Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
order now for delivery by Sept. 2015

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wine


I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Wallace Stevens

Here is yet another shot from the ridge above Hill Farm. For the past three years I've been looking toward this ridge through my long lens from one range of hills farther west (behind me), wondering what it would be like to stand here. Yes, I'm trying to take life one hill at a time. I've now explored many of Hill Farm's byways and walked the full circuit half a dozen times.

It's worth the tick threat to finally cross the ridge and descend into the hidden valley and abundant grasslands ahead. The loop I follow descends beside the trees on the right to more grasslands deep in the valley, then across and back along the river to the lower farmstead shown in an earlier image. Finally, I climb the main farm road to the upper farmstead (previous image) and follow the town road back to my car, just on the other side of the ridge. This trip with 35 pounds of camera gear is good for my calves, gentle on my knees, and it revitalizes both heart and soul.

Is it strictly antiquarian to wish that there were cows in those fields? Undoubtedly, and the future for Hill Farm is exciting. The posts set on the other side of the wall are waiting for the planting of hundreds of grape vines later this summer. On two other hillsides vinyards are already leafing, and in a few years wine will be flowing, and I'm looking forward to shooting as the valleys turn from from milk to wine.

Finally, you may have noticed the cairn. Was there a battle fought here? Did George Washington stop here on his way through town? Does anyone even remember why it was built just here?