I would be driving for two hours today in any case--and that by adding only two more, I could be in Indiana with my parents and the deaf dog by mid-afternoon. And so it is that I am in

with a deaf dog asleep at my feet. (No. I'm not in the van. Don't be so literal.)

This morning, heading down my favorite road out of Knox County--some way before my favorite sign, reading "NO TURNAROUND," at the mouth of a driveway, always making me wonder what sorts of trouble the house's owners have had with people joyriding into their driveway--I saw my first calves of the season--four black wobblinesses being nosed about by a red adult. Trees are starting to bud in mid-Ohio (though we woke to snow this morning), but here they're in full force. Along the way--both before and after my morning coffee with my flaming-sworded friend, and a stop to have my appearance neatened a bit--I saw barns and the heartstopping symmetry of fencerow oaks. And so, so very many goats, with long floppy ears. In one field, goats roamed everywhere, eating everything. In another field, five chickens pecked their ways away from the nearest barn.

At the Art Institute of Chicago, there's a Georgia O'Keeffe painting called "Sky Above Clouds IV" (1965). It's the largest painting she ever did and hangs in a huge, open stairway in the museum. Throughout today's drive, the sky reminded me of that painting. I couldn't photograph it, couldn't try to get the brilliance of white barn on blue; I'm getting pickier about my framing, and perhaps (given my run of bad luck with the car lately) smarter about my car safety. I wanted to be able to set up shots of the things I was passing; they all, so many, pass so fast that I can barely register them at all.

The trees in front of my parents' house are breaking into bud. "Be sure to get up close and get pictures of the pear tree's blossoms," my mother said as I grabbed the camera and left the house in the early evening light. I oblige when I can: though the pear isn't quite in blossom, the maple beside it is. We won't have buds and blossoms like these for at least a couple of weeks yet.

Yes, it is true that I am hooked on narrow focus. Perhaps tomorrow I'll force myself to stop down to a smaller aperture and let more things come into focus in my frames. But I do love the feel of focus against blur.