I took a recent trip to Irvine, Kentucky. I have pictures here in my posts of that trip (and more to come). There was an interesting mural on the wall of a local business that told the story of Estill County.
County Mural, Irvine, KY (Canon AE-1, Kodak Portra 400)
It’s a tourist photo I know, but I had to get it out of my system. However, a rule I learned a long time ago has netted me great results: when you’re drawn to a subject, turn around and look at what is behind you (and above you, and at your feet). That’s where you might find the real photo.
Kudzu Railroad, Irvine, KY (Canon AE-1, Kodak Portra 400)
There was this unbelievable layer of kudzu all over the hillside, broken up only by the railroad track. You can even see that kudzu would have strangled it as well if it weren’t for the regular freight trains that cut through screaming, “Hah, not today! You’re not fast enough!”
Kudzu is a real problem in the southeastern US. I have seen it countless times, but it never ceases to make me pause whenever I come across it. It’s a lot like seeing mountain-top mining. They rape the mountain by lopping its top off, then leave it to die. You feel powerless looking at the landscape that is forever scarred by man’s violence.
With kudzu, you’re watching nature strangle the land. And what’s prophetic, is it was man that brought about the land’s destruction. Kudzu was brought to America to control erosion, but instead it smothers the land. It’s violence in slow motion.