Barnstorming (without an airplane)

7 Jan

I love a good barn. The older the better. So I asked someone I know if he’d be willing to let me explore and photograph his lovely, old specimen of barnishness. Happily, he said yes, and even though the hunters didn’t appreciate that I had taken over “their” space, I spent a good half hour or so exploring the lovely old weathered barn where once cows and sheep and horses (and at least one homeless man) lived. Now it’s home to barn swallows and mice and dust motes.

And the ghosts of chickens past.

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23 Responses to “Barnstorming (without an airplane)”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots January 7, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Oh, to have been on this photographic venture with you would have been wonderful. Look at that wood, the way the sunlight slants inside the barn, the straw still there…

    But what really sparks my interest is the statement about the homeless man. You need to tell us more. I don’t often think of homelessness in rural Minnesota and a homeless person holing up in a barn.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      I don’t know much about him, and it was years ago. I know that he was camping out in the barn and actually I know that he’s dead now because he’d given his name to the barn’s owner (who wishes to remain anonymous) and a few months later the newspaper had a tiny column about a homeless man – and they gave his name – who had been hit by a train down in Iowa. Sad story.

      • Minnesota Prairie Roots January 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

        Oh, that is sad. The man is an important part of this barn’s history. I bet barns were often homes to transients years and years and years ago.

        • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

          I’m sure they were, yes. Not much help here in Minnesota in this weather, though.

  2. Jenny January 7, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    In the words of a younger you, “Neato Barn” !!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Ha! Yes! I seem to remember there is even a tune to that lyric!

  3. bitsandbreadcrumbs January 7, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    The exterior architecture of that barn is gorgeous. Love that peaked and jutting roof!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      It’s amazing how many different styles of barns there are, isn’t it? And all are neat.

  4. cravesadventure January 7, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Loving your captures:) Makes me want to go find a barn to explore.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      I know – I wish I could visit all the ones I drive past around here.

  5. Tarisa Smith January 7, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    There’s something very poetic about an old barn….

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Indeed! If I was more inspired and skilled I could have written one…or at least tried!

  6. gardenfreshtomatoes January 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    She’s a sturdy old thing, for sure…not too long out-of-use, from the look of it. So cool that you went to photograph it…Old barns have the feeling of old churches to me…a holy place, a place of memory and reverence…Thanks so much for sharing it :)

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      I like that idea/comparison! Have you ever watched the mini series they made of The Thorn Birds back in the 80′s, I think it was. In that (and this is probably in the book too, I don’t remember) Meggie always feels closest to God when in the barn.

      • gardenfreshtomatoes January 7, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

        I ADORED that miniseries…my Junior Prom dress could have been described as Ashes of Roses… Such a silly, romantic girl :)
        Loved the book, but I was never able to get into her other work…I tried The Grass Crown twice, but never finished it.

        • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2014 at 6:36 am #

          I don’t think I ever tried any of her other things and since it’s been like 30 years since I read The Thorn Birds I ought to again. Love your story about the dress!

  7. Jackie January 7, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    I share a love for old barns, how lucky of you to be able to get into this one and explore. Love the photo’s of the old hand made ladders, the straw in the barn and the glassless windows. I bet this barn has many stories to tell.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 7, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      I bet it does, too. I didn’t really ask questions about it but I ought to.

  8. treadlemusic January 7, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    I can almost smell the aroma of musty hay and see the dust particles dancing on the sunbeams!!!!! I love old barns, too!!!!! Awesome captures!!!!! Hugs…….

  9. thewritesteph.com January 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Very cool pics, esp the ones with the slants of sunlight. Looks different from the barns that I’ve seen around here. My grandparents used wood with a tin roof.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell January 8, 2014 at 6:37 am #

      Yeah, there are so many different types of barns. Here in Minnesota we see round ones from time to time – never been on one of those though I’d love to!

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