Fenceless America

Wheat field near Hesston Kansas Photographer not named (1)

Over the past few weeks Rowdy and I have been presenting a few posts on posts, fences and gates and this has brought about a little on-line chatter - chatter about fences!! Or I shouls say - the absence of fences. Chatter about Fenceless America.

This wonderful photo above would rarly been seen in Australia because we fence off our crops and our animals. Australia is a patchwork quilt of fences.

Greg from Diggers Rest has enlightened us about the state of fences in America - they are few and far between.

A side road leading onto a major road. Photo: Greg in Diggers Rest ©

Hi Anne and the gang, not so long ago I spent 6 months travelling the backroads of the US and Canada, it took me a couple of months to realize that in the agricultural areas, fences were only constructed to contain livestock.

There were no fences between the roads and paddocks of wheat, no fences between neighbours paddocks just a 4 metre open area. The wheat and corn will not escape or jump beween neighbouring properties. No one is going to drive down the main road and steal a couple of hectares of corn.

Below a paddock between two busy roads...It would have taken a bit of work to fence this section in, solution don't fence it in.

A paddock between two busy roads (Bamff, Medicine Hat, Wolseley) Photo: Greg in Diggers Rest ©

Greg continues:

Our fences don't stop kangaroos or rabbits. I can understand rabbit and dog proof fences but now I look at a fence dividing up paddocks of wheat or running parallel for 200km and think what a waste of time and money.

Below a farmhouse ...

Farmhouse with no fences (Bamff, Medicine Hat, Wolseley) Photo: Greg in Diggers Rest ©

...and then I have pulled back to show there are no fences on the farm.

Close up of the farmhouse with no fences (Bamff, Medicine Hat, Wolseley) Photo: Greg in Diggers Rest ©

I would say that the majority of farms do have fences especially those with livestock. Greg

A special thank you to Greg for this information and for sharing his photos. I can add to Greg's comments because I have learnt from my brief research into American fences and the lack thereof ... America is going fenceless even with its cattle.

As reported in The Guardian last year - A moo-ving target: fenceless grazing widens possibilities for cows and wildlife.

Seeing Greg's photos made me think of the rural scenes painted by Edward Hopper - one of my favourite artists.

Marshall's House, 1932 by Edward Hopper, watercolor over graphite on paper, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Purchased through the Gift of Henry and Walter Keney © Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. (Credit: National Gallery of Art, Washington)

My observation is that here in Australia we are not doing particlarly well going without plastic bags so I really don't know how we will cope without fences. Maybe all those neighbourhood arugments that erupt over fences will prompt us to give them up!!

I just have one problem - what will happen to the graffiti artists??

I let the children in my court graffiti my side fence - I don't think they will be very pleased if I pull it down.

Late Mail

I have just discovered that there are experiements in creating fenceless communities!. Without a fence- the sky's the limit!

And speaking of communities - tomorrow we are going to return to the rural communities where as Rowdy said a few days ago - the locals need somewhere to go for a bit of a yarn.


1. pinterest.com.au