I live in Wisconsin, USA. I grew up on a farm in the country. Rural America. Both my parents grew up on small family-owned dairy farms post WWII. Both my parents were the first in their families to go to college. My Dad was a teacher and my Mom was a nurse. Their generation made the transition from the old farm life to the middle class.
My Dad is still attached to the Land. He bought a farm and Land as soon as he had the chance and a little money. Over the years, he raised chickens, cattle, pigs, and horses. Even a short stint in Dairy Cows. Now he just has dogs and works in his woods with an Iron Mule as opposed to the lumber-jacking his father did with horses back in the day. He walks the dogs every single day through the woods. It's a definite part of his everyday life.
I grew up circling a hay field on the hottest days of summer to help bail and stack hay for $2 / hour. Swimming in the Lake afterwards never felt so good! That was the best way to cool off and wash off the bits of hay that stick to sweat and itch. Farm Life was hard physical work. I remember.
Now I live in a city with a small yard and 2 big dogs. No barn. I don't even like mowing the lawn these days. No tolerance for being in the hot sun anymore. I literally wilt.
It's about a 2-1/2-hour drive home to where I grew up. Mostly farm country and woods in between. There are so many small family farms along the route -- The Red ones or weathered barn wood. So many barns are in disrepair, falling down, or gone. In the old days, the Barn got a new roof before the house did. The Barn was the money-maker, the family business. The Income. That's where you invested the money. That's no longer the case today. The barn building is a liability. An expense.
There are some barns being kept up--but it's expensive to keep up and restore a barn, especially if there is no return on investment. I am pleased to see that some barns are being restored. People are even hanging giant plywood quilts on the sides. The small family farm is being replaced by many fewer gi-normous feed lots. Huge, sprawling structures and giant wormy plastic sileage bags snake along the ground next to it. Not pretty.
I am pleased to see the resurgence in local farming and farm markets. I hope that movement is enough to keep the barns/farms going.
One day, the small family farm barns will be gone. The Silos may stay standing a while longer, but these artifacts of rural life in Middle America will be gone.
In the last few years, I've started taking "drive-by" photos of Wisconsin Barns. (Always when my husband is driving---not me. Safety first!)
Admittedly, most of these Barn pictures are landscape orientation with big skies above. I do have a few of them in portrait view, as required by this Beyond Layers assignment. I offer these additional Landscape pictures from "The Place Where I Live : Wisconsin."
Photo Processing : Kim Klassen's Old Barn Recipe
Original photo on the Right
Layer 1 : Copy Background
Layer 2 : Spot Healing to erase power lines
Layer 3 : Duplicate Layer 2 - Soft Light blend mode; 35% opacity
Layer 4 : Duplicate Layer 3 - Multiply blend mode ; 47%
Layer 5 : Kim Klassen's Paper Stained Light - Multiple at 53%
Layer 6 : Kim's Paper Stained Light - Soft Light at 100%
It came our kind of dark when it was finished, so I ran it through RadLab with the following filters : EZBurn2, Antique Tone, POS Lens, Warm it up, Kris, and Variotone. Now it's got kind of an old Depression Era feel to it.