The h2g2 Literary Corner: Some Summer Days in Iowa, 1909

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We worry about global warming. Maybe it's a good idea to take a look at nature's recent history?

Some Summer Days in Iowa, 1909

Every tree is a picture.

Forget politics. And forget the rush of modern life. In 1909, Fred Lazell published a book with photos and descriptions of a summer in Iowa. You can read the whole thing on Some Summer Days in Iowa. Here's an excerpt with some pics.

Farther out, where the old road leaves the woods, the landscape is like a vast park, more beautiful than many a park which the world calls famous. From the crest of the ridge the fields roll away in graceful curves, dotted with comfortable homes and groves and skirted by heavy timber down in the valley where the sweet water of the river moves quietly over the white sand. Still responding to the freshening impulse of the June rains, fields and woods are all a-quiver with growth. By master magic soil-water and sunshine are being changed into color and form to delight the eye and food to do the world's work. Every tree is a picture, each leaf is as fresh and clean as the rain-washed air of the morning. From the low meadows the perfume of the hay is brought up by the languid breeze. Amber oat-fields are ripening in the sun and in the corn-fields there is a sense of the gathering force of life as the sturdy plants lift themselves higher and higher during

"The long blue solemn hours, serenely flowing

Whence earth, we feel, gets steady help and good."

Many a tourist comes home to a land like this, weary and penniless, like Sir Launfal after his fruitless quest, to discover that the grail of health and rest and beauty which he sought afar so strenuously is most easily and readily found at home.

Ed. Note: It might be instructive for a nature expert (Willem?) to go through this book and compare Iowa in 1909 to present-day landscapes. We're grateful to this earlier photographer.

An old road in Iowa in 1909.
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