November 23, 2010

Stubble Fields

As I'm driving out in the landscape at this time of year, one of my favorite sights is of fields of golden corn stalks, remnants left in the ground to prevent winter erosion. From one point of view there is no order to the planting; the truncated stalks stick up all higgledy piggledy, giving an illusion of an all-over texture on top of the land.

But shift the viewpoint and the regulated lines of stalks appears, here curving around the corner

and here moving back in clear perspectival rows. As you go by these rows, they move and shift, showing different patterns, creating a changing design as one vanishing point gives way to another, a farm field as a magical flow of space.


  1. I grew up in Iowa. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent as a child, staring out the side window of a car, mesmerized and dizzied by these patterns in 6 foot green feed corn, and later in the cut-over fields. There were telephone poles along straight roads that dipped up and down over rolling hills, too, but the corn rows were even better. Thanks for the post!

  2. Susan, thanks so much for sharing the childhood memory; it's nice for me to know that someone else finds this effect so fascinating.