Today’s photoblog post is going to focus on two artifacts that are on display at the BC Forestry Discovery Centre.  This post is a continuation of our running series, “The Toad’s Tonka Toys“.

As things stand, the area on Vancouver Island that we live in and its immediate surroundings were all founded by local industry.  The two largest industries were logging and mining.  Both of these industries are running at much-reduced capacity these days with the news of many mills and mines being shut for financial reasons.  The BC Forestry Discovery Centre and all the folks involved in it have put a lot of time and money into finding, preserving and displaying a large collection of artifacts.  And as time marches forward, these artifacts become more and more interesting.

Water Tower - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Water Tower - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

The train ride at the Discovery Centre was a highlight of the day.  There are several kilometers of track laid and the train runs a regular schedule taking folks around the facility to see everything, with a stop in the centre grounds area which contains a playground, picnic area and a series of artifacts to take in and enjoy.  This water-tower was one of those artifacts that immediately caught my eye as we were adventuring.  The weathered crimson tones of the tank contrasted with the shingled peak roof stood out as a typical west-coast structure.  You just don’t see many of these around anymore these days, and we thought it was a wonderful find to share with everyone.

Mining Cars - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Mining Cars - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Our next find was something pretty special, as well.  A string of mining cars sits on a patch of tracks on display at the Discovery Centre.  The rust on the metal and the weathering on the wood really produced a striking scene, one well worthy of capture.

Mining Cars - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Mining Cars - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

This is definitely one of my personal favorite photos from the adventure this day.  There is just something I can’t quite put my finger on about this picture that I find absolutely striking.  Again, the weathering in the wood and the rust so evident on the metal pieces add a ton of character, but I also find something slightly romantic can be enjoyed from the scene overall.

It’s been years since these cars have been actively used.  If not for this museum, I am rather sure that they would have been left forgotten where they last sat, never to be seen again.  It’s times like this that I am personally very appreciative of all the time and money that people put into preserving memories like these for everyone to enjoy.  Many of the folks who participate are volunteers and are doing it solely to make sure that future generations get a chance to see these artifacts from years now past.  This would all be lost without these good folks.

I think the big point in today’s post is to stop and appreciate each historic artifact that we come across.  Someone, somewhere had the vision and resources to preserve this item, and they did so for a reason.  When I reflect like this, I take on a whole new appreciation for these people.

In short, let’s all get out there and hug a museum.

We really do appreciate you taking the time to visit today, that really means a lot to us.  Please feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we always love to hear from all our visitors.

  1. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Ah looks like you found a photography mother-load there (pun intended) 🙂

    Leading shot in this set is just great man.

  2. A lot of the things then ended up in the Museum not only would have gone lost and unused but could also have been cut up/destroyed for scrap/other reasons. I know that was the case with the old train engines. They were due to be salvaged but, I forget his name, one fellow figured that it was important to save them for history, and was a strong influence in the formation of the museum.

    Here’s their website

    Another great post Toad! Thank you for sharing your adventures with the world! 😀

  3. Dear Toad Hollow.

    I have been particularlly impressed by your HD photography used in reproducing the textures and reflections of old buildings and machinery. I think your work sets a high standard, not least in the appropriateness of a medium for its subject, and I take pleasure in showing it to photographic colleagues and artists.
    I have been working on, and developing, a portrait project (, and would like to use some HDR techniques to try a ‘superrealism’ to further enhance the work. The strength of the project has been the fact that prints were lifesize and high definition ( sunlight). Would you offer any advice from your experience with HDR as to how I might best employ its use?
    The concept is now moving away from gallery framing to using full size portraits in a forest – printed on a non reflective plastic medium – to stay in place for some years while the moss and foliage grow onto the photographs.
    I know you would be bowled over by the photo opportunities in this part of central france = medieval buildings and glorious delapidation – and you are always most welcome to come and stay.

    Best Wishes

    Richard Dubieniec
    Arthouse Project Chantelle

    • Fabulous comments, Richard, gosh we sure do appreciate you taking the time to leave those! I have taken a look at your Picasa album and see now what you are doing there and think this is awesome! I have made myself a reminder here, I am quite overwhelmed with work this week but will send you a personal email next week with a few bits of advice on HDR techniques for such a project! Mrs. Toad and I were discussing France last night and we would love to come one day. It might take us awhile to save up the money but one day we really want to do a Europe trip to come see you and some other friends we have in the UK. We really, really appreciate your support and comments here, Richard, thank you SO much!

  4. avatar newd7000user says:

    Absolutely wonderful, I just love hose carts. I’m getting the itch to go visit our mine museums here in Utah. Thanks for another great post.

  5. You know you are so right…it’s so important to stop, enjoy & appreciate historical artifacts…and its also important to document them photographically which you do so well. I’m really enjoying this series Toad. I also love the way the mining cars are sitting on the tracks.

  6. avatar Fred Norris says:

    I agree with you Toad,the last image is my favorite the textures of the aged wood and the rust of the metal is an incredible combination.Very well presented mate,you continue to set the bar high!!

  7. Love these shots Toad, not only for the artistry of the images, but also for the story that they tell. And I agree with you about the last shot. Something about it just resonates with me. Well done.

  8. This is a fantastic series Toad! I can’t wait to see more. I have to agree with everybody else on the third picture. It has a lot of character in it and I think that’s what draws us into it. Great job my friend!

  9. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Great blog today. Those mining cars are such great photographic material. And I will definitely go hug a museum:)

  10. avatar theaterwiz says:

    Nice photo series and write up Toad

  11. avatar Jan Winther says:

    Very cool series, Toad. Great story to go with the shots too!

  12. avatar Rick says:

    Some amazing artifacts you found. Love how you have captured it!

  13. avatar Jim Nix says:

    lovely series Toad, well shot!