Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stumped? Build a Fence...

New England is well-known for the miles and miles of stone walls criss-crossing her hills and valleys. Farmers would clearcut fields for grazing land or crops, digging out stones and piling them in rows, only to find more stones the next Spring, coughed up by the roiling earth, heaved by frost to the surface. It was (and still is for some) an annual ritual, thanks to vast deposits of glacial till left behind long ago.

But what about the tree stumps? Well, they don't call it 'Yankee ingenuity' for nothing, as these photographs from the Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Collection show. Taken between 1890 and 1901 somewhere in New England, these photographs show how some farmers solved the problem of what to do with all of the stumps pulled from their newly-cleared fields. It appears as though this collection is already well on its way to decomposition, returning to the soil, as all of nature does. Sometimes being "green" has more to do with common sense and necessity than philosophy.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

Photos source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division;

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