Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This summer, a new subdivision was built down the road a couple miles from our house. The property had been mostly arable land, a former farm. A small woodland, or copse, bordered the side closest to the road.
I often used to cut through the property to fetch Lucy from school, using a well-used pathway that ran between the field and the wedge of woods. On many occasions, I saw wild turkey strolling the fields. Other times, deer would be grazing on the outer edge of the trees. Once, I found a substantial (three pronges!) deer shed. I have this antler in my studio. On frosty winter days, the view down the old path looked like a Currier and Ives greeting card. It was Long Ago Iowa, here in the Now.
A grand old white farm house was there and still inhabited. When I saw the house's front porch being retro-fitted with a wheel chair ramp though, I wondered if the farm's days were numbered. The acreage was sold a few short months later. A sign appeared announcing a public meeting to discuss the new owner's intent to build multiple dwellings. A group of us from a local park organization, Friends of Hickory Hill, rescued some wild ginger from the wooded bit of the property. The farm house was burned as part of a Fire Department exercise. The building commenced. And now, some very fine houses sit in the once fields. But I hold reverance for the place that I used to walk. I took a few photos before the developing began. Along with my imagination and memory, the new piece recreates a typical morning, looking toward the farm from Rochester road. It could have looked this way last year. It could have looked this way 80 years ago. Now, it's a different scene altogether.
But the turkeys and the deer and I will remember.
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