In case you missed it Monday, I’m participating in the Writing 101 challenge this month. Thanks to Thumper, who insists he’s big enough to dispense with daily naps (he’s two, so he’s not), I went from having an afternoon to catch up on some blog-related affairs to having about an hour to catch up on everything, and this is one of the things that was left undone when I finally collapsed into bed last night. Day two’s prompt asked where I would like to go if I could be transported anywhere, and I added the extra twist of anytime because I’m not sure that Europe would count for this (but in case it does, I want to start in the west and work my way east, exploring everything on the continent). So!
If I could be transported anywhere (and anytime), I’d stay right where I am, but 150 years in the past, when our farm was first homesteaded. Back in the 1860’s, Iowa was still covered in prairie grass and, compared to today, more sparsely settled. We’re talking Little House on the Prairie-type stuff here, and I LOVED Little House on the Prairie.
Iowa today is covered in cornfields (and bean fields and hog confinements, but I’ve yet to figure out how to wax poetic about the latter of those), which are a beautiful sight in and of themselves (the fields, not the confinements). But on sunny summer days when the grass is a little too long and in need of mowing, I watch the grass waving in the breeze and wonder what it might have been like to see nothing but tall grass for miles, to eke a living from the earth in a place with temperamental weather.
I’ve heard it said that one could disappear on the prairie because the grass was so tall, but of course, one could disappear in a cornfield just as easily for the same reason. But the cornfields of today are crisscrossed with utility poles and punctuated by wind turbines and farm implements, and it’s getting harder to truly get away from it all, at least around here. The few fields where man has strayed but little, which used to provide a glimpse of what the area might have looked like decades ago, are disappearing as hog confinements and wind farms spread out, and it would be a true wonder to see the state of my backyard when it was first settled.
(c) 2014. All rights reserved.
9 thoughts on “Transporter room, this is the captain speaking…”
I loved Little House on the Prairie too 🙂 I enjoyed this post, and the descriptive language you threaded with emotion to bring it to life.
Thanks! This is part of an ongoing struggle for me to portray the beauty of what I see out my window, though I usually do it in verse. I love painting pictures with words, and I’m glad it worked today! 🙂
Greetings neighbor! Being an Iowan myself, I can completely relate to this post. When I travel to see family in the north central or southwest portion of the state, I can’t help but be a little saddened by all the wind turbines. I understand their value and I’m all for progress, but it does change the way we see the landscape for sure. In our current home, we are happily situated among some rolling hills and nearly surrounded by CRP land that has been left to grow wild. There are certainly still parts of the state where you can enjoy beauty as nature intended.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi there, neighbor! There are indeed a few wild places left – my husband’s family is from the northeast corner of the state, and I love driving through the hills when we go to see them. They remain largely untouched, and it’s beautiful. 🙂 We live in the central part of the state, and there are a couple of wind farms within half an hour of where I live and work. The line of turbines stretching across the land is an impressive sight, but so is the sight of miles of fields.
Which part of the state do you live in?
My husband and I live about 30 minutes south of Iowa City. After many years of searching for just the right acreage, we finally found about 5 acres close enough to the Iowa River basin to have the benefit of a few hills and fields and tree lines. The only thing we would change is the 3 miles of gravel roads it takes to get anywhere!
I know what you mean – when my husband wanted to move to the country, I told him I refused to live on gravel. It’s just a pain! Eventually, he found a couple acres on a county blacktop and we moved in last month. It’s nice and peaceful in the country, but I do miss being able to just walk everywhere if I felt like it (not that I ever did, but it was nice to have the option). 🙂
We’re a couple hours or so north of you – our place is about halfway between Waterloo and Marshalltown.
I live in Colorado, so all I can think is that about a 100 years ago, we’d all be miners, living one with nature. Or maybe we’d all be cowboys. Who knows. But at this point, we don’t have much open space, at least, near Denver. On the West things are better.
All our open spaces are fields. Up in the northern part of the state, though, especially in the northeast, there are a lot of bluffs and trees and things. It’s beautiful up there. 🙂