Unruly native grass surrounded by abandoned pavement, seen in monochrome.

Spent prairie and stunted trees in their lonely suburban cages, found in Madison, WI, USA. I found this scene while driving further down the road, and was immediately attracted by the dead lot overtaken by dormant foliage. The restaurant was permanently closed, and I delighted in the union of forgotten commerce and enduring plant life. The restaurant was lifeless in the depths of winter and frozen in its state of lacking, but the foliage – originally placed for decoration or as a trendy bioswale – thrived in spite of its confinement.

I found a number of scenes to render at this location, and was in the swing of my outing when a man inspecting the building’s facade called to me. He asked if I was the owner or if I knew him – both of which I denied – and politely asked what I was photographing. I assumed he was seeking a business opportunity because meeting the owner was all he cared about. The overgrowth and the character it gave the otherwise forgettable lot barely registered with him. His eyes were on the dark interior and constant stream of vehicles, and their path was clearly elsewhere.

I don’t have much hope of this foliage lasting, their planting and placement so blatantly catering to the short-term. I’m no longer naive enough to think that nature will be given deference or respect by commercial interests in the Madison area, as I was in Homeless, but its splendor abounds here, even with such immense limitations. I rejoice seeing it each time I return, and rapidly forget about the building, as so many others do each day.

Minolta SRT 101
Minolta 24mm MD VFC f/2.8
Ferrania P30 – ISO 80