Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Old Cairn


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: I confess it; I do not catch sunrise often. The last time I was out early was the last big snow event - early March. Yesterday's note initially had a sentence to explain that the photo was taken last spring and that I was posting it in anticipation and impatience for the meadows' return.

It takes a special reason to coax me from bed early. Spiders will do it. So will snow or any atmospherics such as the special fogs of September and October. So will the prospect of weeds studded with the ice crystals of an early frost. As soon as a bit of the foliage is back I will be watching for the right weather condition to head for Little Pond where the spring trumpeting of the red-wing blackbirds emerges from the early morning pond mist and rattles my bones. There's nothing quite like it. For now I'm sleeping in.

As to the old cairn, I've asked around, and nobody seems to know when it was built or why just there. It's not the highest point. The farm at my back dates to pre Revolutionary times. Perhaps the cairn marks the site of a bloody battle or at a later date where a favorite bull breathed his last. It's easy to think of such land as primeval and forget that much history has passed over it.

The vineyard in the foreground is new. In these fields dairy farming has given way to vino.

The cairn was also noted in a previous posting.