Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Old House

Shadow Shot Sunday
June 12, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday is a blog meme started by Tracy who hails from Queensland, Australia. Many, from all over the globe,  share the fun and see each other’s interpretations of shadows in photographs. Join the fun, go to Tracy’s Hey Harriet Blog to see more Shadow Shots and to find out how to participate.

This Old House

Not exactly like the television program from public broadcasting with a title by the same name, this particular old house sits in rural Wisconsin, USA along US Highway 10 between Durrand and Mondovi.
I was heading East to upstate New York last week and wanted an early start. The weather channel told me there was a heat wave with killer temperatures and humidity. I left the house very early, 4 AM, and got some hours in before the scorching heat had me sequestered in my Ford van with the A/C on max high.

The days starts to lighten up here pretty early. The light in the Eastern sky can be evident easily by 5 AM. As I drove along, my eye catches things and seemed to have been drawn to this old house. The patina of the old neglected wooden siding was already a slate grey color, but the early morning light amplified this effect and cast deep eerie images through the window and door openings, watering the interior of the place in a wash of dark shadows.

What intrigues me more then the excellent photographs that can be gleaned from such a structure is how the place came to be derelict in the first place. This is an excellent house. A large rural farm home, twin chimneys, at least 4 bedrooms. Room for a large family. When did the last inhabitant leave? Why was it abandoned? What’s the story behind the splendid shadows?

A highlight from these photos, which all seem the same, are the mourning doves walking around on the left side of the rooftop. Had the sun been out, as it ended up doing this sunny hot sweltering day, those birds would have cast quite a shadow themselves, albeit on the far side of the roof from my vantage point.

Do you know what these doves are saying to each other?

Gabba Gabba Hey!


Sylvia K said...

Such a marvelous old house and, yes, it does cause you to ask questions! Terrific captures for the day and wonderful shadows. By the way, I tried to access your blog from the SSS site and it said there was no such page, so you might want to check it out. Thank you for your visit and comment! Always appreciated! Enjoy your weekend!


EG CameraGirl said...

Abandoned homes truly are mysterious, Spadoman! Especially ones like this that must have been very fine at one time.

A Wild Thing said...

WOW, I'm all about that ol house and the mysteries within, but I gotta tell ya, the mourning doves are saying...hey dude, we're pigeons!!!

Sorry, I just had to...LOL...

You amaze me at the miles you put on in the summer as the lark(pigeon)with the wind in your sails, you're a lucky man Mr. Spadoman, but alas, my chickens have sealed the deal for me on the home front...know any good chicken-sitters???

Hope to get to see ya on this round, it would be fun to meet the man behind the helmet!!! Drive safe!!!



Gemma Wiseman said...

Adored this post! Loved all the angles of this mysterious old house! But the birds' conversation at the end of the post was the final winner for me! Good one!

Mel said...

Okay.....way cool house.
And it's doesn't look that old--so I'm not sure why it would be abandoned at this stage of it's life. Makes me sad. Poor house.

And I, too, wonder about the stories in the walls.
You're right--there's an eerieness to the innards of the house with the light and shadows...I kept looking for signs of life in the shadows.

Gotta love the wooden siding--and the details of what once had to be a brilliant home.

Ms. Becky said...

well Gabba Gabba Hey back at ya. the house is very photographic. I know the area very well from having gone to college at UWRF. whenever I see an abandoned house I wonder those things too. who lived there and why does it sit empty? the doorway and windows are open to the elements and animals and it's HUGE. nature will slowly reclaim it.
great capture Spadoman. happy SSS. have a great weekend.

Unknown said...

Yes it a fantastic old house and this poor old thing should still have the sounds of a family through it! But everything has a story. Lovely captures.

Christopher said...

I'm surprised that such a devoted student of the human condition didn't venture inside, where the shades and the shadows mingle - maybe - with the graffiti and the deep litter of rural dropout culture...but maybe you did, and what you found was too dreadful to relate to your 99% female ear on a Sunday morning.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I do love shots of old, abandoned houses. There is something very poignant about places that once used to host laughter and tears, but now host only (as Carl Sandburg says in one of his poems) "the rats and lizards." Spiders too, I might add. Thanks, Spadoman!


A shadow, a shadow, a shadow you say?
A shadow is coming to dinner today?

Oh, what shall we feed it, and what will it eat?
Just toss down a few rays of light at its feet,

And watch its dark mouth gobble up every ray,
But be sure, my friend, you don’t get in its way;

Keep out of the light so it won’t gobble you.
(If I were the hostess, that’s just what I’d do.)

A shadow is easy to feed, so they say,
So welcome your shadow to dinner today.

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Sad Shadows

Kim Mailhot said...

My Dad was a lighting salesman for many years, and drove the road from Montreal to Ottawa (about a 2 hour drive) just about every week to see his customers in the next province over. He took back roads whenever he could, and brought along his camera. There was this one, beautiful little farmhouse with just the right amount of gingerbread work on the front and a steeply pitched roof. He took photos of it in every season, in different light, and in difference states of repair over the years. He entually even reproduced the house over and over again in his art pieces. I never really aked him what it was about that house that drew him in so much. I just came to call it "Daddy's house" and could identify it in the tons of slides he took and shared with us.
The stories...that is what draws us together, isn't it ?
Happy Sunday !
PS - Who knew that there were punk rock, Ramones loving doves in New York ? ;) Gabba gabba hey !

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see such a good house abandoned - but it did provide you with some excellent photos. I love your translation of the dove language!!

Dianne said...

I love the shots of the doves on the roof
I'm sure they were making their mournful music

thanks for the kind comments on my tree shadows and reflections
I think I was a tree in a former life

Unknown said...

Gabba, gabba hey, can we have some peace today! ;-)

Thanks for comment! Let me know when you'll be around our neck of the woods. If our schedules jive, maybe we can arrange a visit with you and Mrs. Spadoman.

peace, love and groovy things,

Anonymous said...

Road trips are great for finding such gems as this.

susan said...

I'm sure this house has an interesting history. One thing I noticed immediately is its proximity to the nicely paved road. Most old country farm houses are set pretty far back from roads and most often in a grove of trees where the water table would be close enough to the surface to allow for a well. I'm guessing some of the land was sold when farming became a harder way to make a living. It appears the house was likely in good shape for a while after it was abandoned but by then there was no family interested in continuing the tradition. If the land and house were still family owned it's likely the children raised there would have been more interested in college and a degree leading to a better livelihood for far less effort. All was sold and a wealthier farmer or agribusiness now works the land. In southern Ontario there are many beautiful old farmhouses that are rented or owned by people who can telecommute or drive to their offices 40+ miles away but the land itself is farmed by those who thought to buy when it was cheap and most of the fields are mono-cultured.

I may be wrong but that's the story your interesting pictures told me.

Best wishes.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Joe : )
Abandoned house have such mystery to them and this one is certainly mysterious as you say , still in good shape and a beauty .. one of the most profound abandoned houses I have seen way back in my child hood was a beautiful pale yellow house above a fantastic deserted beach on the Atlantic coast .. it was amazing and spoke volumes .. how many stunning sunrises and sunsets had it seen above and below the ocean line .. it must have been overwhelmingly beautiful .. and moon lit nights ? ..I felt it all some how.
What is it about the houses or us that makes such a deep connection I wonder?
Joy & Winthrop : )

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Wow-what a cool house! That detour would've had me there for about an hour taking photographs of every single detail! I often have the same questions in my mind when I see places like this and always want to know what the story is. I guess we'll never know!

mig said...

It's a beautiful house. It's got style and elegance and that lovely faded wood would catch all kinds of different light and make a hundred different moods. I too would wonder why no one lives there and feel a little sad for its abandonment - but sneakily glad that it's there as it is. Good though it would be for it to be used and lived in, all too often when people buy old houses they are keen to brighten a place up with startling colours and modern additions and extensions.
Thank you anyway for discovering this gem while it still has its untouched charm.

Spadoman said...

Thank you all for visiting here and your fanulous comments.
This house was rather close to the road, a two-lane road, but a US Route class A highway. Maybe that's why the farmer abandoned this old p;lace. Many times a newer more modern home is built somewhere else on the land. I didn't investigate, (like Paula would have).
And I guess they are Pigeons!!! (Maybe I had Mourning Doves on my brain as I have a pair feeding at the bird feeder at Spadoville.)

Anyway, thank you all again. I appreciate your visits here far more than you will ever know.

Peace to All