I was driving through rural Ohio last fall and periodically pulled over to the side of the road to photograph the picturesque farms and pastures along the way. It’s a beautiful part of the country and I was indulging in some “kitchen calendar” snapshots.
I was also thinking of future blog posts on the topic of the suburban/rural interface. At what point do tract homes, super markets, and office parks start to degrade the very qualities that make these locations desirable in the first place?
But then I was stopped by an angry farmer who charged at me and demanded that I get off his land. I was confused. I was on the grassy side of a county road clearly well outside of anyone’s fence or property line. There was a supermarket a few blocks way. His outrage seemed odd under the circumstances. So I introduced myself, tried to hand him a business card, and was about to offer to delete any photos he found offensive when he interrupted me. He explained that he was well within his rights to shoot me dead for trespassing. I apologized and promptly drove away as he suggested. Never argue with a man threatening the use of firearms.
I don’t know what demons the farmer was battling, but it might have had something to do with encroaching development. I’ll never know. But his preoccupation with privacy and personal sovereignty was jarring. This was especially true since earlier that same morning I had attended a county government meeting that had me mulling over a related topic.
The meeting was a routine bureaucratic blah, blah, blah. I can’t be bothered to explain the details here. But there was a moment before the proceedings began when two of the council members very offhandedly mentioned the use of drones to survey and inspect property. “Oh those machines are amazing. We hover over places and get the most amazing high definition images of absolutely everything from all angles.”
Wait till that farmer gets wind of this…