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Photographer's Note

This is another shot from our 2008 Canadian vacation. We love Canada - my wife Linda and I have gone there three years straight now and plan to go to the Eastern provinces in 2009.

Canada is a country of plenty. I used to think the United States was the world's breadbasket, particularly from driving around Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. There were just so many farms and fields - you could see how the world got fed from all of them! When we started driving through the plains of Alberta, however, we noticed the sheer vastness of the fields there. We drove to a few out of the way places, such as Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Drumheller area, at this point we were on the last leg of our vacation, traveling from an overnight stay in Medicine Hat to Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. The shortest route was across the plains and in some cases over rock roads that circumnavigated some absolutely huge farms. The American Midwest never prepared us for these farming areas. In Illinois and Missouri you can see the delineation of the properties and kind of tell where one farm stops and a new one starts. In Alberta, there were some areas where all we could see was the road and fields of yellow, green and brown with perhaps one farm house or group of buildings in sight. Those farms were so incredibly large and the fields went on forever - we traveled for miles without seeing anyone - no other cars or people. We came upon the occasional group of romping antelope, but the only signs of civilization were the roads and fields. I'm attempting to portray the solitude of this area. When we did pass a farm house, it was generally a group of buildings to house huge farm implements (some of those were larger than a house!), silos, barns and of course the farmer's home. In many cases, the farm appeared to be multi-generational in that there were several homes close by that had been upgraded from. This photograph is one of those - just down the road and across was a fairly modern, ranch style home with fresh paint, a nice Chevy truck in the driveway - all in front of the farm operation buildings. This building was evidently the home for a previous generation that had been allowed to fall into total disrepair - not completely abandoned as it was in sight of the later home - but discarded just the same. From the angles of the walls and the sagging of the roof (the original photograph was corrected for lens distortion in DxO - what you see is pretty much how it looked when I pressed the button) it is apparent that this old farmhouse would be just another pile of grey wood rotting in the Canadian weather very soon. It struck me that this house fairly well epitomized the area we were traversing - a large, very desolate and lonely farming area. I could see how the Canadian winters would take anything left untended and turn it into ruin. I could see in my mind the cold, dry winds whipping across this unprotected plain and the original family huddling in this farmhouse waiting for planting season. This farmhouse was at least 50 miles from the last town we passed. They had to be totally self-sufficient for months at a time, certainly, in this area. Perhaps not as much today for the current residents across the road, but it is still a long way from anywhere. It must take a special breed of people to work their life away in such a manner.

Anyway, I digress from my original goal here, to show you folks another of my favorite pictures from somewhere on the planet. I doubt that many of you have been here, and I doubt it will look this way for much longer.

denisn72, pauloog has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Reed Radcliffe (rlrad) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 250 W: 18 N: 393] (1845)
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