Abandoned Around Here – A Photo Blog

When looking for photos to post to the historical society Twitter account I manage, I realized that I have quite a trove of photos from abandoned homesteads and building sites in the area. Here are some of the best close-to-home shots from over recent years. These were all taken at the same abandoned farmstead. Wherever you are, take time to enjoy the view. – Lori

The view through the farmhouse window
The cupboard is bare.

“It was a mistake to think of houses, old houses, as being empty. They were filled with memories, with the faded echoes of voices. Drops of tears, drops of blood, the ring of laughter, the edge of tempers that had ebbed and flowed between the walls, into the walls, over the years.

Wasn’t it, after all, a kind of life?

And there were houses, he knew it, that breathed. They carried in their wood and stone, their brick and mortar a kind of ego that was nearly, very nearly, human.”

― Nora Roberts, Key of Knowledge

The same barn from a distance.

“Give me an old house full of memories and I will give you hundred novels!”

― Mehmet Murat Ildan

Historic Preservation Quote | Renovation Quotes

“The reality is that old houses that were built a hundred years ago were built by actual craftsmen, people who were the best in the world at what they did. The little nuances in the woodwork, the framing of the doors, the built-in nooks, the windows—all had been done by smart, talented people, and I quickly found that uncovering those details and all of that character made the house more inviting and more attractive and more alive.”

― Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story

Treacherous Skate, Frosty Walk

Yesterday morning I dug out my old skates and walked down to the outdoor rink that the local fire department created in December. It’s situated by the local arena which lately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, has been closed. People skate on this oval all the time, but this was my first visit to the newest attraction in the village.

When I arrived at the ice rink, one of the volunteer firefighters was just finishing adding some water to the ice surface to remove the thick frost left there by the rain we’d received a day or two before. He’d made a wide, wet ring around the outside edge of the oval, but the centre was still thick with a combination of frozen rain and sleet. The firefighter had run out of water to apply to the ice so he drove off on his quad, hauling a little trailer behind, and I laced up my skates.

Prior to this attempt, I hadn’t skated for about seven years. As I stepped onto the ice, I made a realization: wet ice is extremely slippery. I took a few tentative steps and began staggering around like a newborn giraffe, my arms flailing in tight circles as I tried to gain some balance. Then, as I rounded the oval I discovered what I couldn’t detect from just looking at the ice rink. It has a definite downhill slope and suddenly, I was on that decline and picking up speed fast on the wet surface. With my knees locked in terror and my arms spread for balance, I made a frantic plan to leap into the snowbank I was headed for. But, even as I planned my desperate escape, my skate blades obeyed my feet and followed the curve of the wet ice oval. Here, the ice was level and I slowed to nearly a stop.

Heart pounding, I stepped off the wet outer oval and onto the frosty centre where I staggered about until the firefighter returned on his quad with a full canister of water on his trailer. By the time he returned, I was regaining a small slice of my lost skating ability. Still, I was happy to head to the bench, swap my skates for boots, and let him finish resurfacing the ice.

After my short, sweaty skate (sweaty from fear and the exertion it took to keep upright), I dropped my skates off at home and went for a walk. The sun was bright and the trees were adorned with frost. There were large ice crystals embedded in the frost and floating through the air, glinting as the morning sun kissed them.

The ice crystals are quite visible on this glittering tree.
The road I walk north of the village.

Thanks for dropping by to spend some time with me today. Take care. ~ Lori

Flowers and Berries in My Backyard

No better way is there to learn to love Nature than to understand Art. It dignifies every flower of the field. And, the boy who sees the thing of beauty which a bird on the wing becomes when transferred to wood or canvas will probably not throw the customary stone.

Oscar Wilde

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.

Georgia O’Keeffe

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

William Blake

The Amen of nature is always a flower.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Procrastination Photos From Dave’s Farm

Two cats, too cute.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to visit Dave’s farm and to care for his horse, Peso, and his nameless cats. That changed today, and as I walked across the land and around the farmyard, I took some pictures because taking photos for me is less daunting than working on my novel.

I hope you enjoy my procrastination photos. Have a really nice weekend. ~ Lori

Fun with filters. I took this one using the “Creative” setting on my camera.
One clear kitten. Dave’s cats are wild but curious.
More fun with filters.
Wild Roses
Dave’s Fence
Again with the “Creative” setting on my camera.
Rosebuds
More yellow flowers. (Again, not a botanist.)
Dave’s garden is doing so much better than my garden, but it’s not a competition. And yet I wish my garden was doing better than Dave’s garden. Or at least as well.
Peso says, “So long and thanks for dropping by!”

Frost: A Boxing Day Photo Blog

The other day I took my camera out and photographed the old Pearson School (1920-1946) while family was visiting. We were taking them on a tour of some of the landmarks. Our guests seemed a bit underwhelmed by what passes for site seeing around here, but I really enjoyed it!

It wasn’t as frosty today, Boxing Day, but the sky was a vibrant blue and the whole wintry world just shone.

And here are a couple pictures of me in the frost feeling a bit frosty.

Thanks for joining me on this snowy adventure. I hope you’re having a very nice holiday season wherever you may be, mountains or desert, sand or snow. Take care and enjoy!

~ Lori

Goodbye, Summer – A Photo Blog

Hello! Thanks for joining me. I went out for a walk this morning with my camera and played around with its settings until I was able to capture some close-ups and distant shots of summer’s waning.

Shades of Red

 

 

Off in the Distance

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Light and White

 

 

About to Take Flight

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Stopping by Woods

 

 

Weeds or Flowers?

 

 

Mystery Solved!

For years now, I wondered each fall who was making that chirping sound outside under my bedroom window. It’s these black beetles preparing to hibernate. Who know? Not me until this morning when I heard the chirping and followed it down into the ditch. Here’s what I heard and saw:

 

 

It was nice to spend some time with you! Thanks for dropping by.

~ Lori

The Miracle of Resurrection

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Yesterday morning and the evening before, I went for a walk and brought my camera with me so that I could share with you the miracle of resurrection here in the parkland region of east-central Alberta.

Listen to me read this post:

Crocuses Galore!

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A crocus on Crocus Hill.

I didn’t even notice them at first, and I sure wasn’t looking for them because there’s never been this abundance of crocuses in the thirteen years we’ve lived here. Then, as I walked along, I glanced to my left and into the unbroken pasture there on the other side of the barbed wire fence. The brown prairie grass was dotted with the little purple flowers. It was spattered with those and lots of cow poop which may have contributed to the successful crop of crocuses. I don’t know what the perfect growing conditions for this early prairie flower are, but this April those tiny, fuzzy flowers must be getting exactly what they need.

 

Earlier on in the week, my auntie and I drove south and visited Crocus Hill. Over the years, she’d talked about the place where the prairie soil had never been tilled, and where crocuses grew amid the ancient stones of the tipi rings there along the valley. I’d never been there before and was so fortunate to see it during a spring like this one. There were flowers everywhere, but they grew especially thick on the southern-exposed hillsides.

Spring Courting

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Who wouldn’t want to mate with this guy?

A robin’s song is never so sweet as when he is looking for a mate. I guess those birds are like the rest of us when we’re seeking someone to pair up with. We work out, get our hair cut, buy some new clothes, and try to look our best. After the mate’s been secured, well, our beauty regimen can go in any direction. Often, though not always, that direction is down.

The robin’s song as he sat perched at the very top of the tree was clear and enticing. I spotted him up there last evening, trilling away, but I didn’t have my camera. That morning I couldn’t see the robin through the branches, but I got some very good recordings of his mating song.

Frogs are the same way, singing their loudest song and hoping to attract other frogs. I didn’t see any of those amorous little guys either but I captured their voices.

New Life

The earth is resilient. We beat it up and dominate it, but it just keeps on keeping on. Along the road I walked, green grasses pushed their stubborn way up through the already-dry earth and the layer of last year’s dead grass that covers it. Here and there a gopher popped up, too. There are fewer gophers this season. Last year, the deep snow didn’t melt until the beginning of May. Maybe litters of baby gophers didn’t survive and if they did, the increased numbers of birds of prey in this area were happy to eat them. Still, I’ve seen a couple of gophers here and there this spring. They are more evidence for the miracle of resurrection.

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This old barn from along the road I walk will likely never be resurrected.

 

I hope you all had a nice weekend. If you celebrate Easter, I hope it was a rejuvenating and uplifting holiday for you this time around.

Thanks for dropping by to read and listen. Please consider following me here on WordPress. I’m on social media less and less these days but would love to keep in touch. Follow me here if you’d like to stay connected. Also, please consider sharing this post to your own social media feed. That would be great! You can share my videos too.

Take care and enjoy the miracle of resurrection that spring brings!

~ Lori

On the Lake

Today it’s 5 degrees Celsius with a wind that cuts right through you. Last time I drove by the little lake we canoe on, it was still covered with ice. Maybe the ice and snow have receded a bit since from the lake’s grassy banks, but that’s about it.

Listen to me read this post:

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Going through digital photos the other day, I was reminded of canoeing. We didn’t get out on the lake at all last year. Sad! The lake from the vantage point of our faded red Coleman canoe is a very interesting place. The are beavers, muskrats, and all kinds of birds including huge pelicans that glide silently right over our heads as we rock quietly in the boat. That’s the thing about a canoe: it’s quiet. The wildlife forgets you’re there, and flies or swims really close.

One time, a really BIG beaver swam close to our boat. Even close-up, he looked not much different than a dog paddling along through the calm evening water. We got within about two metres before the beaver realized we were there. As a warning to us and other beavers, or out of fear, he slapped the surface of the water hard with his broad tail before he dove, leaving little droplets of lake water on the lenses of my glasses. That was awesome!

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A muskrat on the lake. This little guy doesn’t even know we’re here or is ignoring us expertly.

Another great thing about the lake which has nothing to do with wildlife or water or canoes is that there’s a concession stand on the other side of the lake where the cabins are and where folks camp, have picnics, host family reunions, and play ball. At that concession stand, they sell the most delicious hamburgers and ice cream in waffle cones. That food booth doesn’t open at least for another month yet.

Today, I miss the lake, but if I went and stood out on that partially-melted ice in this bone-chilling wind, I would die of hypothermia. So I will miss it from inside the house and look forward to the days, not so far away now, when we can join the other creatures on the lake.

If you’d like to share my lake memories to your social media feed, that would be great! Cut and paste this link: https://wordpress.com/post/loriknutson.com/2749 or share it directly to Facebook from this site on WordPress.

What are your favourite summertime activities? I’d love to hear about what you’re looking forward to in the warmer months to come. Thanks for dropping by to spend some time with me on this cold day! ~ Lori