Lying fallow

I love old words. Or words you just hear in a certain context. Here’s one: Fallow. Isn’t that a pretty word?

Walking behind our house when we got here, I realized that the field which is almost always planted in grain or sunflower or rapeseed, is lying fallow this summer. In fifteen years of coming here, I’ve never seen it like this—overrun with weeds and butterflies and poppies—a totally new rebel world. I love it! Day before yesterday they mowed it down (activity is afoot), so I’m glad I caught it when I did.


When you first start the walk, along the railroad tracks, the field rises gently behind you like an Andrew Wyeth painting, with splotches of red—poppies—splattered against field-color. It buzzes with life.

If you observe the poppies at close range and squint, it’s just a full-on red story. Red red red. I love that. Did Dior ever make a Poppy lipstick? Did Chanel? Forget your fire engines and your blood. It’s all about Poppy!


I don’t know what this weed is, do you? It is everywhere. And because we are so close to this field, it virtually dominates what thrives in our yard too. When we got here, I had to hack through a jungle of this stuff to find my flowers…it was like the end of the Secret Garden when Mary succeeds in finding what lies beneath all those years of neglect and nature’s unfettered enthusiasm. Some grain, not ready to call it quits, reseeded itself —lone civilized stragglers crashing a party.


FIELD 3The fallow field abuts another field planted in sunflowers. When I took these pictures the flowers were still green. They are a million suns now. I’ll show you soon. I’d better hurry, before it’s too late…


Sometimes we need to lie fallow too. At least our minds do. They need to be still enough to be overrun with organic, unguided thoughts. Il dolce far niente. I’m working on that, but the big existential farmer has other plans…he’s doing some deep plowing. Work to be done, he says. Stop that laziness…

Have a lovely day doing—or not doing—whatever…

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4 Responses to Lying fallow

  1. cecilia says:

    Oh those poppies! gorgeous! just right for a liptick.. I am having a lovely day, hope you are too!! c

  2. teresa elliott says:

    i vouchsafe that fallow is the new black.

  3. dayphoto says:

    You are so right…we all need to lie fallow. Your photos are outstanding. Here we have to PLANT poppies!


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