There are aspects of Middle Earth that are unsettling for being omitted.
To start with, Middle Earth outside of the Shire is a wretchedly empty and open place. The forests and woodlands seem to be few and far between, and yet, they are not filled by farms nor by pastureland. It's mostly bare plains and marshes in the places that Tolkien describes.
I find this curious, because I am from New England, and I am used to wilderness being forested. Lands abandonded by farms have not lain bare under the cold northern wind. The forest has come back. Trees have shot up around the old stone walls. Remains of brick chimneys stand amidst the wet leaves. Where a winter afternoon two hundred years ago might have been a vast white field laying open beneath the deepening blue sky, now it is deepening blue shadows stretching between the trunks, below branches that crowd over a traveller yet offer no shelter.
And yet, here is Eriador, said by Treebeard himself to have been covered in a…