Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Amber Waves

The hills and valleys of Connecticut's northwest hill towns don't look like this. Descend into the valley east of Sharon and one is quickly in spaces more vast. Things rock and roll here to a different beat, more spread out. more expansive. As I walk the land, composing it in my mind, the hills often rearrange themselves more slowly, and I get fewer shots per gallon. After a long day of exploring the route 22 corridor between Amenia and the Massachusetts border, I had little to show.

The haze did not quite kill the strong sidelight of the late afternoon sun, and my eye was grabbed by the edgy texture of the foreground soy crop and its contrast with the tassels of the drying corn in the next field. I had gotten permission to shoot on this farm just south of Copake, NY, and the farmer told me his land stretched to the foot of the tall mountain that formed the valley's eastern wall. Soon he had sent me out along a farm road. It was on the way back that I came upon this fine filigree which one might imagine stretching endlessly in either direction, left or right, or mitered into a pretty picture frame. Can you tell we're getting closer to the mighty Hudson?