Artist statement :
I recently traveled to Carrizo Plain, that is west of Bakersfield, for a 3-night camping trip. The San Andreas fault runs along the eastern edge of the Carrizo Plain. This plain is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. Carrizo plain is very arid and any surface water, rain or otherwise, drains to Soda lake. The lake evaporates and becomes a white, salt-encrusted basin during the dry season. Dryland grain farming (No irrigation) and ranching developed in the late 1800s. In 1912, mechanized agriculture brought large-scale farming to the plain.
In 1987, many of the big farms and ranches began to be transferred to the Bureau of land Management, The Nature Conservancy, and the California Department of Fish and Game. This was part of an effort to preserve the ranching history and to protect habitat for rare and endangered wildlife in the plain.
These farming machines that sit quietly in the field were once an integral part of farming activity in this plain. They were inside the culture of the area. They have long been abandoned and left to the elements. They once had life and were used to provide life sustaining supplements for the farmers. This landscape photographer usually captures the natural beauty in color chose to employ black and white in recognition of the silent decay that has engulfed these machines; machines that were once sheltered and maintained inside that are now left outside to bake, blister, and rust under the harsh elements.
Old Farm Equipment #1
Thresher: Farm machine for separating wheat, peas, soybeans, and other small grain and seed crops from their chaff and straw.
Old Farm Equipment #2
Bulldozer: Once maintained inside was the target of shooting practice outside or else.
Old Farm Equipment #3
Seeding Machine: The dozer might have used to pull this.
Farm equipment wheels were originally made of steel with cleats to grab the dirt. Farmers and farm families were used to farming in traditional ways and were not too sure about rubber tires being able to hold their own in the field.
© The Photographer's Eye: A Creative Collective