Monday, December 17, 2007

the unquiet woods

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We live in a very small community. The most excitement in recent times was when the Pierce's baby Jesus was stolen from the nativity scene in their front yard, and the flag-waving, top-hat wearing hot dog figurine was stolen from the hot dog place about 2 miles from here.

Although I photograph alot of abandoned farms, there are some fairly modern properties that are also abandoned. The most visible one lies 1/4 mile from our home. It was once a beautiful and well kept home of an unusual architectural design. About 10 years ago I was working nights and at any time of the night the television would be burning bright in the family room. A perpetual bluish glow streamed from the windows. Then it became apparent that the house was empty.

There seemed to be a caretaker living in the coach house a short distance from the main house. Cars began to accumulate in the space between the two buildings. Nature went about the business of reclaiming what was rightfully hers. Fences fell into disrepair and the large area in front of the house took on the look of a wild prairie. Christmas decorations hung frozen in time for years and years. Huge trees along the roadway died and stood like ghostly sentinels, threatening to flatten passing cars in the event of a strong wind.

At some point it became apparent that the caretaker was gone. That's when things truly went wild. Sheriff's police started showing up regularly. No one knew the nature of the trouble but a couple months ago they led someone away in handcuffs. Squatter?

Today as I turned out onto the main road four Sheriff's cars flew by lights flashing but without sirens. As I approached the dip in the road which marked the beginning of the property I counted five police cars and more approaching fast from a distance. The woods are deep between the house the the stream to the west. Standing around the house were at least 5 officers with what appeared to me to be guns drawn. Can you see one in the photo above?

No word yet what difficulty would draw such a force but it should be in tomorrow's newspaper. Stay tuned.

9 comments:

Donna said...

Drugs, no doubt.

Zanne said...

I'm pretty sure that must be the case. If so they're pretty low key. I never see any cars or signs that anyone has been there. There's been a huge chain across the entrance by the road and the only other way in is to walk quite a distance. I guess that's not much of a challenge for someone intent on doing or dealing drugs.

sugarcreekfarm said...

This photo, with the dark figure, is downright spooky!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'd guess it's a meth lab, or maybe an adult film studio.

I'm eager to hear what is discovered.

Pablo
http://www.roundrockjournal.com

Zanne said...

Adult film studio....now there's something I hadn't thought of. Might be a little chilly for that because the house has no utilities. Meth labs are a big problem in rural America. They're traveling labs set up in RV's. Someone scouts the rural areas and finds a place that is rarely visited or has absentee owners who lease out the land. Our friend inherited some land in central Illinois and his tenant farmer happened to notice that the chain on one of the gates had been broken. A meth lab had set up and done their dirty deed - opened the RV doors and pushed all garbage from their operation out on the ground and left. Chemistry students gone bad.

I am going to contact our neighborhood watch captain. After all, 99% of the year they don't have much to do.

BettyWestern said...

Wow, I'm surprised you were able to get close enough for this picture, without them taping off the area. I guess police with guns drawn is still, thankfully, very rare indeed over here. Wish I was confident it will stay that way ...

Zanne said...

Betty - The picture was taken using my secret method .... blindly pointing the camera towards the direction of the action whilst I keep my eyes on the road and drive past. Really. I'm not kidding. You'd be shocked at how many of my photos are drive-bys. Nothing in the paper this morning so I'm going to put our block captain on the case. I think it's to our best interest to know what's happening in our area.

Barbara Jacksier said...

I've been enjoying your photos for a while now and decided it was time to write you a note of thanks. Your photography captures the beauty of this world. I sent several friends to check out your Iced Berries.
Barbara

Zanne said...

Barbara - thanks so much for visiting. I appreciate each and every visitor who take time out of their busy day to spend a moment here.