“Summer progresses and the fruits of our labours and those of others, begin to yield, as evidenced by the bounty of the farm fields.” – Ed Lehming
I should really call this recent series of images “Images Along the Way” since all have been taken from the roadside or not too far off the road on my travels to and from my camper.
This scene was absolutely marvelous and I simply had to stop and try to capture the scale and beauty of the massive field of rolled straw near the small community of Yelverton, Ontario. The field rolls far into the distance and is filled with hundreds of bales of straw. The immensity of the field is further complimented by wonderful late afternoon sunlight breaking through a thining deck of rain clouds.
It was not long after I made this image that the skies once again opened up into torrential rain, so I’m even happier for the brief break in the weather that allowed this image to be created.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 110 mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 1250
“Every season has an end~for a harvest to begin. Embrace the process!” ― Dina Rolle
The ripe wheat stretched to the horizon, bathed in late day sunshine. It was a still and hot day in late July when I made this image with my iPhone, not having my Nikon with me. It was quite a sight and I wanted to do it justice in portraying how vast this looked. Not Prairie vast, but vast by local standards.
I deliberately cropped this to remove the horizon, creating a frame of endless wheat, the photo frame creating a false horizon. It really wasn’t much of a crop but improved the message I wanted the photo to convey.
The photo frame encompasses about 100 acres of wheat, which is a typical single farm plot in my area. The wheat was dry and just about ready for harvest at the time. Since then, a heavy rain has knocked it down quite a bit, one of the many factors that affect harvest and yields. Timing is everything.
iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm 1/170 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
“Squabbling over too little is just human nature. But it says a great deal about a person, what they do with abundance.” ― Tessa Dare
Today, some time spent out of the forest in in the farm fields around my home. It’s hard to believe, but it’s already late July and the wheat fields are seas of golden waves, swaying in the hot summer breezes.
As I stand among the soon to be harvested crops, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of food these fields will produce. As far as I can see, the bounty of grain fills my senses. There is the gentle movement, the rich golden colour, and the warm scent of wheat in the air. It surrounds me and makes me smile to see this much life and this much potential surrounding me. It also bring back memories of helping family members who have farms in collecting and storing what felt like an endless supply of straw bales after the harvest, always on the hottest days.
iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm 1/320 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
“The fields…are white already to harvest” (John 4:35 KJV), or as other versions put it, “ripe for harvest.”…One part of the harvest metaphor we may have missed was the importance of timing-there is a season for both sowing and reaping, and sometimes there is a season of simply waiting and watering.” ― Keri Wyatt Kent
I just got back from a few days in Ontario’s Bruce County. The region offers rolling farmlands, long sandy beaches, and some of the most spectacular sunsets in Canada along the shores of Lake Huron (which, being 183 miles wide, is almost like an inland sea).
As we drove to our destination, the beachfront at Sauble Beach, I had to stop several times to make photos of the spectacular landscapes that spread before me.
This is one of my favourite times of year to photograph Ontario’s rural landscapes. The contrast between the deep blue sky and the golden fields of grain is quite striking. Add to the mix a few wispy clouds and you can almost feel the warm air and hear the sounds of crickets chirping. As I stood by the roadside making this image I could smell the grain in the air and even though the grand scene spread before me, I was still drawn to the wildflowers in the foreground, delicate white Queen Anne’s Lace and the bright purple Ontario Thistle.
Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm 1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200
Near my home is a large tract of land (7,530 hectares) which was expropriated by the federal government in the early 70’s as the site of a future airport. After several decades, the airport is no closer to happening, communities have disappeared and, other than a few residences and farms, most buildings have fallen into such disrepair that they have had to be demolished. For a few years it was even a challenge to photograph on these lands, which are public property, because the private security company hired by the government to patrol the land would frequently stop me and ask what I was doing, even though I had my camera gear clearly visible.
What this history has offered is some vast open tracts of rolling rural landscapes and a few interesting buildings in various stages of decay. I spend quite a bit of time in this area and it has yielded some nice photos which document the transition of this land over the years. There are now less buildings, thicker underbrush, and a generally overgrown appearance. The image above is a fairly typical fall view of the fields and woodlands. Soybeans, ready for harvest grow in the foreground and an abandoned building shows through the overgrown lot. What I found interesting on this fairly dull and overcast day, was the splashes of colour among the tree trunks and branches highlighted by a few rays of sun, offering a nice contrast to dark skies above. It’s one of those moments that’s gone quickly and rarely offers itself again. I also reflect upon the house, knowing people once lived there and wonder what those days may have been like. My mother-in-law’s family had a farm on the airport land, which has long since been demolished and leveled, yet the memories live on. I can’t image what it would be like to go back to the house I grew up in, only to find no trace of it ever existing.