I’m not sure what it is, but I find fences fascinating. Fences are how human beings mark territory, and warn others to stay of “our turf.” When you get down to it, fences really reveal some of the ugliest bits of human nature.

And yet, they can be so beautiful. Wrought-iron fences are spectacular subjects for photography. Virginia split-rail fences are mesmerizing in their simple complexity. Even the quintessential American white-picket fence has become part of our image of “the ideal.”

I guess if you’re going to set up something which reveals the ugly bits of human-nature, you might as well make it look nice.

Yet, of all the photos I’ve taken, it’s the ones of decayed fences which stick in my memory the most. It’s almost if the weathered rogue gates, or lonely old posts, stand as reminders which say, “You marked off space, and I’m all that’s left of that folly.”

The image in this post is still part of a functioning fence, of sorts. The only function it really serves is decoration, as shrubs and trees have been planted to become the dividing line between properties. And yet, still it stands. A lovely testament to the futile ways we try to divide ourselves off from others.

decorative fence post


  1. Peg Horton says:

    The fences that keep the cattle from roaming or the fenced in a yard to keep your pet safe,can be a positive thing.

    Sent from my iPad

    1. wezlo says:

      This is true Miss Peg!

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