As a wildlife photographer, I’m always on the lookout for classic rural scenes that capture the spirit of Arkansas. Driving along Southside Road near Oden the other day, I spotted just such an opportunity – a weathered wooden barn with a donkey standing right by the entrance. I’ve photographed this dilapidated barn many times before, appreciating its rustic charm and timeworn character. But this was the first time I’d seen the resident donkey so perfectly placed.

Old Weathered Barn With a Donkey

Old Weathered Barn With a Donkey

I quickly pulled my pickup truck over and grabbed my camera. The donkey glanced my way briefly but didn’t seem too bothered by my presence. He just stood there, barely moving, as if waiting patiently to be photographed. The early afternoon light was perfect, casting a warm glow over the barn and donkey. I snapped several shots, adjusting my angle and aperture to get the composition just right.

In the end, I was able to capture an iconic Arkansas image – the classic rural barn juxtaposed with the humble donkey. The animal adds a living element to the scene, giving it personality and narrative. You can almost imagine the donkey as a loyal farmhand, standing watch over the old barn where he sleeps. For me, images like this truly epitomize the character and heritage of rural Arkansas. Moments like these are what keep me scouring back-roads as a wildlife photographer. There’s always a new iconic scene to capture if you know where to look.

Steve Creek

Image Information:

  • Date: 11/9/20
  • Time: 3:01 PM
  • Camera: Fuji XT-3
  • Lens: Canon 100-400 mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Aperture: 7.1
  • Shutter: 1/210
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Lens (mm): 100
  • Program: Aperture Priority

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