Agricultural Patterns, Quebec, Canada
Looking like an image of a woven tapestry, this astronaut photograph taken from the International Space Station highlights an extensive pattern of agricultural fields in southeastern Quebec, Canada. The region illustrated in the image, known as the Chaudiere-Appalaches, is located midway between Quebec City (the provincial capital) and the international border with the United States (specifically, the State of Maine). Agriculture is a significant component of Quebec's industries, with over 50 percent of the food produced or processed consumed within the province as of 2008 (source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - link no longer works).
The tapestry-like pattern is due to the fact that the agricultural fields in the region are closely tied to access roads, with rectangular fields extending outwards perpendicular to the roadways. A similar pattern - embedded within a different social, historical, and economic context - can be seen in the Rondonia region of western Brazil.
Snow cover highlights the rectangular fields interspersed with dark green forested patches. The urban area of Saint Georges (image right) is visible as a light gray region along the Chaudiere River. The Parc national de Frontenac borders parts of Lac (lake) St.-Francois at image lower center, providing an area for outdoor recreation within the intensive agricultural landscape.