What on Earth?

After an unusually long post on Saturday. I decided to let you guys off easy today. Also, I wanted to participate in Cee’s Current Challenge Series – Fun with Earth’s Elements which this week is focused on “Earth.” Before we get to some recent photos and some from the past, I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments regarding my writing project. Ok, let’s see some dirt.

The first group of photos in the gallery are from two construction projects a couple miles from our house. One is a 2.2 million cubic feet (62,297 cubic meter) Amazon warehouse, excuse me, “fulfillment center.” The other, directly across from the warehouse is a construction site where more warehouses are to be built later this year. Farther down in the gallery are pictures of the shade tobacco fields and barns that used to be there. Of course, there’s a flag photo and a bunny.

82 comments

  1. First of all, I continually find it interesting that you’re in Monday while I’m still in Sunday, even though I know why. Gotta keep a sense of wonder. Secondly, you said “Let’s see some dirt.” I’d like to see more! The continual desire to cover every bit of earth with buildings is a source of immense sadness and often anger to me. I realize that most of the US isn’t covered with buildings but evidently some people find that a challenge. I also find Amazon a source of frustration even though I sometimes use them. Yes, you’ve inadvertently managed to tap into two source of annoyance in one post that wasn’t meant that way. But you did have a cute bunny photo and some lovely light so on the whole, we’re good. :-)

    That’s probably not the response you expected but one beer in (and that’s all there will be) after a long weekend, that’s what you get. :-) Cheers, Dan.

    janet

    Liked by 4 people

    • I share your annoyance, Janet. For many years, I rode my bike around the back of these fields, barely able to hear the workers and machinery. Now, the noise is deafening, the color is gone. The view will change from mounds of dirt, stripped of the life-giving topsoil, to hideous multi-story boxes of stuff, and endless truck traffic.

      I am totally OK with your response. I hope you have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so sad to see those barns in heaps like that even in pictures!

    There’s a lot of construction going on here too. Lots of new housing neighborhoods are being built or the land is being cleared to build them. It’s sad. I hoped this area would stay small!

    Liked by 2 people

    • When they started building the Amazon warehouse, we assumed the fields across the street would remain farmland. Then the moved one of the tobacco barns across onto the last remaining field, tore the others down and began digging. As far as we have heard, the company that built the Amazon warehouse is building several more on spec. What used to be a beautiful ride is now an area to be avoided.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi _ I hope your burning bush plants do well ! and I have seen many tobacco fields (esp taking road trips in the south) but have never seen the shades and I like the one you said was your fav.
    This was a fun and varied earth post Dan

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Yvette. They grew tobacco under shade in the Connecticut River valley to mimic the growing conditions in the Caribbean islands. Most of the tobacco grown here was used for cigar wrappers. Connecticut Shade Tobacco was prized for that purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well that is so interesting – one of My favorite cousins loves cigars and so I always think of him with this topic
        And your post here is also a sober reminder of Amazon’s dominance and growth
        It it will have its season – everything does
        And we started watching the “gilded age” – not sure if you have seen it – but a friend suggested it and she had one takeaway / the costumes were amazing.
        Anyhow – once we got to season two we realized that her comment was likely because the costumes are extremely outstanding while the writing moves a bit slow and some parts are way too predictable (that is never fun)
        But the reason I mention it is because the dominant companies at the time are just names in history right now – Rockefeller – Vanderbilt- etc.
        And Amazon did so many things right to grow and expand (I know “right” is layered) but a powerful company and looks like the continue to expand ——
        😊

        Liked by 1 person

          • Yes- good point – and then continued to make right choices and were often (or seemed to be! She was with certain ideas. Like I think they did edgy things with the e-shopping cart – reminders of browsed items – and stuff like that
            Oh and of course the slightly lower prices that started in the book sales days also helped. And I am sure you know a lot more about this stuff than I do – but it always a combo of variables eh? Like luck – timing – the right staff with the right ideas – etc

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, you know me, I hate to see a barn go down, but I won’t be a hypocrite about it since I received a package from Amazon yesterday and have another coming tomorrow. After all the online ordering of the pandemic, I think this is the future of shopping whether we like it or not. I hope your burning bushes do well. We had a couple of beauties in the midwest, but here in NH they are labeled invasive and aren’t sold. It’s like they think a bird doesn’t fly over the state line with a seed. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Two of the barns were “harvested” by a company that sells barn wood. That was a very long process, and once Amazon signed the contract, about 14-16 barns were knocked over and reduced to rubble. Picking through the debris was forbidden, and dumpster after dumpster left the sight. I know this is the way we shop, but it’s sad in many ways.

      We have two mature burning bushes. One in the back yard is a joy to see. One is in between our driveway and our neighbor’s fence and is a nightmare to control. I’m surprised I haven’t killed it with pruning that is designed to protect my car as I back into the garage and not at all for the benefit of the plant. We ordered these on-line, and they look healthy. We’ve been here 39 years, and neither of our bushes have spread. Unless, a long distance bird made his way up to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Amazon building is sprawling and ugly, but I imagine functional. They will employ a lot of people, but they’ve also put a number of folks out of work. It will be interesting to see if they become unionized! Very sad to see the demolished tobacco barns. Wish they could have been repurposed before they deteriorated so badly. Never knew about the shade screens. Interesting.

    That is an absolutely magnificent shot of Old Glory! The bunny is looking very pleased with itself for nibbling on another of your plants. I have one Burning Bush and I love it. Green all summer, red during the fall!

    Rain, rain and more rain this week. I love the idea of “April showers bring Spring flowers”. But on my little patch of dirt the April showers only bring Spring mud! Lol! Sigh…..

    Have a great week. Hope you and Maddie get some nice walks in in between rain drops.
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger.

      Copied from my answer to Yvette – They grew tobacco under shade in the Connecticut River valley to mimic the growing conditions in the Caribbean islands. Most of the tobacco grown here was used for cigar wrappers. Connecticut Shade Tobacco was prized for that purpose.

      The degree to which Amazon has automated their operations, I’m not sure if they will hire as many workers as they displaced. I know one thing, the previous workers worked very hard, but at least they could see the sky and breath fresh air. No so for the workers about to be employed in that big dark box.

      My flag photos go through phases as Maddie and I walk at roughly the same time, but the sun is in a different position in the sky. I am enjoying a beautifully backlit flag right now, but pretty soon, the sun will be too high.

      The bunny started to come out into the yard, but stopped when he saw Maddie. Then he looked down and saw the shoots and…

      We will try to get out ahead of or in between the rain this week. I hope you have a nice week.

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  6. I had never heard of shade tobacco nor was I aware that it was grown in Ct, I thought that was strictly a Carolina coast thing. I hated to see the barns destroyed, lots of people use Barn wood in projects. I feel the same way about Amazon as everyone else, it’s sad to see so much land taken up with a building but they employ a lot of people and I use them a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kim. I’m copying and pasting from two previous answers – first on the shade tobacco: They grew tobacco under shade in the Connecticut River valley to mimic the growing conditions in the Caribbean islands. Most of the tobacco grown here was used for cigar wrappers. Connecticut Shade Tobacco was prized for that purpose.

      As for the barns: Two of the barns were “harvested” by a company that sells barn wood. We even had the opportunity to pre-order some. That was a very long process, and once Amazon signed the contract, about 14-16 barns were knocked over and reduced to rubble. Picking through the debris was forbidden, and dumpster after dumpster left the sight.

      It’s sad to see what used to be farmland as far as you could see reduced to ugly concrete boxes, but tobacco has fallen out of favor (and that’s a good thing), and these owners have opted to sell the land. Others around here have switched to growing berries and hops. The poles and wires that used to carry the shade cloth, now hold netting to keep the birds away.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have not one good thing to say about smoking, but I sure admire an old barn. Your photos tell the story of the inevitable, most likely, and it’s good that photos like yours have captured barns because some day people might not know what they were. I can only hope that fields of corn and soybeans won’t be unknown also. As for your rabbit, of course it’s eating whatever you planted! Rabbits always try to look innocent, but they don’t pull that off well. A great flag photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bunny says, “it’s your fault buddy. I was heading out into the yard until I saw Maddie.”

      I’m not a fan of tobacco, but when those fields were full, it was a sweet smell surrounding us as we drove between the rows of shade cloth. Now we’ll have diesel fumes :( I mentioned in a previous reply, some of the farmers have switched to growing berries and hops. These fields are too close to the airport and the highway to escape any use other than warehouses.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Truck and drivers that either don’t understand that other people use the road or don’t have the time to care. Amazon drivers in this area are the worst.

      These all lie between our house and the Target store we shop at. That store is less than two miles away, and soon there will be six traffic lights. Fortunately, there’s a back way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have mixed feelings about the Amazon warehouse, as I see them springing up at the cost of local stores. But, I confess to using Amazon because of its ease. Love your photos, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are many things not to like about this, Gwen, but our complaints are not going to change the trends in shopping. Amazon wrangled deep tax breaks from the neighboring town. If those don’t continue beyond the initial agreement, I’m sure they will move. Unlike those 19th century warehouses I’ve featured in Hartford, this building will never be turned into housing.

      Like

  9. Ah, Mother Earth. How we abuse her and yet how much she continues to give to us. Amazon has made us all lazier. I use it. In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use it. I love your photos, but the flagpole ones always get me in the heart area! Thanks for sharing, Dan. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s true, Jan. The warehouse is here because the demand for the products they sell is here. Cee’s prompt gave me a good opportunity to share these. I try to include the flag as often as I can. I walk past it almost every day, but it always looks a little different. I’m glad you like it.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I had always loved your tobacco barn photos, so it pains me to see them gone. My husband was a 40+ years smoker before he quit, and we figure we must have been rich for him to spend upwards of $60 a carton for cigarettes. The flag photo is a stunner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad he quit, Lois. I’ll miss driving through those fields (the smell was amazing) but this is progress… I guess). I’m glad you like the flag. I worry that I include it too often, but I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice photos, Dan, although I always dislike seeing an old barn in ruins. They are structures I find inviting, which is weird as I haven’t spent a lot of time in them. Perhaps it’s from growing up in rural WI, where barns and cows dotted the countryside on our family Sunday rides.

    Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mary. I love driving through the Midwest when I visit my brother. The huge fields, the barns (not many cows in Iowa) the endless fields. I like seeing land being used like that. Big concrete boxes are not my thing, but…

      Happy Monday!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Thrall family has a lot of branches around here, but they did own this particular farmland. The exterior of the building seems to be done. The signage and lights are up, trees have been planted. I assume they are still fitting things out on the inside. It’s scheduled to open this fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Dan – Amazon … enough said! An amazing business – beggars belief really. I think you said that the transport is slightly away from your home … I sincerely hope it stays that way. Such a pity about the tobacco barns … but understand – life goes on and earth needs to be moved for it to happen. Rabbits always required, while flags need to fly. Take care – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. The only remaining tobacco field in this area in across the highway from these two sights and in the town I live in (the highway is close to the dividing line). We have given permission to a developer who wants to build a rather large youth sports complex. It’s a major undertaking, but at least it has some benefits. Life goes on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They come in, make promises and sway the minds of the politicians who must approve such things. In this case, it’s on the border of our town and the neighboring town. The tax revenue goes to them, the traffic mainly affects us. I guess it was an easy decision.

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  13. Modern architecture is so… Utilitarian. There is no charm, no whimsy, no beauty. What does that say about us? I do love the pictures of the tobacco farms. That is such a difficult job and yet there is beauty in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Dan, I don’t think tulip bulbs are good for bunnies! I try to shop local but during the pandemic so many local stores cut way down on their hours and goods for sale. Hopefully they will get back to normal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure these were tulips. I bought a bag of “mixed bulbs” – the bunny only eats the green shoots, so I may never know what I planted. If I thought it would help, I’d put up a sign “Not good for Bunnies!”

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  15. Hi Dan, I’m so sorry I missed this! Monday and Tuesday are a blur at this point. I love all the tobacco field shots and I like your favorite but mine is the one of the (is that a thrasher or seeding machine? Irrigation?) Anyway, I love that one with the red sun flare. Bunnies, always a must. Hmmm.. I love the way Amazon tries to soften the blow that it is a distribution center/warehouse with the name ‘fulfillment center’. That makes it sound so magnanimous doesn’t it? Next thing you know they’ll be calling their delivery drivers ‘fulfillment faeries”. 😏

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  16. Lovely photos, dan. Our Amazon went in a space with absolutely nothing there prior, which is much, much better than the situation there. Even so, the place is enormous. It’s astounding the number of enormous buildings in our city. I sit here in my tiny bungalow and listen the the birds, the interstate, and the occasional train — and I relish the lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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