Emily Dickinson wrote that all it takes to make a prairie is "one clover, and a bee. / And revery." It turns out that to know a prairie (or meadow) is a bit more complicated, as photographer Barbara Bosworth and writer Margot Anne Kelley have discovered. For more than a decade, Bosworth and Kelley have meandered in, studied and photographed a single meadow in Carlisle, Massachusetts. In addition to their own investigations, they have invited botanists, entomologists, naturalists and historians to consider the meadow with them. Also included are historic maps of the property dating to the 1800s, and a transcription of notes from a former owner whose family has continuously documented plant and bird life in the meadow from 1931 until the 1960s. Part photo-essay, part journal and part scientific study, this book is a meditation on the shifting perspective that occurs when one repeatedly sees the same place through new eyes.
Over the last 20 years, renowned Boston artist Barbara Bosworth (born 1953) has taken photographs of her family in and around her childhood home in Novelty, Ohio, and at other locations of significance to her family. Natural Histories takes us on a meandering journey through the forests and streams of Bosworth’s past in the Chagrin River Valley, as she retraces her youthful walks to reengage the sense of wonder at the landscape her father first instilled in her. These lush black-and-white photographs reveal a place Bosworth knows well: a place in which to dig up arrowheads, pluck clusters of blackberries, catch fireflies and savor the textures of nature. Featuring the youngest as well as the oldest members of Bosworth’s family, these touching images explore the joy of youth and the wistfulness of aging, memory and the passage of time.