I love barns. I love photography even more. Put me in an old barn with my camera and I’m like a child at Christmas. One of the beautiful things about photography is that you need to pay close attention to details. One of the beautiful things about barns is that there are so many details to pay attention to.
So how does this fit into my favorite things of fall? For me, for this year’s barn tour, this might be my favorite little detail and to think, I nearly missed it altogether. I was touring the Dobbin round barn. The same barn that I shared in yesterdays post. The barn I almost did not see because it had been a long day of walking and climbing around and I knew it was time to head home. As I was approaching the on ramp to the interstate that would take me home I knew I would be driving past the gravel road that would take me to the barn this barn. The barn I really wanted to see. The round barn! I could see the road sign approaching. Glancing at my radio clock one more time I promised I would just make it a quick stop. I would get a couple pictures take a quick look inside and then be back on the road within 15 minutes.
I knew the minute I arrived I had made the right choice. I was greeted warmly by the owners and some extended family and then given a quick history of the family and the barn. Once I signed the guest book I was left to explore on my own and found that I was in no hurry at all anymore. An enormous brick silo in the center was only out done by the rafters whose intricacy looked like art. A wide cement path wrapped around the silo bordered by railing then another wide path of what I thought it were brick pavers and yet a third path of cement skirting around the outer edge of the barn. I made a quick walk of the inner path, my attention directed mostly at the large, almost square bricks of the silo. On my second trip around the inner loop I was trying to get a picture of some stalls that seemed to be hanging over the center path. Since the windows of the barn were located behind a partial wall the lighting was not ideal and my flash seemed to remove the ambiance completely. Hoping to make use of small light bulb above one of the stalls, I decided to brave the dirty brick floor and climbed under the railing for a better angle. Brushing the floor briefly with my hand, I realized that this was not brick at all but pieces of wood. Hundreds, maybe thousands of these rectangular cuttings laid out in a circular path around the barn, interrupted here and there by portions of cement and metal posts.
I wonder about the person or people who cut those pieces of wood. Was this the intended purpose of the wood or were these people simply trying to be good stewards or their resources. Maybe, and probably more realistically, this was a conscience decision by those involved because this material would be still be durable but also easier on the animals that would be standing there for unknown amounts of time. I had wanted to ask for sure but the owners were caught up in a discussion about some future restoration projects that needed to be done to the rafters and upper walls. My attention once again was drawn to the towering silo and rafters but for only for a moment.