A ruffed grouse ascends to the canopy of a young aspen grove. The bird’s wings make a deep, resonant sound like a door slamming somewhere distant. Long stems of wild grasses emerge under the protection of saplings. There are no shrubs on this small rise, perhaps the deer grazed here too often. Last year’s leaves cover the ground, waiting for the hawthorns and ironwood to send forth new growth.
My shadow passes over a deer skeleton. Next spring I won’t find it again.
A BFA graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Rachel Mackow is a photographer and historian whose work traces the life in rural and urban landscapes. She works with a variety of traditional photographic processes including gelatin silver prints, photograms, and hand-tinting with dyes. Her photographs have been shown at the National Library in Havana, the Queens Museum, and the Kelly Writer’s House at the University of Pennsylvania. Her hand-tinted photographs were published in Harper’s magazine earlier this year. Her current project, “The Sourland Mountain”, is a portrait of the environment in which she lives and works: a second growth forest in Central New Jersey. This work was exhibited at St. Peter’s Church in midtown-Manhattan’s CitiGroup Center.