The winter view from Esperanza is, as always, dominated by the low ranges of hills that roll off to the west, neither high nor dramatic but very much there.  Currently, the primary colour for the distant hills is a deep purple brown.  On a day such as this, with light clouds, this blue colour is offset by sun spots.  In the distance this colour is a brown-silver, on the closest hill the snow beneath the trees makes it almost white.  When the sun comes out fully, much of the blue colour will vanish, but not all and shadows will outline the hills.

This is very different from what it would have looked like a century or more past.  It is the trees that impart those colours, those shadows, and the sense of depth.  When the trees were not there, and all the hills were fields; white would have been the dominate colour.  Even with the oddly shaped fields, a more geometric and sharper landscape would have appeared.  Quite interesting, no doubt, but quite different! It also had a much bigger view, Esperanza’s hedgerows were shorter; today hills to the north and south are completely hidden, as is the first small hill to the west, all were very visible a century ago.*

In a century….houses I suspect.  A discussion to do some major cutting and then replanting with pine along the bottom property line of the house lot in order to avoid being able to wave at more neighbours sometimes arises.  It would be a rather dramatic change…not that those discussing it would be alive to see the end result of course!  Which perhaps makes it a weightier decision.

*It’s awkward, I am realizing that the shorthand of ‘century’ doesn’t work for some things, but writing ‘a century plus’ doesn’t have the same ring.

*The eastern view (which if you are a squirrel you can see from the top of biggest Norway spruce)  vanished by 1880: Julie added to the maples and Norway spruces already in place, and photographs show that the house’s eastern front was already largely hidden by trees by that time.  Today, trees and houses to the east ensure that it is entirely hidden.