Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Death Of A Road


I struggle with change. I get set in my ways and rail when something comes along and stirs the pot. This photo is a good example. It’s actually a picture of a long private driveway that leads to a house that was being built at the very back edge of a large field. The house is (another) McMansion …. like we need more of those in CT …. that sticks out like a sore thumb on what was probably a hay lot for an old defunct farm nearby. That’s an oft repeated scenario around here. A family farm gets passed down through generations until eventually someone gets the brilliant idea that they can make a whole bundle of money if they divvy up the farmland and sell it to developers. Soon the rich and upwardly mobile wanna-live-in-the-country folks snatch up the land and proceed to erect architectural monuments to themselves that look totally out of place on the rural landscape.  But I digress ….

As the builders were building this mansion they most likely used this old lane because it was already there. (Farmers tend to drive their tractors along the edge of their hay fields to preserve the integrity of the lot.) A large open field lay directly to the right of the trees that line the dirt lane and the shell of a huge sprawling home was just beginning to take shape at the very back edge of the field.  But when I took this picture I could still look down the dirt road and pretend it led someone interesting. I couldn’t see the house from the end of the lane and I could imagine how the beautiful land must have been some fifty years ago. The setting romanced my heart and tickled my memory of the many farms I grew to love around my childhood home. The day I took this picture it was a perfect fall day and although I was running late for a herding lesson, I pulled my car over and quickly fired off a few frames. It was a simple case of shooting a scene that I drove by every Monday.

The months passed and the McMansion grew into the monstrosity it would eventually become. Then one Monday I was shocked to discover the large open field split in two by a long gravel driveway that led straight through the hay field and directly up to the estate. I was mortified. It’s like the driveway screamed, “Look at ME! Look at how BIG our plot is and be sure to make note of how much money we were able to spend on this long, straight driveway that leads to our Really. Big. House!” So much for the quaint old lane that ambled back to the “Country” home. I suspect these new rural transplants were trying to make a statement by cutting the former hay field in two, but all I could think was how wasteful, how distasteful it was. That said, I thought the new settlers would keep the dirt lane intact. I really did. Didn’t they see the charm or appreciate the history of it? No, apparently they did not. They wanted people to ogle their contemporary Ponderosa in all it’s bloated glory as they chug up the long driveway that cuts a gaping swath through their gluttonous plot of land.

Last spring and summer brought an usually high number of windy days, followed by Tropical Storm Irene in September. I watched as several big old trees toppled across the dirt lane. Thinking the country converts would be conscientious about the appearance of their property I just assumed they would (eventually) clean up the lane. They did not. The lane now lays in disarray. Several big trees and large branches clutter the road making it impassable. If  abandoned and left to it’s own devices, it’s only a matter of time before the quaint scene you see above reverts to it’s natural woodsy state. And perhaps there’s some poetic justice in that? The little lane that wasn’t wanted and hasn’t been altered by progress gets to change back into what it used to be. I think I can live with that.

4 responses

  1. Reblogged this on Four Blue Hills (A repository, of sorts).

    January 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM

  2. incaunipocrit

    Reblogged this on Basil Wheel.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

  3. ptigris213

    Your story could be mine. I live on glacial outwash prairie, and one day several years ago, Big Money bought the property next to mine. They proceeded to do everything yours did: bullt a hideously out of place McMansion, ran a road right up the middle of what used to be fabulous natural pasture grass, lined it with lights suitable for a landing strip at the airport, and lined it with non-native trees. They have the manicured lawn that dasn’t grow a blade higher than it’s neighbor, they put up a fence that would do a penitentiary justice, and lit up the house like a christmas tree. Did I mention that infrared alarm system that must bathe my fenceline, so that they know when I try to jump over the fence? Sheesh.
    Then they had the audicity to try and force me off my property by harassing me and threatening me with a lawsuit if I so much as left my trash can out by the road, because my manufactured home disturbed the view from their porch. Needless to say, they failed, but the fact is that once rich folk move into your rural backyard, they want the “living in the country” feeling with all the amenities and privieges of city life: pizza delivery, cable TV, no smelly or noisy animals like cows or horses, and if a coyote goes for the football dog, they’re screaming that the state needs to control it’s animals.
    Lovely picture, ma’am. I love the old look and the trees color. We don’t get the color of trees in the autumn out here in the Car Wash state,

    January 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    • Oh dear. I know how you feel. Urban sprawl is one of those things that really bothers me. It’s been happening more and more in my area over the past several years and it’s getting to the point where it makes me claustrophobic. And you’re right, many of the folks who move out here to the “country” don’t really want the full Monty experience. They want the magazine life. So it bugs them when their fantasy rubs up against my reality. My answer to that is, “Too bad … I was here first.” 😉

      January 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

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