When I woke up this morning I had no idea what I'd do with today, my second day off of two. I knew I wanted to hike somewhere, but I couldn't decide where. Then I discovered it was the birthday of English Pastoral composer George Butterworth (more on him and a sample of his music after the photos), and in searching out music videos of his work on YouTube to post on Facebook I was inspired to consider a hike in an area I haven't visited in a while. So today I bring you scenes from an area west and slightly south of town, going out Possum Hollow Rd. to Mt. Rock Rd., out Mt. Rock to Rice Rd. and down Rice to Molly Pitcher Highway (Rt. 11) and home. Lots of farms, flowers, and views of both North and South Mountains. Enjoy!
|A cornfield along Possum Hollow Rd.|
|A pasture becomes a field of flowers (mostly Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace) along Possum Hollow Rd.|
|Farms and South Mountain from Possum Hollow Rd.|
|Looking toward North Mountain from Mt. Rock Rd.|
|One farmer's inventive way of clearing a field after haying, along Rice Rd.|
|A pastoral scene along Rice Rd.|
|One more pastoral scene, this one along Molly Pitcher Highway on the way back home|
George Sainton Kaye Butterworth (1885 - 1916) was a friend of Ralph Vaughan Williams and with Vaughan Williams and Gerald Finzi, Gustav Holst, and others a member of what I like to call the English Pastoral school - music based on collected English folksongs and composed as paeans to the English countryside. In fact, Butterworth and Vaughan Williams used to go on folksong collecting voyages along the country roads of Great Britain together, and it was Butterworth who convinced Vaughan Williams to compose his first symphony. Butterwoth's music is the epitome of the pastoral style of the "school", but we have only few works from him; like many of the artistic lights of his generation he was killed in WWI, specifically in the Battle of the Somme, which swallowed up so very much of Britain's youth. "Two English Idylls" (1911) is one of the best examples of George Butterworth's English Pastoral style. Enjoy!
Photos © 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger