Greet The Morning

Posted: 27th January 2014 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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The morning shadows are long this time of year.  Frost is a frequent visitor, often taking hours to dissipate, especially in areas that are shaded.  The tone of the natural light also takes on a different feel, creating landscapes that are distinctly Canadian and distinctly winter.  People are often amazed to learn that we hardly get any snow here on Vancouver Island even though we are part of Canada.  Even with that being said, many a day we find cold landscapes and vignettes that show the true character of this island we love so much.  Today we are going to explore a wonderful red barn that faces the rising sun as if it reaches out to greet the morning and herald in a brand new day.

Red Barn - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Red Barn – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The shadows creep along the field’s floor, reaching out towards the wonderful red barn that adds a dash of color to the frigid vista.  This farm is well-known to folks familiar with the Cowichan Valley area, presenting itself as you come around a gentle bend on the highway.  In the far distance we see a tree covered hill speckled in the last vestiges of frost from the cold night.  In a few hours, it would all be gone.  Why are we drawn to scenes like this?  Are they connections to our past, to simpler times, that we all yearn for?  It’s easy to romanticize pastoral settings like this one, longing for a time when technology didn’t exist let alone run our lives.  These days scenes like this are so easily overlooked as we all whiz by at breakneck speed with our heads down checking out the latest text message or email from a friend.

Red Barn - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Red Barn – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

A closer look reveals a waft of smoke from a fireplace in the area, just behind the roofline of the barn.  Details present themselves that speak of a hard life on a farm.  In our modern times competition and big agricultural business are dominant forces, making it much harder to make a living with this lifestyle than it did even just 50 years ago.  We often wonder if one day this way of life will disappear forever.

In this day and age it’s so easy to overlook the obvious, to not see things that are right in front of our very own eyes.  Perhaps this is why so many of us yearn for connections to our heritage, almost as if hanging onto these memories by a thread will bring them back to life.

What do you see in the old barn in the field?

Thank you so much for visiting us here at The Hollow today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please do feel free to leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.  Until next time, my friends!




  1. Your photographs are always so well done. I know I say that many times and it still holds so true.

    The question “What do I see in this photograph?”

    I see early morning and the work on the barn just beginning. I see a great start to the day. I see beauty, peace, restfulness, and a spectacular look at farm life. You rocked it!!

    Spencer McDonald

  2. avatar Chris Maskell says:

    First the apologies: Sorry I’ve been absent my friend, it was not a deliberate act but one which was imposed in a way.

    Next: Great shot as always, your images of and stories about BC make me want to pack up the family and our possessions and catch the next plane. Then I’d find me a farm with a Red Barn like the one above and move in.

    Heaven

    • Chris, kind sir, I completely completely completely understand. It’s been a tough time lately for many good people we know and we understand what it means to attend to priorities in life first. I just love it when you come by to see us like you’ve done here today. We’re sending you our very best wishes, my kind friend. And in terms of catching a plane and moving out here??… I would LOVE that! We’ve got plenty of room out here, so that’s not a problem! 😀 You sir are the real deal. Thanks, from the very bottom of my heart.

    • avatar Eje G says:

      Hey Chris great to hear your still around. Miss you buddy..

    • avatar Eje G says:

      Great post and great pictures..

      Yay Chris is back.. Been missing having him around and started to wonder and tried to get hold of ya.

  3. avatar jmcastner says:

    I see the reality of near self sufficiency, “with a little help from my friends”. I love the ideal, but where R my depended upon amenities of gas & electricity — aah, replace by the quieter manual machine operations & a crackling fire & pumped “running” h2o. Recycle the “garbage”, & old fashion handling of personal necessities.
    /// As a result, a nice place to visit, so pretty — kudos to those who can handle a 24/7 for a continuous yr. in/yr. out. & maybe I can have a mansion w. my amenities. (no cell & laptop– ?, as a start, I have my sturdy manual typewriter).

  4. avatar jmcastner says:

    it looks so sweetly idylic, wonderfully captures the colors and beauty of the place. due to the chimney smoke detail, i’m glad someone is successfully living there. there r always reading and writing and board games. plus, adventures in the quiet walks when all the needed work is done!

  5. avatar LensScaper says:

    Yes we do romanticize pastoral settings like this and in a way yearn for a life like that – but the forget the privations that went along with that apparent ‘idyll’. Life was tough and austere. We tend to forge that when we drift by in our heated cars. They still make beautiful images though, Toad.

    • What wonderful thoughts, Andy, thank you ever so kindly for stopping by and leaving these comments for everyone to enjoy!!

    • avatar jmcastner says:

      LensScaper “Andy”, glad to read ur thoughts. I had made my comments on the idyllic & the reality — when they didn’t much address the aesthetic picturesque. U were able to voice the rest of the reality sentiments, along w. the compliments. /// Toad, U do wonderful pictures — so glad U share them. That’s what drew me to the site. Granted, U R drawing out the visual sentiments, & then also these others.

  6. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Honestly, I see warmth, both in the temperature of the scene and in what the components of it stand for. The heart and soul of what made North America what it is – people hacking their life out of the landscape with their own two hands. Some lucky enough to settle in beautiful places like this one! Gorgeous image Toad!

  7. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    There is something that a red barn that really attracts photographers. Probably it is the color contrast that it has with the surrounding landscape. This is a perfect example Toad. Beautifully captured.

  8. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Truly beautiful Toad. I must say that the beauty of NO snow adds to the appeal for me right now. We’ve had too much of the snow and cold (much more then we normally get in Toronto.)

    • Gosh, yeh, I’ve been hearing about your weather back east this winter, Edith. Just as a matter of note, it’s nice out here, we’ve got plenty of room and the temperatures are typically well above freezing. Just in case you want to visit, or even better yet, move out here. 😀 Just sayin’!

  9. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    What I see besides the overall beauty of this place, is a link to the lifestyle of yesteryear when folks had to eek out a living from the surrounding countryside. I have long had an interest in barns and the history associated with each particular one.

    Great post and photographs as always, Toad.

    • Thank you Jimi, from the bottoms of our hearts here! We really really appreciate you taking the time to visit and for sharing your wonderful sentiments here that I am sure everyone will enjoy! Best wishes, my good friend!

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