The normal landscape of Michigan provides beautiful patterns – patterns that touch my soul because I have been enjoying their beauty for many, many years. They whisper my history as the wind blows through and over and around the gently rolling hills.
I took the above photo on a frosty December morning when everything was touched by frost and the weak, soft light of a sun sitting low in the southern sky. There was a brisk breeze blowing the plumbs of grass seeds so I looked for a composition that would not only show the pattern of the seed heads, but also the pattern of the wind. The pattern of the rolling hills made a pleasant background and a wood lot provided balance on the right.
As I drive down country roads, I love the patterns of newly plowed fields, rows of crops…
and especially the pattern of rows of corn stubble broken by gently rolling fields – on a misty fall morning as the sun is coming up. The hard part is finding a safe place to pull over to find the perfect composition of patterns and then to have enough height to see over the first hill to the second and third.
I created this post in response to the 2020 Photo Challenge. The February theme is focused on the technique of using patterns.
I love barns, especially how different parts of the country have different style barns. It is also interesting to see barns in different colors. In my younger years I just assumed that the “correct” color for barns was red, but there seems to be a wide variety. I also love the old style silos, especially the glazed block silos. White barns have been catching my eye lately so when I saw this weathered white barn with the red glazed silo, I knew we had to stop. The sheep and cows in the side pasture were like icing on the cake.
The sheep could care less about our presence but these little beauties wasted no time in greeting us. Isn’t that an adorable face?
A while back I did a post on Stonewall Road, and have been thinking about stones ever since. I guess I like stones – but not as much as the farmer we met on last week’s photo trip down to US 12, the Chicago Rd. going from Detroit to Chicago.
Actually we met him as we were taking photos of his old milk house with the purple door. Now I am partial to purple doors having painted the doors on my house purple. Purple is a beautiful color for doors – very regal, especially on an old milk house.
Julie spotted it so I slammed on the brakes and backed up to turn into the drive that went to the barn next to the deserted cape cod house. We are snapping away and a truck pulls into the adjacent drive and a man gets out. He is hopping mad. Not willing to give it up hopping mad even after we both apologize.
There is only one thing to do, get him talking about stones. Now how did I know he liked talking about stones? Maybe it was the way his eyes lit up and he smirked when I said I liked stones and I had heard that farmers think the fields grow stones.
One Honkin’ Big Stone
He says, “You want to see some stones? You follow me down to that house.” We did and we saw stones, each one with a story. None of the stones grew in his yard, they all came from his fields, his father’s fields, and the fields several miles down the road. Each one had a story of “You can’t move it.” “I dare you to move it.” The stone above holds the story of his father buying a new, big diesel tractor and he told his father that his new tractor wouldn’t be able to drag this stone from the far side of the field behind the house. He father took the dare and the tractor did it, with the help of the corn stalks that formed skids. He had me laughing at a lot of stories… and he isn’t mad at us any more.
He collected rocks to prove he could, and then used them for landscaping. Because rocks are so plentiful in this little corner of Michigan, people have used them for functional purposes, like the milkhouse in the lead photograph. Here is my gallery of photos that depict some of the many uses for field stones.
Stone chimney left standing.
Stone entrance to school house.
Stone walls of gazebo in Ella Sharp Park
Stone milk house standing long after barn fell down.
Lining the edges of the headwaters of the Grand River.
Standing fireplace in the Irish Hills region of Michigan.
Old stables of the group of privately owned buildings called Stone Village.
You can view them in a slideshow with captions by clicking on any photo. You can also read the story behind the schoolhouse by clicking on this link.