Monstrous Caterpillars of White

I often tell people that Shiwa is a beautiful town despite itself. Cost and function are the primary concerns that go into the majority of building designs, a fact the architecture itself reflects. Metal fences painted green or white are the norm. The town is disheveled with power lines. Power poles are complex metal lean-tos marked with reflectors to guarantee they stand out. Metal stabbed into the earth is a common sight. Most of the beauty occurs naturally in the mountain and forests and streams that surround the town.

With this in mind, I was looking at the grape vines in the eastern part of Shiwa. I’ve always had the image of orchards and grape vines as beautiful places. I think of books by Peter Mayle or movies about France or California, stories or pictures that depict an effort to keep the landscape beautiful. But in Shiwa the vines are held and protected by metal poles. At times they’re covered with opaque plastic, and the terraced landscape in the mountains is covered with monstrous caterpillars of white. Like the town, they stand out dramatically from the landscape around them.

(Proviso: the new Ogal Plaza is going to be gorgeous.)