I woke up the other morning to discover the ground covered with a blanket of fog. Photographically speaking, the conditions were nearly perfect!
Fortunately I had permission from a local farmer to drop by any morning I wanted to wander around his farm and photograph. And I knew on that particular morning the fog and his farm were calling me to jump in my car and take off with my camera.
Absorbed in the beauty of nature, I explored the fields for a couple of hours. The bales of hay, the barns, and the dew covered spider webs all were a photographer’s delight that early morning.
This particular quaint little farm – a farm that has roots dating back to the Civil War – is now much like an island; an island not surrounded by water but by new and modern sub-divisions. It’s just a matter of time before the road in front of the house will need to be widened and some precious land in front of the farm house will be taken in the name of progress.
For the time being, the big stand of junipers edging the property line cushions the sounds of the city. But one has to wonder how long that will last.
Having grown up in a rural farming community, I am drawn to the quiet, simple beauty of farm houses, barns, and their surrounding fields. The authentic barns (not the new modern ones) typically have their own unique personality and stories that could be told. Many old barns on these historic family farms were built with loving care by the original land owners, often with hand hewn wood. One can often see where over the years additions to the barns have been constructed to meet the changing needs of the farmers.
I frequently think about, and often worry about, farm land being bought up by developers. As Greater Nashville expands its boundaries and moves farther and farther out from the downtown area, our rural heritage and culture is slowly becoming a thing of the past. On our drives through the countryside we see many new developments popping up in areas that used to be beautiful rolling hillside. Trees are being stripped away from the countryside.
Savor with me through these images the quiet beauty of rural life; a way of life that slowly is being replaced with the hustle and bustle of subdivisions, shopping centers, Inter-state highways and by-passes.
I’ve taken on a personal project of photographing as many of these old ‘home-places’ as I can, especially those in the small rural community in which I live…before it’s too late.
Contributed by Sue Henry