"The ravine was indeed a place where you came to look at the two things of life, the ways of man and the ways of the natural world. The town was, after all, only a large ship filled with constantly moving survivors, bailing out the grass, chipping away the rust. Now and again a lifeboat, a shanty, kin to the mother ship, lost out to the quiet storm of seasons, sank down in silent waves of termite and ant into swallowing ravine to feel the flicker of grasshoppers rattling like dry paper in hot weeds, become soundproofed with spider dust and finally, in avalanche of shingle and tar, collapse like kindling shrines into a bonfire, which thunderstorms ignited with blue lightning, while flash-photographing the triumph of the wilderness.
It was this then, the mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back, year after year, that drew Douglas, knowing the towns never really won, they merely existed in calm peril, fully accoutered with lawn mower, bug spray and hedge shears, swimming steadily as long as civilization said to swin, but each house ready to sink in green tides, buried forever, when the last man ceased and his trowels and mowers shattered to cereal flaks of rust."
I had noted recently that Dandelion Wine was one of my favorite books as a youth. After Ray Bradbury's passing, I requested it from the local library, and have been reading it. The passage above really struck me. I think this "mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back" is something that emerges often in my photography. Especially the latter part. As I read the passage, I thought of the photo above. Thi swas taken in 1996, on a bicycle outing in southern Illinois.