Behind the felled trees

Old house on weekly grist

It's not often you see a two story house in a south Arkansas rural setting. Someone was serious about building a nice family residence. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, the dream crashed and sputtered to the ground. Built in the early forties, the home was abandoned years ago.

Until the surrounding forest was harvested, this old home place escaped detection by yours truly despite my having driven past it on more than one occasion. Even if I had stumbled onto it, the probability of grabbing meaningful images was slim to none since trees were standing in the way of all possible camera angles. The war zone appearance bares all now. The story is out.

I started this adventure on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com with late afternoon pictures of what’s left of a fine old barn and another view of the house on the place. Click here to see these pictures and get in on the start of the story. We’ll wait here.

old home place near cornerville

The logging contractor was supposed to have left 300 feet of timber standing around the home and other structures. He failed miserably to meet this requirement, leaving a bare, war-zone landscape conducive to shooting pictures of the place. The old barn featured with details on Corndancer dot com is to the right center. It was a long walk from the house to the barn.

While I was shooting, Phillip Tucker, the lessee of the property, drove up and we conversed. Once he was satisfied with my benign intent for the property, we became friends. He advised me that the logging contractor was supposed to have left an area of 300 feet around the house and other structures standing. The fact that the logging contractor failed miserably in leaving everything standing for 300 feet a is the only reason we can get the images you see here and on the Corndancer photo of the week page.

small out building

Despite the fact that this structure bears a striking resemblance to a southeast Asian hooch, it is in southeast Arkansas, behind the house. I have tried to figure out the former use of the structure, but thus far have come up blank. Suggestions accepted. Comment below.

Mr. Tucker also advised me that the area was rife with rattlesnakes and had the harvested rattlers to prove it. Snakes don’t make me panic, but the fact that I saw no rattlers was comforting. There is also an old dug well on the property into which one would prefer not to plunge. Duly warned, I watched my step and escaped harm. This time.

collapsing out building

There is another outbuilding on the property which will probably cease to defy gravity soon. Even the apparently sympathetic tree behind the building is leaning in the same direction.

Fret not. The nude landscape on the property is a temporary condition. Since the pine needles on the ground are brown, I’m guessing it was probably before spring when the timber was harvested. Already new growth is popping up all over the place. This time next year, new growth will be at least knee high (to me) in most places, higher in others.

grapevine and small tree

A grapevine and a small tree have proven they are tougher than a bulldozer. There is similar growth all over the property. Regeneration has begun. Left unchecked, the new growth will eventually place the old home place in defilade one more time.You can mess with Mother Nature, but not for long.

Having collected a sufficient amount of pixels and having avoided the fetid depths of an abandoned well, and remaining un-snakebit, I gathered my stuff and proceeded north. By the time I was less than a long 30.06 shot from home, the Almighty rendered a spectacular cloud formation. Being an appreciative soul, I recorded it so that other mortals might enjoy His handiwork.

cloud formation

A gift from the Master Painter.

In the hackneyed words of the old radio personalities, ” … and now as the sun sets slowly in the west … ,” I bid you adieu.

But wait, there’s more!

Thirty-nine, that’s right, 39 pictures in color and black and white await your review on our weekly high resolution gallery. It costs you nothing to click here and there’s never any obligation. You may oooo and ahhh  as you like. You’ll see all the Corndancer and Weekly Grist pictures plus the ones we shot that were not published.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey


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