•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Old Farm Road #2


This shot was taken a few hundred yards down the old farm road from the yesterday's TODAY'S. A bit of the clover can still be seen sprouting from the ridge between the ruts of the road. The farmstead to the right is the main farmstead described in that previous posting. Still no sign of bees.

Throughout New England farmland is vanishing. As fields are no longer cultivated or minimally cultivated to preserve tax benefits the beauty of the landscape changes. When the farms are finally sold, the fields sprout rows of houses instead of corn or beans, and something of our connection to the land vanishes with the farmland. Then we no longer think of the problem of the bees. It may also be that something more essential is lost when we can no longer stand in places such as this and look out across the ranges of hills.

For the past year as I've hiked and shot images I've been striving to capture the rock and roll of the hills as they tumble around me. For me, to feel the tilt of the land in this way is to feel connected to something timeless and vast. Fortunately, where I live there are still numerous places where I can feel that rush. As I drive elsewhere I'm increasingly aware of how fast such places have vanished from most of Connecticut. When I moved here in 1974 interstate 84 was still lined in places with fields of tobacco and rows of long tobacco barns. Today those fields and barns have been demolished; none remain. In their place stand strip malls, warehouses, and shopping plazas.

Fortunately, all the land in this picture and the previous two have been preserved for future generations. Elsewhere, I try to capture pictures before it is too late.