Just Midwestern Things™
  • the little gravel turn-around cross way thingies in between the sides of long rural highway
  • old white farmhouse paint with the flecks chipped off (you know the look)
  • that one random mint-aqua house by the creek
  • solar panels in the sideyard
  • large cornfields
  • s o y b e a n s
  • wheat swaying in the breeze while the sun’s overhead
  • an old bike leaning up against the bottom trellis part of an old farmhouse porch, next to the steps
  • grain silos out back of the house
  • rusty brown farm windmills
  • fences made of those wooden sticks jammed in the ground, with the chicken-wire metal netting nailed up between alongside the road
  • well water pumps, and the farm’s one (1) propane tank that’s usually uncomfortably near the house (why would you do that)
  • i n f i n i t e cargo trains on the train tracks, going 15 mph
  • gnarly, twisted trees along the side of the river
  • sun shining off the long, flat stretches of open highway with maybe. three cars on them as far as you can see
  • the stubs of cut hayfields glowing when the sun breaks through a little hole in the clouds on a dark cloudy day
  • the look and smell of rich loam dirt
  • all the leaves accumulating in one spot and making a carpet two feet deep
  • gravel mountains at the closed-down stone place
  • ~ suddenly, a quarry!!! ~ (where the hell did THAT come from??)
  • C O W S
  • not only is the river totally frozen over, but there are huge-ass chunks of ice all over the surface of the ice-frozen river. double ice. (where did they come from??)
  • abandoned old trailer home just sitting at the junction of the river and the highway, rusting and falling apart
  • the way you can always recognize river bluffs
  • that one mini-pony with its mini barn at the farm with all the cows
  • the tractor just rolling along the highway, slow as you like, even at the places where there’s twenty feet wide of grass on the side of the road that it could drive on
  • that one white birch in like, a twenty mile radius
  • hay rolls plunked down everywhere
  • fog laying across the tops of the cornfields at 5 a.m. before the sun rises and lights it on fire till it burns away

le jardin - the garden
la campagne - countryside
la forêt - forest
les prairies - meadows
les rivières - rivers
un gîte rural - a cottage
jardiner - to garden (verb)
des outils de jardinage - garden tools
le jardin potager - vegetable garden
des arbres fruitiers - fruit trees
le verger - orchard
le parterre de fleurs - flowerbed
un arbuste - a shrub
la pelouse - lawn
la tondeuse - lawnmower
un arrosoir - watering can
le tournesol - sunflower
en plein air - outdoors
les vendage - harvest

l’agriculture biologique - organic farming
le gaz à effet de serre - greenhouse gas
les marées noires - oil spills
les militants écologiques/ les écologistes - environnent activists/environmentalists
des énergies renouvelables - renewable energy
les panneaux solaires - solar panels
les éoliennes - wind turbines