Reading Rural Landscapes



Rob Sanford, author of Reading Rural Landscapes, will show PowerPoint slides of common landscape features ranging from plants and trees to stonewalls, cellar holes, and other altered landforms that show the dynamics of human-influenced change in the countryside. As a society, we know a great deal about famous people of the past, great historical architecture and important events of the past, but we are surrounded by common, everyday places that also represent history. Yet these ordinary things are in danger of becoming forgotten. Still, they are accessible and interpretable if we take the time to look. And they help us to understand the past. This presentation is for anyone who is curious about the remnants and features of a bygone New England countryside. What are some common clues to the past? How do we read them? What can we find in our own back yards? We will focus on some typical features and techniques for interpreting them as we process the “language” of the land in rural Maine. Participants are invited to share their own insights and experiences with local landscapes.