by Maurice Mattei

There are regions of America that are breathtakingly beautiful. One such region is Janesville, Wisconsin. I know little about the community other than what I have seen on the surface. This adds to its charm. I have found that the more I know about a place the less I am attracted to it. There are exceptions and perhaps Janesville will be one of them. These photos document the first chance I had to explore the neighborhood. I did this while riding a bike down the country roads. I got a little closer when walking up a country trail. The wildflowers overflowed onto the path, the crickets leapt in serpentine patterns, the bees mistakenly pollenated a soy bean plant. It was late summer and dragonflies buzzed by me without care. Birds chirped and every so often a vole appeared and quickly disappeared. In my younger days I would have chased that vole but with age comes wisdom and I simply kept walking. Down the road I encountered corn fields and people harvesting tobacco plants. High up in the very blue sky sat a pale moon, spent from the revels of the night before. It spoke to me in an oration that covered me like the tarp on a vintage Shelby. I picked up a pebble and threw it at the moon. It landed in a distant cornfield with a clang, hitting an errant sump pump. To my left was a newly painted farm house, sparkling in the summer sun. They kept horses; handsome mares, though still sleepy in the morning light. While exploring, it crossed my mind that I understood so little about this country. Being raised in the city I was influenced, like so many, by the temper of the times in which I lived. I now began to see how misguided these urban viewpoints were. I moved on, finally coming to a huge tree in the small of the path.

These pictures are for Dennis McWilliams, who lived on the land pictured here. He was a good person and he will be missed.