Small Farms and Cultivated Fields: Priceless

In late spring patches and ribbons of vivid colors are dominant in open landscapes. The spectacular, multi-colored bloom is Dame’s Rocket, a garden escapee gone wild.

Invariably, my interest in this wildflower opens my eyes to the visual resources beyond the bloom. Fields, mostly cultivated fields on local dairy farms, become a subject of interest.

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Dame’s Rocket in full bloom 

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Front to back: Dame’s Rocket, grain fields and woodlands (8June2017)

The appeal of cultivated fields is much more than the dynamic beauty of line, color and texture through the seasons. They’re wildlife magnets, providing critical habitat for a host of opportunistic birds and mammals.

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Buck in velvet, foraging on new growth following the first cutting of hay (27June2017)

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Hen turkey foraging in a hay field; there might be youngsters underfoot, chasing hoppers {1July2017)

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Lingering storm clouds after days of torrential rains and damaging flood waters (1July2017)

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Red-winged blackbird foraging in a field of barley (1July2017)

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A hay field colonized by wild black mustard (30June2017)

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Orchard grass, a common forage plant in hay fields (27June2017)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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5 thoughts on “Small Farms and Cultivated Fields: Priceless

  1. yes, and our fields depend on farmers and they depend on markets and appropriate tax structures (taxes which reflect costs of services actually received) Privileges the inner city is given here in New England but not the farmer. The PC of our society don’t get this and yell and scream when a farmer has to subdivide or develop his fields just to pay his taxes and make ends meet. People seem to take the agricultural landscape for granted.

    • A close friend is a second (maybe 3rd) generation dairy farmer with a small herd of 70 or so. Many of my farm-related photos come from his and adjacent properties. At best he’s breaking even. His only farm hand had a barn accident and broke his leg, soooo…working all day every day for 3+ months. He is bordered by an industrial dairy operation with 1200 head…an unbelievable contrast…and uncomfortable view of the future. I learn something about farming every day, and there’s little to smile about. These intimate scenes are well on their way to extinction and I must capture them while I can. Thanks for the visit Holly.

  2. Interesting to see the wider scale in context to the bigger picture and how wildlife benefits from the cultivated fields. Besides that the visual dynamic and contrasts really lend to the bucolic 🙂

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