Lulu drags a wicker chair over the rough wood of the porch so that she is sitting next to the old woman. She pulls out a folder of black-and-white photographs. Ballard leans against the porch railing, eyes scanning down the wash along the side of Athena’s property. Sees some dogs scurrying through the brush.

—There are ghosts in these pictures, Miss Athena. In those days, to make a picture, you had to leave the lens open for a long time. That created … anomalies. People who moved into or out of the frame during the exposure time often left behind ghost images of themselves. You can see some of those in these flood photos.