Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Monday, November 21, 2016

Barn Dance

Country roads are faster than they used to be.

I can recall mom or dad commenting in their peculiar patois, when someone would hurtle past our farm on the gravel road - "he's (because it would always be a guy) just siftin."

The felon was likely doing about 50mph, but it looked fast in the day.

 Last Friday I travelled a route Den and I had taken on a return from Peterborough, visiting Wooler, Warkworth and Hastings.

My quest was to absorb as much sun, fresh air, warmth and peace as I could pack into one day, to take every less travelled road, and to spend time with dying and dead farms and their buildings.

 Easily done. But for one thing. Parking.

Farms are often helpful,  a culvert at the entrance to an unused laneway providing a safe spot to stow a small car. The faster bits, where old farms have sprouted rural subdivisions, and the inhabitants seem to have places to go, people to see, are often more travelled, faster and offer only a little shoulder to park on.

 Sometimes I park carefully, step out with a camera, and note a farm dog preparing to do battle to defend his patch. All a bit daunting.

Hence the title of this ramble.

 But the barns! The beauty of silvery old lumber and the planes and shapes of outbuilding complexes.
And sadness at the loss of a way of life that meant so much to our family for generations. 

Delight at prosperous modern farms, also. 

But this day, I collected only these.

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