Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cornrows on Rabbit Hill


Walking farmlands and meadows one sees how the land lies and chooses a path freely and fully knowing the roll of the earth between here and there. Doing so I have become more convinced than ever that I'm walking the back of a vast beast. This knowledge is less evident to forest goers who follow the beaten trail or the river. From this cornfield I can see vast distances to my left and right. Once, when travel was slower and more toplands were cultivated, such long views were easier to find, and travelers and farmers who looked daily across the hills knew their names.

Those arcane names can still be found on old the maps and Nat'l Geologic Survey topos. There's a name for almost every moderate sized hump around here. Most are forgotten. It was years before I realized I lived in the valley between Mt. Tom and Mt. Rat, but a hundred years ago such names were the way one knew where one was. I know of Rabbit Hill because Rabbit Hill Road leads to this hilltop. It must be Rabbit Hill. Back when, they named the road so everyone would understand, "Go here, and you'll get to the top of that Rabbit Hill you saw from the last hillock. Trails are insidious, and I'm certain our ancestors were quickly seduced, but I wonder how their more spatial understanding of the great beast we ride affected how they felt about her?


Abutment
Small steps, like the march of the corn stalks make a matrix of earth's roundness
from her sunny fullness to her boggy hollows.
In the forest one follows the old trail or the river's path.
In the meadow, one walks free and contiguous.


After my photofriends from Maine went their separate ways, Jane and I went to the goose pond above Lake Waramaug where the sun sets. On the way back the recently cut hay and corn were catching irresistable sunset light. This and several other shots were a fine conclusion to a lovely day of shooting. Other shots taken Sunday can be seen at:

http://flickr.com/photos/rothphotos/