Monday, November 23rd, 2015
The fiery colors of this new piece were inspired by an unfortunate and unintentional recent event involving the meadow behind my house, which contains a 150+ year-old bone-dry corn crib and the shed seen here, a lawnmower and my good intentions.
My neighbor (who lives in the farm that this meadow and structures were once a part) and I cleared the field of white pines a couple years ago, to help preserve the historic corn crib, and to encourage the return of the field, which in the fall turns a great goldish ochre as the grasses dry. My neighbor and I would take turns, we agreed, mowing each year. This year was mine.
The job was going along fine, when a flinty rock hidden in the tall, dry grass, found the mower blades and began spraying sparks out from under me. Within seconds the meadow was fully engulfed. The Amherst Volunteer Fire Department was called. While waiting for the firefighters to arrive (this happened just minutes before the Patriots were to take the field to preserve their undefeated season record), my neighbor and I ran old hoses from the farmhouse, across the street and stone walls, and sprinkled out the fire minutes before it reached the old structures.
Next year it’s my neighbor’s turn for the fall mowing. And probably (I’m sure he’ll suggest) the year after that.