During my summer travels, I had occasion to drive through Iowa, whose fields are full of simple beauty. More
Beyond our vision, the fields of the Midwest are waking up. Farmers are getting ready for the growing season.
Time to put those long-laid plans into play. The equipment that has long lain idle will see some use . . .
on lands that have been cultivated for many, many years.
It’s a pleasure to see the dormant fields being tended again, to see the rectangles turn green with a careful geometry of seed imposed.
Every foot of the monotonous but fertile landscape has received careful study, the fields curving around favorite trees and troublesome gullies.
When the farmers’ work is done, there is respite to be found in the nearby forests and peaceful streams.
I imagine these sandbars are a good place to be.
A drive to Wisconsin yesterday gave me a chance to enjoy the tranquility of the country. The twilight was beautiful as it fell over this farm and its sleeping fields.
I was looking through my iPhoto albums this morning for inspiration and realized that on this day a couple of years ago I was traveling through the Cascade Mountains by train. The view out the window was absorbing, because, once beyond the bounds of a familiar region, everything was subtly different: the fields, the land, the towns, the buildings. Even this parking lot is different in subtle ways from what you would see in the Midwest. The sun-bleached patterns and shadows on the corrugated sides of the building are like something out of a painting by Hockney. And check out that red curb.
I wish I could have gotten a better picture of this pear house, which has an air of pride and mystery. I like the suggestion of battlements along the roof-line. If you tried to storm it, would you be pelted with a certain fruit?
My sister-in-law, a Seattleite who skis, spends a lot of time in towns like these. The train ran through places like Leavenworth and Wenatchee, open mountain towns folded, accordion-like, into the slopes.
I loved looking at the fruit orchards . . .
and the old farmsteads nestled up against the steep rise of evergreens.
My route home was dotted with many such scenes. I love the building types that are peculiar to the country. The silos, balloon-frame houses, old barns collapsing. Corn cribs now rare. A cluster of forms that spells work and home, all in one.
Click image to enlarge.