Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sunrise at North Meadow


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY:
There is no North Meadow. Perhaps there never was one.
It was a corn field that ripened and never got cut.
The soil was poor, the ears poorly formed or not at all.
When the crop was cleared to the south and the east,
the rows of corn in North Meadow were left standing.
That was in 2004.

I came on that phantom corn field in 2005.
From the defeat of agriculture came a riot of nature.
The grasses and wildflowers that grew in North Meadow that summer
were unlike those in any neighboring field or pasture.
Spiders built giant webs between the blackened corn stalks
just where the flowers were brightest and sweetest,
and vines twirled round in their climb to the sun.

As crouching spiders watched and waited
bees, and butterflies, dragon flies and hummingbird moths,
proboscis erect,
plundered sweet blossoms
for succulent nectars.
Centipedes became millipedes and millipedes metamorphosed to trillipedes.
And swallows and catbirds fed and got fat like crows.
There is no North Meadow. Perhaps there never was one.