Monday, November 19, 2012, 4-5 p.m.
The farmhouse that once stood on this land vanished years ago, and of the large dairy barn only silos and magnificent stone foundation remain, but other buildings, in various states of disrepair, stand precariously among the trees that have crowded in on them during the many untenanted years that have passed here, reclaiming the land. The air is warm and still, full of the clean smell of freshly fallen leaves. A squirrel darts nervously and disappears into a collapsing barn. Chickadees flit among the shrubs of the tavern parking lot.
One small building looks like a cabin. Oddly, mysteriously, the more open face of the cabin, with windows and doors, looks north, while the longer, more deeply sloping roof minimizes what would once have been sunshine (before the trees recaptured the land) from the south. One door is completely gone, frame askew, sill missing. Wide boards form the cabin walls (no doubt uninsulated), narrower wood siding nailed over them. The siding on the front wall still holds much of its dark red paint; on the east no paint remains, and much of the siding has rotted away, exposing boards beneath.
The cabin was originally roofed with more wide boards and then covered with rows of overlapping wood shingles. On the western end the shingles themselves are covered over by corrugated metal roofing, but the entire roof, rusting metal and rotting wood, is weighed down with dead leaves and vines. Vines also hang and twist about the eastern end of the cabin and form a wild tangle on the ground with odd bits of human refuse.
The building in best repair is the old granary, standing straight and true on its solid stone foundation built into a slope of ground. The granary’s exterior walls are covered with pressed tin, and this metal siding still holds tight to the boards it covers.
Although the ground is deep in leaf litter all around, several trees have been recently cut and logs stacked and brush neatly raked and piled by a new owner. As the delicate crescent of a waxing moon grows brighter in the sky behind the granary, a crow flaps by, flying north. High over the old farmyard treetops stir gently in the breeze. There is something melancholy about an abandoned farm, its buildings falling into ruin, and the scene is most poignant in autumn, but signs here point to some kind of new life taking shape.