Vanishing Landscapes – Red Horse Ranch, Fennville

Yesterday I had the privilege of feeding my horse friends at Red Horse Ranch. I volunteer there one evening a week so that I can be close to the horses and give them equine Reiki when the timing works.

Red on white snow falling USE

Red Horse Ranch in a raging but beautiful February snowstorm.

Almost a white out USE

It was so cold that I didn’t share Reiki the horses but I was able to spend a bit of time photographing the farmstead. Documenting old places, especially vanishing landscapes is an old love of mine. I have been doing this for more than 50 years now. Recording these old-style covered bridges, barns, factories, one-room schoolhouses, train stations, old neighborhood stores and more, these vintage structures draw me in and do not let me  go.

Inside barn looking out

The view from inside the “big barn” looking out.

While I once documented them in black and white film, I now use a digital camera to capture their beauty and create photo essays using computer software. The equipment is certainly different but the creative process is much the same.

Chicken coop from side  in snow USE jeg

Chipped paint, weather wood and snow flakes on the chicken coop.

Coop window close USE

There is just something about photographing barn red paint against white snow.


Coop and fence nice

The chicken coop in the landscape.

The cold simply vanishes when I am immersed in my craft with the camera in hand and my mind in sync. Photographs jump out at me in the tiniest of details from the barn latch to the blue-gray eyes of the barn cat.

Barn cat USE

The barn cat carefully watches me giving Reiki healing to J.B.

When I stood in the barn and look at the hay mound filled with bales of hay I am suddenly transported back to my grandparents Yankee Bank Barn on the Prairie Rhonde, in Schoolcraft, MI. For a moment I was teleported back my childhood and I was standing in the sunbeam watching the straw pieces floating down and around me. For a moment I smelled that unique odor of fresh baled hay. I haven’t thought of that day in years. Isn’t that interesting how a place, and a moment, can trigger a fifty-year-old memory?

Haymound close USE jpeg

The hayloft and tack center.

Red stilllife USE

A picturesque vignette of vintage wheelbarrow and chair.

BJ eating in barn USE jpeg

B.J. eating her dinner before her Reiki treatment.

These vanishing landscapes call to me and sing a song of a story of a slowly dying time. My grandparent’s barn is gone now but the good memories remain. 

Small House Homesteaders and Photographer, Donna