the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Monday, September 27, 2010


Most of the barns around here look like mine - metal pole barns, usually a simple elongated A-frame in the traditional red.  Mine is pretty sturdy, with steel beams and a thick concrete floor, yet I don't expect it to be here a hundred years from now.  Eventually it will rust beyond what can be covered by paint.  They don't make 'em like they used to.

The barns built a hundred years ago are still here.  If they were well-cared for, they look like this,
beautiful, proud structures with dirt floors and heavy oak beams.

Often, after the farms were broken into small parcels, the barns fell into disrepair.  Some still stand, sagging, missing boards, with trees sprouting from their crumbling foundations.  One of those stood about a mile from me until this past week, when it was finally torn down.  For the fourteen years I've been here, the old barn looked the same, gaping holes revealing the last rotted harvest of hay inside.  Nature had nearly taken it when man finally finished the job with heavy machinery.  This is all that's left:

It's hard to see the silo behind the trees, but it's there.  It always is.  It's the last to go, like the barn below that has nothing left but its foundation and silo.

There's something sad about them, and beautiful at the same time.  And if you listen over the birds and the rustlings in the weeds, you can hear the ghosts of the past.

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