Ten Photographs: Nature, Farms, and Food
Photographs on view at the Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, and Wild Oats Community Market, Williamstown
By: Michael Miller - Apr 23, 2007
Every branch of every deciduous tree was encased in ice. I looked out into a valley bordered by gentle hills. As far as I cold see in every direction it seemed as if vast flows of silver and lead had poured over the landscape, congealed, and tarnished. Solitary pines stood out black against the gray slopes and punctuated their recession into the distance. The metallic forests were linked by shapely fields, some, still bristling with autumn stubble, grayish buff in tone; others, recently plowed, a rich, almost black, brown. The hazy white sky drained the scene of all but the faintest tinge of color. As I set the car in motion again, sparks of light flashed in the branches closeby and darted over the distant hills. This bizarre view of the Holmes County landscape seemed then more like some volcanic desert than the gently sculpted hills and fields, which Amish farmers had over generations molded into the image of their homelands in Germany.
We've had our share of such weather here in recent months, but nothing quite so all-encompassing as that storm in Ohio.
I'm also exhibiting a few prints at Wild Oats Community Market. After having lived in Williamstown for a few years as an enthusiastic member of Caretaker Farm, I had little trouble turning up a group of photographs that would relate to market and its relation to the community, particularly local farms, but I could not help remembering a splendid slicer I once saw in a Long Island City delicatessen.
I've taken the liberty of including an extra or two in the selection, including a view of two enormous constructions which have recently sprung up on hillsides surrounding the Village Beautiful, as they have all over the Berkshires. The one to the right looked like a clinic, a school, or perhaps a think tank as it was going up, but no, it's a home.