Please be warned that you may need a tetanus shot after reading today’s post, my friends. Today we’re heading back to the Metchosin Pioneer Museum, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada where we are continuing our long-running photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show“. This is a special place, one you can return to often and discover new things with each visit. My best friend and I took an afternoon to spend some time there recently and this post features some of the rusty farm equipment situated in an area just outside the museum. As we worked our way around trying to photograph the myriad of things, certain little scenes popped out, literally begging to be photographed by yours truly here, the Toad. So without any further ado, let’s put on our best leather work gloves and dive right into the rusty goodness!
This post is dedicated to a really good friend of mine who has stayed in touch over the years via email. I believe he lives back east in the U.S. and it seems that him and I share a deep love for all old equipment. We’ve shared pictures of old steam shovels that still work and stories of all sorts of wonderful things. We have a strong common bond, that is one that shares a bit of “rust lust”, if you will.
The day we were shooting these scenes at the museum I was thinking of my friend Tom and knew that he would see this post, and as such I’ve been looking forward to writing it. This post is dedicated to you, my friend.
As we explored this little area just outside the museum, certain little vignettes began to pop out that were really quite remarkable. Composing in a tight area like this that has so many different artifacts in it creates its own challenges… how do you isolate certain scenes from all the bits and pieces that surround it? In the picture above, I was peering through a curtain of ivy and when I really took notice of the rich textures and details found on the axle just behind the rusty wagon wheel here, a wonderful scene began to emerge. The strong juxtaposition between the metal and it’s coating of rust against the lush green surroundings really reveals a striking contrast of man and nature. There’s something inherently lonely about scenes like this to me, I begin to wonder about the people who used these implements all those years ago, and wonder about their stories. The design and creation of farming tools and implements a hundred years ago was a vastly different process than it is currently. Some would even argue that the old ways produced items that have lasted all these years and could still be put into service today.
As we try to learn a little of the world we find ourselves surrounded in, we leave behind certain artifacts that become long forgotten as the sands of time continue to flow. Years later these same things suddenly take on a different meaning, a way to link ourselves to the past and a glimpse into life as it was during those times. There were no cell phones, no internet, no air-conditioned cabs on a tractor that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and comes with a built-in entertainment system. There was hard work and toil, and with that came happiness and sadness as events unfolded for the people.
These machines and devices were loved and appreciated by those who owned them. In the day when they were fully operational, great effort in the maintenance paid off in years of worry-free service. This was a paramount concept in terms of being able to survive and thrive in a new world that was rife with all sorts of challenges. The landscape itself was a challenge to work in, the surrounding wildlife was new and at times more than a little scary, and the weather was extreme and unpredictable at times. That made items like this even more important and valuable to those who owned them. They were a lifeline of sorts, often seen as members of the family.
It’s this indelible imprint we love to explore with our photography. We try to pull back a little of the layers of time that have accumulated here to share a glimpse of the story behind it all. Many questions remain unanswered, which is where I believe the lonely feel comes from, but it also helps us to anchor ourselves to the land today and understand how and why we all got here.
Perhaps one day someone will find an artifact we’ve left behind and wonder about what life was like for us, continuing this relentless cycle that we all play a small role in. So, as we see here today, these aren’t just rusty old bits and pieces of metal lying about somewhere, these are items that take on a much more profound essence as we ponder the meaning of life and what it all symbolizes on a larger scale.
Thank you so much for your kind visit today. We really appreciate you taking the time to pop by and share our story, and we encourage you to leave us any comments you may have as we love to here from everyone. Until next time!