Stone walls and weeds

Stone walls and Weeds, Washington, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Driving slowly down one of Washington’s two lane country roads it’s easy to become mesmerized by the landscape and the light that filters through the trees. Too often I have found myself driving at a crawl, much to the consternation of the New Yorkers who have weekend homes here. They are in a hurry to get home to their pools and tennis courts; I’m in no hurry at all. I can understand their impatience with me creeping along at something approaching a walking pace, and I pull over as soon as I realize I’m holding up traffic. But this is how I operate; looking for the light that falls just right.

Stone walls are everywhere in this part of Connecticut. They served two purposes. As the farmers dug them out of their fields each spring after the thaw that brought them to the surface, they had to put them someplace, so why not use them as fences to mark their property? These dry stacked walls are made with no mortar-who wants to haul water and mix out to a field-besides, being dry stacked means the walls are flexible and move as the ground heaves with freeze and thaw.

For me their hard heavy permanence offers an appropriate contrast to the soft yielding of weeds that sprout up each spring, only to die with the first hard freeze; the yin-yang of nature. The chance to notice these things is my reward for the honking horn of someone anxious to get home to a cold martini.

Olympus OMD EM1 with 40-150 f2.8 zoom. Processed with Affinity, Monochromia and Snapseed.



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