To Farm or Not

I was born and grew up in the urban and suburban Midwest USA—Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland—had to drive for miles to see farms, the places where we could buy fresh corn on the cob and watermelon from small makeshift roadside stands. These were grown on huge extensive plains. A consumer, I was a consumer.

I had no idea what farmers had to do over a 12 month or more cycle so that they would have ‘produce’ to sell to me from their roadside stand.

Decades later, I am still a consumer; but I live in a community that has been for generations small scale farmers. Each and every farm house has apple trees and walnut trees growing close by. Even the generations who have moved into the dense village have planted small fruit and nut trees. Why?

This first image reflects a spiritual understanding that nature is unpredictable and a reverence for a greater power is essential for farmers. So many things can go wrong with weather, climate and the geophysical that a season, a year may come anytime to take away the food necessary for farmer life. Imagine no grocery store with well stocked shelves, imagine no 7-11/24-7-365 convenience. Imagine if you had no access to food. Farmers make plans that their families never have to suffer such a hardship.

This means long hours everyday, year round. Just grab a short bit of relaxation from time to time. Hard life. I can see it all around me these days. Yet, I, as a consumer with a second-hand sympathy for farmers, sometimes feel envious of how much determination, commitment and practical knowledge they bring with them day-in, day-out to solve problems beset on them by nature and changing government regulations.

So this year, I have enjoyed observing the ripening process of fruits and nuts—apples and walnuts.

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The Alphorn is a conduit providing mystic connections between music, people and the landscape.

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Walnut trees on every farm.

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The apple of my eye on every farm.

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Walnuts in green—the husks in first stages of ripening.

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Signs that ripening is progressing—the husk prepares to break open.

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The walnut reveal.

Apple and walnut torte or apple and walnut kuchen…your choice.:)

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Book or cover?

When I was growing up, I heard many times, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’–in different circumstances but often about people. Sociological training at home. Skin color, clothes, part of town…

These days, I am the stranger, in a strange town. I live on a hillside, looking down on the town center. The largest, tallest building is the public school. And in this image you can see it bedecked with planter boxes overflowing with red and pink geraniums in flower.

It is obviously the most important building in town and most beautifully adorned and maintained. If I judge the people of this town by the care they have shown for the public school, have I made a mistake?

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Public school as town center for the last century

Sun Flower

As a photographer, I am average, at best. 

I take photos of plants and landscapes that speak to me.

What do I hear? What do they say? Only I know that I must look closer. So I do that through the camera viewfinder. I share these because somehow or other they have spell bound me. And I like that. I hope you have a similar experience.

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Sun. Flower. Tell me more about the Sun and flowers.

Trees Telling Forests Things

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Can’t tell the forest from the trees. Or is it the other way around–can’t tell the trees from the forest. Can’t tell. 

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Can’t tell the trees from the trunk and branches.

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Can’t tell the trunk and branches from the leaves.

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Can’t tell the leaves from the needles and cones.

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Can’t tell anything…I’m lost…and happy…don’t tell.