Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Old Barn

It is nice to be missed, and the emails and comments I've gotten during my haitus from blogging have been much appreciated. You can credit fortune - or lack of it - with my absence. My erstwhile editing stint appears to have dried up for more than the short term this time, which means I'm having to hustle freelance assignments. When I'm not hustling, I'm writing. And when I'm not writing, I'm sewing in a renewed committment to my sideline bohemian clothing business.

But more on that later. It's not been all work and no play. I did find time Saturday to go out and photograph the amazing old barn that sits on a farm about five miles from my house. The farm itself used to be an old "test" farm, where the state developed new techniques for producing bigger and better livestocks and crops. The current owners are the sons of our former family veterinarian, who sadly has passed on. They inherited the property from him, and even when he bought it decades ago the buildings were already in disrepair.

Today the brothers raise horses and other livestock and sell hay from the farm and have restored a couple of the smaller barns. But the estimates for restoring the grand dairy barn that is the showpiece of the property is daunting --$40,00 for the roof alone. They're hoping to have the place put on the historic register so they can qualify for restoration funds. I hope they can. It will be grand restored, but even in its current state the barn is still majestic.

Here are some more shots of the old dairy barn. Enjoy!

The Loft -- Being in the loft was like being in a cathedral. There floor is concrete, which should tell you something about the solidity of the structure. Hay used to be stored in the loft years ago and thrown through a hole in the loft floor to the stalls below. A set of very steep concrete stairs, visible through one of the barn's broken window, lead up to the loft. The only disappointment after making the climb? No barn owls. I was sure there'd be barn owls, but none live there.

The Silos -- There are about six of them. The one in the first shot here was my favorite; the little ladder room on the outside of this one reminded me of a castle tower. I half-expected to see a princess toss her long braid from the window. Wesley's girlfriend, Courtney, went with me to the farm and we couldn't resist climbing inside the silos. The second shot, taken from inside one of the silos, is one of my favorites; the lighting is perfect.

The roof - It's lined with what I guess are old turbines. This one had a broken weather vane on its top.

Other shots from the farm

There were lots of horses - many of them pregnant broodmares - but this boarder turned out to be mine and Courtney's favorite. He followed us along the fenceline and demanded attention.

One of the restored buildings - a small, narrow barn that used to house bulls - sits beside a farm pond. We watched a herd of deer bound across the field behind it, but my zoom wasn't powerful enough to get a good shot of them.


thimscool said...

Beautiful shots, as usual.

I hope they can restore the barn too.

Do they have an interest in big time farming? Because that is a whole lot of space... It's gonna take effort to make it pay, but I bet it would.

Morgan said...

They have a number of hog houses way back on the property, raise champion Apaloosa horses, sell hay, etc. Other than hay they don't raise any crops that I know of, and I get the impression they want to keep those big open fields pristine and unplowed.
I'm glad you like the shots. They have several foals due soon; I hope to go back to get pics of them.

Anonymous said...

You're back! I was beginning to worry when you didn't answer my emails. Do write when you get the chance.
I love the pictures of the old barn. There aren't many of those left or big farms for that matter.
God Bless You,

Erik said...

Great shots Morgan.
Beautiful country, and a lucky horse. I mean, beautiful horse.

Morgan said...

Margaret, sorry I didn't answer. I've just been taking a break from blogging and email that's not work-related for a bit. I'll try to answer you later today.
Erik, I'll email you later as well. Glad you like the pics. I still need to get with you over the ones you took.

mitzibel said...

Glad you're feeling better, at least, and those photos made me really nostalgic. The land around my family's farm was full of decrepit barns and old silos that you'd climb into and then have to take off a shoe and dig up a mound of dirt to climb back out of because you're 8 and don't think ahead ;)

Along about fourth grade the neighbor boy and I decided we were going to turn one particularly spooky silo into a serial killer's den, getting the idea from all the little rodent bones we found. So we strung them up into spooky mobiles and used bloody-looking berries to draw astrological symbols all over the walls. Come to think of it, my dad really should have kept a better eye on his True Crime library. . .Anyway, his big brother found us working away in there one day, and after that I didn't get to play with the neighbors anymore.

Morgan said...

Mitzibel, that is a great story! Bone mobiles, huh? You are *so* my kind of girl!
Courtney and I commented that the bottom story of the bar, with its concrete floors, drains and rusty iron railings did have sort of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel to it. We made up a couple of scary legends to tell the little ones should we take them there one day.
And I can see why getting in and out of those silos would be difficult for a kid. In truth, it wasn't all that easy for this hippy hippie to squeeze in and out of those little doors.