Posts Tagged ‘Deserted’

Holy cow! Always vigilant for feral dogs and mud swallows, I stumble upon a feral fence and live to tell the story!

Early Monday morning, post-dawnish:

Fog/gray/heavy wet air/lots of new wet snow.  It seemed a fine idea to see what that combination looked like over in the fields behind the church.

Yet…I was reluctant to go exploring in those beautiful fog-softened snow-covered acres.  At the top of my questions/concerns list was Do I really really feel a deep-seated need to go crawling around in the moist-ish snow and get all cold and soggy?

Not one to be hasty about these things, I did brew a pot of coffee and lingered a long while over that first cup while I mulled the issue. Other questions naturally followed: Where were my good wool socks? Which boots should I wear? What are the chances I can lose 5 pounds before I leave for Florida?

When nothing else came up that could divert me from leaving the house, I walked down the hill to the land belonging to the Sisters of St Francis.  I wandered a little deeper than usual into the fields and was rewarded by finding a fence which had enthusiastically gone native. (Think Fence Version of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now!)

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I’ve finished each of these shots just a little differently because each seemed to ask for slightly different handling.

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I was out for maybe an hour. The fields were beautiful, the fence was a treasure and wet wasn’t a problem, not with good wool socks and the right boots.

***  **   ***

Beauty is twice beauty

and what is good is doubly good

when it is a matter of two socks

made of wool in winter.

Pablo Neruda

I became a Boxcar Children fan when I was seven years old. The series, which has hypnotized young readers since 1924, follows the adventures of four clever and resourceful orphans who set up their new domicile in a…wait for it…wait for it…abandoned boxcar!

As with many series characters, the kids seemed to tread water in terms of aging no matter how many mysteries they solved. (In this, they have much in common with Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone who has been in her mid-thirties for nearly three decades.) I imagine that if/when they finally did get all grown-up and successful, they probably brought some emotional baggage along from their boxcar days.

Baggage such as demanding, for the rest of their lives, that any house they occupied, great or small, have doors that look like this:

train door

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Abandoned boxcars, Pembine. I rapped on the doors, but the kids were out.

Sometimes I push for a gritty look in my finished pictures, especially when surfaces are already rough and peeling and well down that road. Here, the remaining colors are so faint as to be mere suggestions of what once was. I find the hints of green and pink to be so unexpectedly touching that the only choice is to offer this aging beauty a gentle hand.

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North of Menasha and south of Wrightstown, a mile or so off the main road. A short access road, cross some railroad tracks and pass a gate posted “No Trespassing.”  There was no other signage nor indicator as to who/what owned this area. If pressed, I would suggest maybe the railroad.

I entered through the opening between the gate and the fence and if I could saunter in, so could anybody, because let’s face it: my days as a potential Cat Woman stunt-double are in my rear view mirror. Therefore, I took the whole “No Trespassing” thing as maybe a suggestion, just as I always felt the assigned task of finding x in Algebra was meant to be taken more ironically than literally.

snow piles1

snow piles2

snow piles3

On Christmas Day (12/25) I posted some of the pictures I took when my friend and I slipped into a deserted barn and were rewarded with visions of gold-washed wood and hay.

 But wait! There’s more!

While I was still looking for one more shot, one more perfect shot, I heard Marjorie on the other side of a wall. “Go outside and come around! You need to see this!”

And, indeed I did.

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That same golden light that had dazzled us in the hay barn filled most of this space as well.

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Marjorie was standing in the middle of familiar ground,  having grown up on a farm that looked much like this one. And, even as we were losing all sensation in our fingers and toes in the bitter cold, our discussion turned, as it repeatedly does, to the influences we bring from our past to our art.  This line, that perspective, these colors, those images: they feel right. I don’t know why, but they’re singing to me. And, often, that song can be traced all the way back to that territory of our childhoods.

Because she frequently offers commentary on my posts and pictures and has figured in other posts I’ve done, I thought you might like to see some of Marjorie’s artwork. Her website (not a blog) is

Brace yourself!

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I should probably apologize, shouldn’t I? It’s just that I can only keep those dorky word-play impulses quashed for so long and then…BAM! I’m powerless. Next thing I know, I wake up in a public library parking lot surrounded by old puns and used quips, my clothes reeking of  stale double-entendres, and a rumpled note containing a single cryptic homonym clutched in my ink-stained fingers.

sturgeon bay door

sturgeon bay windows

Taken yesterday: Some very funky siding and a lovely gray door in Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay is located in (wait for it…wait for it..) Door County, Wisconsin!