Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photo Essay: Stone Fences in Kentucky


I'm thrilled that this photo of mine appeared on Shutter Sisters as part of their "weekending" series, so I figured I'd better share it with you all as well. As I was going through my photos from my recent trip to Kentucky I realized the stone fences I was so enamored with deserve their own little photo essay, so here we go. This particular one is the southern fence of Shaker Village.



Driving out of Lexington on State Route 68 towards Shaker Village, I was completely charmed to find these stone walls lining some of the meadows and fields. I only knew them from Ireland and felt transported back to the bicycle tour my sister and I did of County Clare many years ago. To find these dry wall structures in the picturesque landscape of the Kentucky River Valley was unexpected.

Upon research I found that they are indeed rare in the U.S. and the Kentucky Bluegrass Country is famous for them. In Ireland we were told they were built to get all those stones off the fields so they could be farmed, and indeed, these kind of walls are found in areas where the soil is full of rocks, such as Kentucky, known for its brittle limestone. Dry stone wall building is a particular method where a wall is constructed without any mortar to hold the stones together; rather, the mason figures out which stones will fit together best according to their shape. Thus these walls can be hundreds of years old as they don't depend on mortar that deteriorates over time.



All these photos are taken around the Shaker Village property. I wanted to take pictures earlier along Route 68 but it proved impossible to park the car safely along the narrow road and wander about.
 


Here with this newer stone fence in the Historic Farm section of Shaker Village you can see the dry wall technique at work. Stones are fit together perfectly to support a hole in the wall!


 
 The orderliness of the stone wall and the hay stacks goes together, don't you think?


 
 The classic white fence is what we expect to see in American farmland, at least in standard depictions of horse country, and here, right behind it, is one of those old stone walls.

6 comments:

  1. I found you on Shutter Sisters and thought I would come by for a visit. I am German, as well, but came over as a small child. Thank you for sharing your talents online.
    backontheflooragain.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BusyB - thanks for stopping by! I hope you can visit more often.

      Delete
  2. Congratulations, Annette. I especially loved the round window wall. What a find. Yes, I definitely have to get to that part of Kentucky. Unfortunately, now I'm addicted to the Shutter Sisters website. What kind of camera/lens do you use? I've been using a 30x point and shoot because it meant less weight on my problem neck, but now I'm looking possibly to go back to a small SLR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie - Ha! I love it that you found the Shutter Sisters site this way! I sent you an email regarding the camera issue...

      Delete
  3. Loved your photos-and those walls are something. Found your site through Julie Farrer's blog. Now I have to check out Shutter Sisters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cora - welcome! Glad you stopped by and enjoyed my photos. Beware, the Shuttersisters site is addictive!

      Delete