As you can tell by my lack of blog posts lately, I have become preoccupied with photography. I should be working on my second book or writing here more often, but it seems to have taken a back seat to what has become my passion: pretending to be a photographer.
My father was a photographer when he wasn’t working as owner and broker of his real estate company. He used a press camera which I wish to God I had in my possession. He loved taking pictures and vacationing through West Virginia meant getting out of the station wagon at each hairpin turn so he could get a photo of the “beautiful view.” There were at least 150 “beautiful views” per vacation. I didn’t mind because I was little and a ham for the camera. He has since passed, but I honestly feel him beside me when I frame a shot.
I love photography more than writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy receiving a royalty check each month from Amazon for my 2 ebooks. It’s not much, but it still pays a bill or two, so that is nice. But, I’ve decided to concentrate on writing after I retire in a few years. My summer writing time has been replaced by day tripping and photography.
When you focus your camera, it is interesting to find out what your interests are. I had no idea when I started taking pictures that my eye would find old barns appealing. Old stuff. Maybe that’s why I like to haunt antique shops.
But, I credit my love of old barns to my grandfather. He didn’t actually live on a farm, but purchased one to house his prized palomino horses. He named it Cherry Farm and I loved going there. I believe he rented the house to a family who took care of the horses. There was an old barn full of pigs. And I was sold. A couple of years later that barn and the pigs inside burned to the ground, but my love of barns lived on.
So, the first time I decided to take a drive, I was surprised what caught my eye. I seem to like old bridges, barns, and abandoned buildings. Who knew I would take back roads in hope of finding a wonderful farm to photograph. Here are just a few of the barns I have photographed in the past few weeks.
Old Route 250 on the Marion/Taylor County line. It’s a goat farm and I love driving by it.
Dean Drive. This is on the road behind my former home. I’ve driven by it hundreds of times…funny how it is now a
The rest are from my little jaunt yesterday.
I took about ten photos of this “truck graveyard.” Of course, that’s not really what it is.
Had to put the dead tree in this shot.
This is the best I could do. It was on a winding road with no place to pull off. I rolled down my window, and aimed.
This is what happens when we finally get a break from the snow and the sun is shining on a Saturday afternoon. For those readers who are barn lovers, I drove from Fairmont south on I-79 and took the Lost Creek Exit. I drove on Route 270 from Lost Creek to West Milford and took Duck Creek Road (love the name) to Watters Smith State Park, which was CLOSED…bummer. I doubled back to get some photos I missed on the way and then took I-79 to the Jane Lew Exit in Lewis County and took Route 19 to Clarksburg. I had never been on either road before, so I had fun.
When I was young I told my grandma I had been on every road in West Virginia. She laughed at me and I got mad at her. In my defense, it seemed like I had. My dad couldn’t be away from his real estate business for too long (although I know now he really didn’t want to be in the car with my mom for very long), so our vacations were traveling around West Virginia.
I still love traveling around this state. The barns are becoming old and decrepit. Pretty soon a new Walmart or housing development will spring up on old farmland and yet another barn will be just a memory. I hope to photograph a lot of them before time, or perhaps another derecho takes one down.