Monday, February 25, 2008

Walnuts and Split Rail

Walnuts and Split Rails. I encourage you to Click on the image to visit the original photo on his Flicker site.I saw this photo the other day, and it truly took my breath away. I know the image is small – click on the image to see it larger and on the Flickr site. I was toying with the idea of placing another image on this blog entry, but the cobblestone farmhouse has a more modern addition in the background which both ruins and makes the picture for me. Let me explain.

I love the look of stone. The farmhouse is magnificent, and the stonework is beautiful. There is an addition to the back that probably makes living in the house much more comfortable, but it detracts from the aesthetic beauty. The rambling creek in the front also adds to the beauty of the picture – a picture I really enjoy. But I wonder about the people who made the addition. Were they thinking of radiant heat, spacious interiors and a Jacuzzi in the master bath suite?

Back to the image I chose to borrow for this post. First, the only reason I know the trees are walnuts is because of the title of the photo. I would have guessed pecans. And I am saying pecan as a southern lady would say the word (pə kɑn instead of pi kæn). Walnuts always seemed like a more northern nut to me, though I would hazard to guess that we can grow walnuts in Georgia. Perhaps many of us just don't choose to grow walnuts.

Walnuts, Pecan trees and Oak trees have wonderful bark, and this picture beautifully shows the trees. I could get lost in the bark, wondering what insects call this their home. I like insects, though viewing them at a safe distance. Insects seem to have weird facts associated with them – that a cockroach can live for ten days after being decapitated, or that the Monarch butterfly can travel up to 17 miles per hour. I sometimes wonder if a man was sucked into a tornado and they clocked him at 80 miles per hour, does that mean that he is faster than a cheetah?

Oh, back to the photo.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live on a farm. Would I still be as fascinated with trees and stone buildings? I mean, if I lived on a farm, would I be writing of fascination with Kinko's and Starbucks? Split rail fences seem very romantic, but I wonder how practical they are – I mean, I would think that the wood would begin to rot fairly quickly, rain pooling along the rail during the rainy season.

Barns have a similar romantic notion. I mean, ever since I saw "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", I wanted someone to construct a barn in my backyard. Well, not just anybody, but a bunch of handsome men that could dance and fight over me.

Interesting that when one sees a picture, many thoughts can enter one's mind. Perhaps that's why it is called art.


Liquid said...

Sweet, sweet and sweet!

Leesa said...

liquid: I tried reading your blog, but did not have an invite. Guess it is a more personal blog - for friends and family only.

Prata said...

I've never liked the country. I've never really enjoyed being out in wilderness, even though I've always been exposed to that environment off and on as a youngster.

I enjoy looking at it, I've enjoyed staying on a farm and milking cows and feeding chickens and the like; however, the lack of low latency internet access has always been the road block to my happiness. If I could have that I think I'd be happier out there away from everyone.

グラント said...

I have lived on a farm for several years, and the scenery gets old very quickly. What I most remember is the isolation and the thrill of seeing civilization, which for me was a town about 10 miles away with a population of 600 that had a Dairy Queen AND a Pizza Hut (McDonald's was still a decade away). The countryside is pretty, but I prefer the city any day.

Ian Lidster said...

When I was in my early teens I lived and worked on a farm for part of two summers. And I loved it.
But, I no longer have much desire to live 'rural'. But, like you, I love the look of farms and often wonder what it would be like.

LarryLilly said...

The fact that many people dont live on farms, or in "true" rural areas, areas where they have not cut all the brush down and planted grasses from fence line to fence line dont know what true nature is. And because of that, most people have little concept of saving ecosystems for wildlife. I am not talking about environmentalism, as people that live in cities may still be very keen on recycling, saving water etc. But unless you live in or near areas that support true wildlife, issues about ecosystem support is lost. Parents dont take kids camping anymore, instead they see pictures in National Geographic, and feel like they have been there. My wife helps out with a program showing school kids wildlife areas that are outdoor workshops she is a volunteer in, and she is constantly amazed at how little they know. They actually believe that lions and tigers and bears are in them. Heck, we see even in State Parks the loss of ecosystem areas that have been built for more campsites, yet in doing so, they are eliminating the very wildlife that people expect to see in these now becoming sterile parks.

So the comments from the posters above avoiding the outdoors speak volumes about their knowledge of why it is important to keep these areas open.

At the current rate, the native "wildlife" will be rats, sparrows, pigeons, cockroaches, bedbugs and house flies. The song birds are getting squeezed out, house cats take large numbers of song birds from suburban areas with their bacteria laden claws, and people that move into rural areas to get away to nature cry when a coyote takes out their beloved fluffy (small dog or cat).

Erik said...

Enjoying your blog.

Prata said...

Larry, my mother does that same kind of work. Well she volunteers for it, her actual occupation is a lot different from that...Trauma and Poison to be more exact; however, she and I have participated in hiking and camping out in the wilderness.

I have an appreciation myself for nature, I just don't like living in it lol. I'm all for killing my own food and supporting the ecosystem; however, man has not in recent times and will not in the near future care much for how much of the wildlife or ecosystem has been obliterated. Man is not the same kind of animal as those we read about or experience in the even near to home wilderness.

Man is very much like a virus. Man doesn't commune with nature or find a comfortable equilibrium. It's a shame; however, so long as technological advances continue to mitigate or replace the destruction of certain ecological functions/by-products/etc. there will be no change.

Leesa said...

prata: interesting perspective.

grant: never thought the scenery would get old. But it probably would.

ian: the more I read from the comments, the less likely I would enjoy being rural.

larry: a truly grim picture. And farms actually supplanted native habitat as well.

eric: thanks, sweetie. First time I have seen you here before.

prata: I think I will stay in the city, where I am less like a virus.

Prata said...

Oh can't escape the viral nature of humanity. You can't. You're gonna be a virus and like it! Or you know....not.

I guess that did sound insulting, it wasn't meant that way. It's just examine the behavior a little it's...kind of disturbing.

Brian Morgan said...

I have a good friend that says she wants to live in the country, perhaps on a farm. I particularly want to live near the beach and/or near a large city with plenty to do. She on the other hand wants to live miles away from neighbors, way out in the "sticks"- I just don't understand living so far away from neighbors and people in general. I think that her idea is very "old fashioned". Thanks Brian Morgan (The Do You Know? Blog on Typepad by Brian Morgan)

seattledrizzle said...

Anyone remember the Three Dog Night song, Out in the Country? Great song... I have never lived in the country, but I could probably adjust to it. No alarm clock required, although getting woken up by a rooster crowing?...hmmm

leesa, I've seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers also. In fact the production is coming to Seattle. The barn raising scene is great. The guy who played Frankincense in the movie attended our Church for awhile.

Mark said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog, Leesa. And, my photo looks great with the post. I didn't grow up in the country ...I grew up in the WOODS of the Adirondacks. If you talk to rural people, they don't want no stinkin' city folk moving in around them, because they bring city 'tudes and the like with them.
As much as I enjoy living in a decent-sized Michigan city, I'd like to move to a place like Marquette, where the country is close by, but I still have bookstores, cofreehouses and such.

SSC said...

Very lovely photo. That is why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Art is to each his own. I love looking a pictures and dazing and wondering why it fascinates me so.

It looks like such a calm environment. Somewhere you could retreat to and feel all cozy by the fire and away from the hustle and bustle.

Very nice post, your words entrapped me to read until the end.

Leesa said...

prata: not insulting, actually.

brian morgan: yeah, a new blogger, I know.

seattle: yeah, that scene is the best dancing scene. Especially the finale.

mark: I have never lived in the country, but love traveling through it.

ssc: calm is a way to describe many of Mark's photos. Peaceful.

kathi said...

I've lived in the country many times, always loved it. Gorgeous, but I think you have the sort of attitude and personality that finds beauty in many places.

Leesa said...

kathi: since you find beauty in many places, I would imagine you would find beauty in the city as well.

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I grew up in the country then married a game warden. We lived very isolated from civilization. My closest walmart was in 45 minutes away, and this is in Tennessee. I love the country life but I longed for Kinkos and Starbucks. The upkeep of split rail fences make country living not so attractive. They are a great way to keep horses & cattle fenced in but unlike barbed wire, they don't cut when the silly horse sticks his head through the rails to munch on grass. When I look at a barn I think about hauling hay in the hot summertime and stacking it up--finding snakes between the bales.

Now pass me that mocha macchiato!!

Leesa said...

flat coke: interesting perspective. Starbucks will close nationwide for 3 hours today. Panic ensues.