Saturday, December 3, 2016

The University Farm: Seasonal Charnel House

After parking, I watched two men get out of a truck and, while a third stayed behind the wheel, walk to the farm building's center back door, where they unlocked it and disappeared inside.

I minded my own business, wandered into the new hoophouse, ambled through, headed up the side of the larger hoophouse, then around it, all the time taking photos. 

When I noticed the dessicated butterflies, beetles, flies, bees stacked inside the interior folds of plastic, and, taken aback, thought of northern European still lifes of dead rabbits and birds and stacked fish on groaning boards, awaiting preparation and consumption, those reminders of fleeting time and death awaiting us all -- at that very moment, I heard a voice.

Looking to my right, I saw two of the men dragging a whitetail deer carcass (field-dressed and knife-slit-belly facing me) toward that very same door, swing it up the steps, go inside briefly, then come out, lock the door, and get in the truck. The third pocketed his smart phone, joined them, and they drove away.

Culling season in Sewanee, the season of darkness.

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