Winter blossoms

When afternoon chores were finished on Saturday I drove south to a large field that had attracted my attention a few days earlier. There was an old implement shed standing several hundred yards from the edge of the field, on the side closest to the road … it was surrounded by trees and looked much like another shed I had photographed not too long ago. Mowing hay fields can be a tricky business. Most cutting implements are offset (to the right, as you look ahead) and opening a field requires that you drive counter-clockwise around it. This way the cutter is up against the outer edge of the crop. If you were to drive clockwise your tractor would be riding over good ground. Once you’ve opened enough room for the tractor to pass you turn around and finish cutting the field by driving clockwise (the tractor is now passing over forage that has been cut and the implement is moving into uncut ground on your right). You have to be very careful, when opening a field, to get right up to its edge. If you don’t you’ll find that it’s even more difficult to do so the following year because whatever is growing outside of the field, a wood for example, will encroach and if you’re not careful you can lose inches of good crop ground every year. Cutting or plowing around woods can be difficult but cutting around buildings can be even more so and is why large trees are often seen growing in the middle of pastures or crop land … right up against sheds or other structures. A knowledge of secondary succession tells us that as time passes grasses will give way to weeds, in these hard-to-reach and uncut areas, which will give way to shrubs, small tress, and then large, and very much larger trees. I drove to the aforementioned field with my super-wide angle lens and, in my excitement, ignored everything I knew about the convergence of parallel lines and not one of the images was any good. On my way off the field however there was  a wheel rake which had been parked for the season – I stopped to take a few pictures. I desaturated two of these – and Joanna said that they looked like winter flowers – I agreed.

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