Patterns of Land

I travel across the state (270 miles) to work with teachers once a month. As I drive, I marvel at how the landscape changes through the miles.

Starting out the road is a black ribbon rolling up and down with small hills. Tucked into these hills are a few small towns every ten to fifteen miles. The country side is dotted with some cattle or fields of hay. This is familiar territory. As the miles roll by, the land slowly changes.

The hills become taller and slightly steeper. These are the Ozark Mountains. The trees change from oaks to pines. The denseness of the pines always surprises me. However, the temperature reminds me I am not in the Rocky Mountains. Distance between towns increases as the miles add up.

Suddenly the pine trees are gone, hills are gone. The land is flat. This is  farmland , rich black farmland. It is a patchwork of color and texture. Every shade of green has shown up for the show. I see deep, dark emerald-green to fluorescent lime green. As cornstalks dry in the fields, green gives way to crispy golden-brown stalks. Some fields have been leveled, they have been given a crew cut by the farm equipment. Cotton balls are beginning to burst from their bolls, polka dots of white, as far as the eye can see.

Last spring this land was underwater from flooding. I am amazed that the farmers were able to get plants in the ground. Farmers are amazing!

The next time I make this trip, the landscape will be in the midst of a change. Crops will have been harvested, so fields will be empty. Trees will begin their fall fashion show of colors. Every month the landscape changes. The only constant is that black ribbon of road.

11 thoughts on “Patterns of Land

  1. I love making repeated journeys and noting the changes in scenery. My old trip to school used to include a drive past a refinery where coal would be freshly piled up before being sent down the canal on barges, bit by bit. I loved marking my life by the dwindling and rebuilding of the mountain of coal. Thank you for the reminder of my own image through the power of your image!

  2. Wow, beautiful piece, Elsie. I love how you described of the fields as looking like they had been given a crew cut. I also loved the image of the cotton balls looking like white polka dots of white.

  3. What a beautiful post. I felt like I was with you on that “black ribbon of road.” Makes me want to get in my car and start driving! I want to hear about the next trip, too.

  4. I like you continued with your theme of change, from your own perspective of traveling the miles to the time the previous year when there was flooding to what will come next. Lovely observations as you drive!

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