Wednesday, January 11, 2006

sprawl



Nine miles from here the outer edges of a 40 mile urban sprawl reaches from the edges of Lake Michigan to the rural countryside. The clash of suburban and rural surprisingly hasn't created much of a spark, but the contrasts are dramatic nonetheless.

I've mentioned before that this is probably one of the only places where a Coach handbag store lies within two miles of a livestock feed store. There are no glitzy 24 hour fitness centers in the country - farming is a physical endeavor - no need to pump iron. Kids get exercise doing chores and playing in the barns and on the property.

But just nine miles from here children are pushed along in "burleys". Out in the country burly means stocky, stout, hearty. I'm not saying either culture is better than the other. They're just different and it seems to me that we're able to abide each other. We must remember though that Illinois farmland is black gold and has taken thousands and thousands of years to develop - once lost to development will never be recaptured.

8 comments:

ell-in-or said...

Burleys! I went to college in Eugene, Oregon, home of the Burley Bike shop which also sells 'kid haulers'. That Urban Growth Boundary is sure somethin'.

Tim Rice said...

Urban sprawl is reality but is also something that needs better planning. I grieve the loss of so much country side.

pablo said...

The man in the photo looks as though he is trying to run from the development.

Zanne said...

Unfortunately anyone with a Burley is running towards development.

srp said...

I sometimes wonder what the Oklahoma City area I lived in 18 years ago, looks like now. Well, besides a burned out grass fire. Our house was in one of those developments across from acres and acres of farmland. Of course the land was not as rich as Illinois and mostly ours was used for cattle grazing but it was undeveloped. We could hear coyotes at night and once when the owner mowed the field, we had an invasion of tarantulas running from the mowers. I imagine the field is gone now and the critters pushed further west.

Carolyn R. said...

Happy De-lurking week. I love your photographs. At least we'll have those when all else is gone - although with digital our kids don't even have to believe the picture - we photoshopped it to make it look better! The times they are a changin - fast. I'll go back to lurking now.

KatKit13 said...

~sigh~ it looks so much like where I live. I grew up in Amish Country so to see all these tracts homes and constant building makes me sad.

Floridacracker said...

It's scary to think how much we depend on the top few inches of the land surface. Scarier to think about how little that gets considered...