Friday, December 10, 2010

A Back Roads Tour Beneath The Setting Sun

I'd taken the two Papillon puppies with me on a driving tour of a few back roads near my farm. The day was rapidly coming to a close and you will see the golden glow of twilight in every one of these photos. This old farmstead sat far back off the road surrounded by fields of corn stubble and woods:

I may of course be wrong, but I think this is a corn silo, used for drying and storing kernel corn:

A particularly appealing brick farm house:

A real working barn. This one is not only a remnant of the past, but also an actively used source of its owner's income:

Both houses and barns are highly functional when built right next to a road. That's a good thing, particularly during a snowy winter, as long as the roads remain remote and seldom traveled. But with an increasing population and higher speed cars, the benefits of building alongside the road are diminishing:

The light was fading as I passed this picturesque flock of sheep, but I wanted to get a photo so I stopped and got out of the car to snap this, a lovely pastoral scene:

I took a number of pictures, hoping that at least one would be usable. While doing so, I saw one of the "sheep" staring back at me with ears raised and an alert, intelligent look on its face. Did you notice it in the preceding photo? It was a white sheepdog, likely a Great Pyrenees, guarding its charges in the most classic manner. Too intelligent and well trained to leave the flock to investigate what I was doing, it nonetheless watched my every move. I enlarged a portion of one of my photos so you can see it better. Be sure to click to "embiggen" this picture:

As the light continued to fade, I turned onto the highway to head toward home. This green and white house struck me as being more citified, though I'd be hard pressed to explain why. Perhaps because it had no barn and was located on the highway:

Now when I say "highway," this is what I mean. It's the only State highway running south towards my place from Massena but is only a narrow, two lane road with narrow shoulders. It passes through long stretches of State forests. At this crest in the road I could see the Adirondack peaks straight ahead. The park boundary is only a few miles away, but these high peaks are farther south. I know because I drive through them on every trip to and from the farm. Albany lies 200 miles due south:

This old homestead sits right on the highway with its split-rail fencing. It's a beautiful relic from a more rural past:

But soon enough we turned off onto the county road where my own farm is located. The sun was setting and casting a red, gold and pink glow over the fields and forests:

And night was arriving with astonishing speed. A last burst of color in the big sky and darkness would be falling. I arrived home just in time:

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