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July 31, 2011

A Barn By Any Other Name . . .

Thanks to Bruce, Don, Yours Truly and Ginnie for submitting their barn photos. We all win the grand prize on Internet notoriety! I found a poem online to accompany our efforts. A little corny, but who cares?

The first two pictures are of a barn that Bruce found. Turns out it is the famous Gribble Barn five miles from Canby, Oregon. You can Google it if you want. Thanks Bruce!

The second two photos are by Nighthawk Don, who always has stars in his eyes. These were taken in the Paso Robles area using long exposures. Thanks, Don!

The nexgt picture was taken a few miles south of Lake Tulloch by yours truly. It has been Photoshopped to death just for fun.

Last, but not least are Ginnie's entries of the octogon barn in San Luis Obispo. "The Octagon Barn was built in 1900 by Portuguese immigrants...see Wikipedia for the historical scoop."

There is an old barn along the lone countryside,
Where the roots of rural life deepened and never died.
The weather vane is rusty, the barn leans to the west,
And what we see beyond the old wood frame is best
Through the years it has become the symbol of toil,
Where footsteps remain undisturbed deep in the soil.

Nature had no mercy weathered by rain, sleet and snow,
Winds whipping and blowing to and fro.
Tree limbs brush the roof, the Milk River proceeds below,
Crows soaring above rafters, cawing with woe.
The barn standing so simple, embraced with time past,
An old dwelling full of memories that forever last.

Rain dripping down the eaves,
Rabbits burrowing underneath the leaves.
Walking with my mind back to days untold,
A path in which my father tread until he was very old.
Where children have played "hide-and-go-seek" without a care,
Hidden in the barn, unfound there.
Milking cows, squirting milk at the cats,
And then giggling at the goats wearing our hats.

Holding stable for a team of horses out of the heat,
Piglets, calves and chickens grown for meat.
Lifting of grain and hay to the hayloft up high,
Insects finding refuge beneath the humble floor lie.

In my youth we did many a chore,
As the soft wind whispered through the barn door.
And out behind that old barn for sure,
Was a good paddling or two that did occur.
There are some things learned cleaning out that barn muck,
Pride of work for an honest buck.

Remembering barn dances and a square dancer's call,
Sound of a fiddle enjoyed by neighbors and all.
Let's pull our hearts close to old fashioned days,
Rolling tumbleweeds, hay grain and cattle was the ways.
Barns built of logs and boards painted bright red,
Large and small to fit the farmstead.

New barns now are revealed on stretched out land,
With the blueprints drawn by a master's hand.
We thank the old timers for our heritage of yesteryear,
Building the barns that we hold so very dear.
Time takes us through endless stages,
Turning through the years a hundred pages.

A father passes on his fertile lands,
The old barn then rests from his calloused hands.
How we wish we could repay, a young boy running to find
Each manner and course of life that we now leave behind.
Yesterdays are not really gone, they’re with us every day.
During the passage of time, we value old memories in every way.

By Lorraine E. Watson, Phillips County

Ginnie claimed this was a 20 sock-stickers shot. She deserved all the pain she could get, since she didn't use her Nikon D40, but opted for her ol' Canon S3 point-and-shoot! (Just kidding, Sis. Great snaps!)

"Restoration of the barn began in 1997, when the barn was near collapse. Structural improvements have been completed. Current activity concentrates on bringing the Barn into the community as a fully permitted gathering space." - from Wikipedia

July 16, 2011

The American Barn

The cool, crisp morning air was silent, except for the rising songsters' melodies and one dog barking. Hardly any traffic at 6:00 on Saturday, mainly pickups and a tractor. A dead opposum was grinning at me when I got out of the car on Brandt Road. I'll spare you the picture!

The "No Trespassing" signs limited most shots to "this side of the fence," but I was able to get out in a field for the barn picture with the blue flowers in the foreground. And I had to mount my camera on a tripod and use the 10 second timer while raising it 8 feet over my head for the Locke Road shots with the vineyards surrounding the 'barn.' The result: A 20% success ratio. Pretty good, I thought, since this is the first time I've tried it.

San Joaquin county probably has thousands of old and new barns. They may change a bit in style over the years, but the theory stays the same. Cover your valuables from the elements --- hay, vehicles, livestock, tack and stuff that won't fit in that little house you built.

My sister says, "I never met a barn I didn't like." That about sums it up for me as well.

July 5, 2011

4th of July Artworks

This first serious attempt to shoot fireworks finds me in amazement at the artistic displays of color, form and contrast they provide. There was 15 minutes of non-stop action and my shutter really got a workout. I finally settled on 2 seconds at f8, with manual focusing, which is a trick in itself, trying to find infinity (it's a little back from the full stop point on the focus ring).

Hope you enjoy them, too. Use the slideshow feature at my website and the dark gray background option at the top center of the screen.