•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Meadowing


Those of us in the northeast who have lawns know that in spring and fall it can be impossible to keep up with mowing. Farmers who grow hay have a different perspective on this phenomenon. Not so long ago I described Straight Farmstead as sitting astride one of the gentle hills within Kent Hollow. Suddenly the fields above and below the farmstead have filled with tall grasses. Last summer I spent much of my time in the meadows of Macricostas, shooting into the sun at dawn and dusk when the strong golden beams make the meadow fibers dance. I find myself again drawn to those strong textures.

I debated a long time before posting this photo because of it's odd lighting. At this season of the year the southern face of the main barn at Straight Farm only gets midday sun. At sunset the sun glances past this corner pouring beautiful light on the end face of the barn, just beyond the left side of the image. When the meadow grasses are dancing this most expressive southern face has a deathly grimace and the contrast of ancient barn and buzzing meadow is most acute. Whether that is caught here, I'm still uncertain. Perhaps the contrast is too great as the grass seems almost a cutout pasted on the surfacve. Or maybe that is the idea - the two worlds of life and death which never meet.

In spite of appearances, this is one of the most stable barns I've shot. A new roof and reinforcing structure have preserved it just in time. I returned the window frames (found lying inside) to their sockets a few weeks back, my way of celebrating that this barn still serves farming. The hay that will be mowed in these fields will be roll-bailed and stored in this barn.