Ringed Recognition

We were looking at some old pictures the other days, and came upon this one of a kid in the ringed T-shirt. Without even looking at the date, we knew right away it was from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Why? Because just a picture of the ringed T-shirts of our youth calls up such a sense of familiarity, nostalgia and comfort. h-lefebvre-1960s-boy-jeans-striped-t-shirt-holding-bow-and-pulling-arrow-out-of-target-bull-s-eye

We wore them as kids, all the other kids we knew wore them (at least until they were replaced by the tie-dyed shirts a few years later). You weren’t a little kid during that area, in certain parts of the world, without having some version of the ringed T-shirt.

It’s old, personal magic.

The field in rows.

The field in rows.

So why is it that the ringed lines of of the harvested field near our house have the same effect on me?

I didn’t grow up here in France, I didn’t even grow up around fields, and certainly not around wildflower meadows that get harvested for winter cattle feed.

The field, post-cut and pre-rowed. So many different kinds of grass and wildflowers.

The field, post-cut and pre-rowed. So many different kinds of grass and wildflowers.

Still, this early summer vision, which I’ve seen for almost 20 years now, has the same effect on me as a ringed T-shirt. A sense of comfort, a confidence in the familiar progress of the seasons. The meadow grows wild every year, reaches a peak, and then grows wild again until its second harvest in autumn.

A note: This is the same favorite meadow that just a week ago looked like this:

When they were still upright and green.

When they were still upright and green.

Every year, I miss the wildflowers and watch the butterflies bob aimlessly through the empty field for a week or so. And then the new growth begins.

Some Favorite Meadows

Well, it’s one of those days. I had a lovely post all completed and ready to go, something about a cool gadget, and it’s been swallowed whole by the ethers (the post, not the gadget). It’s a mystery. I can recreate it, but it will take more time than I have available right now.

So instead, I’m posting a few images of some of my favorite meadows around our village. photo 2-2

They grow wild every year. Sometimes they are used for grazing, some years they’re just left to their own wild devices.

The composition of wildlflowers is different with each year and each season. Some years have more purple. This year is trending yellow.photo 3

Each of the fields, even if they are only on opposite sides of the small country road, goes its own way when it comes to plant life.photo 5

And these are a few of the herbivore fertilizer units that populate the meadows at various times during the year. They are also the happy recipients of the meadowflowers and grasses that get cut and baled, once at the end of spring and once at the end of summer.

The local stud, that big white fellow in the middle, amongst a few of his admirers.

The local stud, that big white fellow in the middle, amongst a few of his admirers.

The air is alive with cowbells, birdsong and the hum of insect activity.

All in all, not a bad life for a dairy herd, or for the runner who passes them on a daily basis.photo 4