Friday, November 25, 2011


After a week of rain and gloom, the sun finally
broke through late in the afternoon. Although we weren't that far 
outside town, it was a pleasure to look across the fields, 
to see an expanse of space where pale winter light reflected off
the trees and farm buildings in the distance.
At the back of the house, a low wood fence edged 
a creek where the water ran cold into the woods. 

They are endangered scenes, threatened by the 
encroaching city, pushing against my back with words like 
"development" and "suburban living," eating the open land.
Two hundred years ago, the place where I stood was a forest
before it became a farm. Now the open space felt like 
it was an island, with an ocean of concrete and asphalt
swirling around, constituting another "threat to the peace."

Grand niece Savannah watches as her Aunt Fran, on the left,
and Grandma Rita prepare chicken and noodles. 
It was a nice Thanksgiving, spent in the company of 
my brother and his family, a total of eleven adults 
and seven children under age four. Frankly, the table was
much too laden with food; it didn't interest the babies and
was more than the adults could manage. A turkey had been 
sacrificed for the occasion, as had a ham (somewhere 
a three-legged pig was missing one of his hips).
Mr. Turkey shoulda known better when the men 
in white coats came after him with that box
of red pop-up thermometers, one just for him.


dive said...

Moss, lichen and autumn leaves. Beautiful, muted and restful colours, Speedway. That fence sure has character.
Great composition, too.

The wide open landscape looks idyllic. What a shame that it is threatened by sprawl. One thing struck me looking at it: America doesn't seem to do hedges. Over here, fields are small (the legacy of feudalism) and hedged in with thick rows of hawthorn, holly and field maple, which not only stops soil erosion by the wind but also provides a haven for wildlife. It seems odd to an Englishman to see all that space without a single hedge.

I'm glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving (even if there was too much food). Family fun in the kitchen is such a good thing; little Savannah looks like she's learning.

Speedway said...

Thank you, Dive. I hope your winter soup was good, a warming meal on your Friday Eve celebration.

I'm not sure what the tumble-down fence is meant for, other than to define the space, as it runs off at a diagonal into the woods. All that lichen and moss seems fairly recent, as I remember it when it was merely blackened/weathered.
As for windbreaks, we do have them, but I think they may take a different form. When I went to Des Moines with Carl we'd cross half of Iowa which is nothing but a HUGE expanse of farmland. I-80 is bordered by long plantings of bushes and trees, meant primarily as natural snow barriers, to prevent the snows from burying the highway in their drifts. I have pictures I've taken of the farmlands which I'll have to dig out for you as it makes the fields in this picture look puny.

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