My father and I were out ‘Fertle Barging’ recently, which is a great Barrett tradition. What is Fertle Barging I hear you ask?! It is a phrase that my father coined some years ago that pretty much covers a multitude of mischiefs. In essence it means being out in the countryside or urban spaces looking for and collecting things of interest that people and/or nature have left behind. For instance, last week, while out Fertle Barging, my father found some owl pellets in a woodland. He took them home and together with my daughter they dissected the pellets in order to see what the owl had been eating. My daughter was absolutely fascinated by this. They found a load of bones, fur and a very fine tooth during their explorations. It was a lucrative Fertle Barging session, certainly regarding the discovery of such earthly delights and fascinations.
On the very same day my father picked up a dandelion clock and asked me to take his photo while he blew the seeds away. This is the resulting photograph. Never a dull moment in the Barrett family I can tell you.
I took a few shots actually. I didn’t think that I had got one that I liked, but this one has kind of grown on me. In fact on a personal level it speaks quite a lot about how much fun it is to be around my father and certainly represents the type of character that he is.
My father is the soul reason why I have such a passion for nature and the great outdoors. Since I can remember he has always shown and taught me about the earth. Right from being a young boy I have fond memories of him discussing wild animals and bird species with me, being enthusiastic about the fascinating things that live under rocks and talking passionately about gardening and the nurturing of plant life. When I was young we were always out and about in the countryside on some huge walk or mission of some sort. He has always talked fervently about the wonders that can be found in life such as the changing of the seasons and the profound beauty that the earth has to offer and in its wealth of diversity. Over the years I have built upon this shared knowledge and find myself now doing the very same thing with my daughter. I often smile to myself when I hear my father’s voice in my own when talking about the things that are in the world with my little girl.
It’s fabulous the see my father doing at all again too, but this time with his grand daughter. It fills me with a huge amount of joy and pride.
© Mike Barrett Photography 2019 – All Rights Reserved
Pater and the Taraxacum Officinale