11.05.2019 Shutesbury Road Barn

As part of my ongoing trip to photograph locations or subjects that have piqued my interest over the years I stopped by this old barn in New Salem. It’s hard to see in this image, but the entrance is fenced with rabbit wire so going in even with permission may not be allowed. The thermometer says @27Β° which is why the oak leaf I shared the other day was so frosty.

Heading further down the road, I set up for a shot showing the collapsing structure that likely is the reason for the fencing.

It’s just a matter of time until the collapse unless the owners decide to hasten its demise. For now it stands as a structure that has seen productive days but now waits for the end.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
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22 Responses to 11.05.2019 Shutesbury Road Barn

  1. shoreacres says:

    I’m always surprised by how long it can take for a building like this to disintegrate. I’ve watched a barn alongside a highway south of here collapse over a period of twenty years. The last time I saw it, everything had splintered or rotted away except the roof, which was mostly intact, but finally on the ground.

    The black and white photo makes this barn look foreboding, but the ‘face’ of the barn in the first image seems friendly and inviting. That thermometer looks much newer than the barn: clean, and not at all rusted. I wonder if someone who owns the property put it up just to have somewhere away from the house to check the temperature. Without the thermometer, the sense of abandonment would be overwhelming. With it, there’s a sense of human presence — somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most often it is the roof that I see collapsed into the building. This is listing so may go the sideways route.

      I had not intended a foreboding air to this but more of an old time photograph. However, I can see how it might appear spooky as well. Yes, the thermometer seems an anachronism in that front image. There is a house directly across from the barn and possibly they put the thermometer up so they could see what the temperature is when they leave the house. It hadn’t occurred to me, but the front does seem a face.


  2. The black and white is downright spooky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Channeling your inner Melinda Green Harvey? Spooky indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    I wouldn’t go into the black and white version on Halloween! It’s amazing how that version has such an eerie feel to it. Gets the imagination going….there could be a story there!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A sad sight, but excellent photos, especially the B&W, which strikes me as more poignant than spooky, I guess because I grew up surrounded by decrepit old barns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poignant was my expression in shooting this barn. I found it interesting and sad that it is in such disrepair that it will eventually collapse and either rot where it falls or get hauled away for an empty field or a new home.There are already empty fields all around so that would seem likely.


  6. I love old barns and the one in color is my favorite. It seems sad to witness an old house or barn disintegrate a little bit each year until- well it is gone. I think it is a shame because old structures represent America and it simply is not replaceable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sad seeing them also. But it is a testament to the phrase “All things must pass”. It is a shame we humans find ways to leave our mark for what may be eons in some cases. Just like we are reminded to leave only footprints when visiting a natural area, that should be true in a way for everything we do on the planet. Our trash will outlive our species.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bluebrightly says:

    It works beautifully in color AND in black and white – the faded red paint against that aqua and the mossy green is such a pretty color combination, but the black and white bring out the textures. The composition, with the road and two trees, is excellent. There are lots of disintegrating barns around here but happily, there are newer ones too, and agriculture is holding on well. There’s always the hot market for old barn siding….someone can get a pretty penny for that wood if they want to. Sad, but at least it will be appreciated.


    • Some agriculture is doing okay here, but it is not unusual to see an old farm with a for sale sign which most often leads to a housing or commercial development. Our state has an agricultural preservation program which allows for tax incentives to maintain farm land but some families don’t have anyone willing to take over the farm and the chunk of change one can get for prime real estate is often too hard to pass up. Thanks for noticing the trees. I considered them important to keep the composition tight.
      In addition to the textures in the black and white, I wanted something moody and old to dominate the tone. While the color certainly has an aged quality to it, the mood isn’t at all the same, at least in my mind.
      Thanks for the nice critique, Lynn. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        That all sounds familiar – the difficulty of maintaining farmland, it’s sad. And oh yes, you have “moody” in the black and white! The building is literally frowning, with that slumping curve. It is a very good subject for “moody.” ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Moody is funny as I make a lot of images nearby on Moody Bridge Road, only some of which are terribly moody. πŸ™‚
        Most often the family lineage is what determines the end of a farm. Many of today’s youth are not enthusiastic about the hard work and long hours required to be a successful farmer. The economy of the current tariff battle isn’t encouraging as that is leading to even more closures. It’s a hard and very demanding profession. Thank goodness some states are trying to remedy that with tax relief for maintaining farmland.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Another sad barn, our area has too many. 😦 I miss the all the dairy farms of my youth and the cow-dotted hilly pastures.
    I like the different colors of fading paint in the first shot. It’s definitely seen better days, hasn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does for sure. There were a couple of nice barns as you ride down Rte. 47 in Hadley that eventually collapsed in upon themselves. Farming is tough and I guess financial priorities don’t always allow for barn maintenance.I don’t imagine there are many farm visits for elementary school outings any longer. We are fortunate to have a couple nearby…Wagner in Amherst, although I think they are more about firewood lately, Cook in Hadley with their ice cream stand, Mapleline making home deliveries, Clesson in Buckland, and a couple of others. Certainly not at all like it used to be. I like your description…cow-dotted. πŸ™‚
      Yes, it has seen better days and the current ones may be numbered.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: 11.14.2019 Heading towards a sad end | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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