Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The back roads

The back roads of northern Illinois are a wonderful source of inspiration and beauty. Often, I grab a camera and just drive aimlessly looking at whatever scenes appear over the next hill.



I wonder when I see a sky like this. What causes those patterns and color variations? Is it the wind that swirls and spirals the clouds?





The wonderful stories these old barns could tell. Think of the history they've seen--good times and bad. The men who built them and worked the land, growing old and dying there. Sad to see so many of the big old barns slowly falling. Too expensive to maintain.



Autumn grass has a special grace. It's constant movement is hypnotic.



Milkweed seed was blowing everywhere. It glistened in the sunlight as it drifted above the grass.


Brightly colored flower petals are gone. The seeds hang on waiting for just the right moment to let go.





This little donkey was happy to see me when I offered her pieces of smashed Halloween pumpkin.



I avoid the highways and interstates. How could getting somewhere fast be better than driving slowly through scenes like this one?

44 comments:

Rose said...

Gorgeous scenes, Marnie! You've reminded me that this is something I haven't taken the time to do this year--just drive through the country and admire the scenery. A local professional photographer has just published a book of barns throughout Illinois. I haven't seen the book yet, but listened to him describe it on a local radio talk show. He's a fantastic photographer, so I'm sure the photos will be something special, and each photo is accompanied by a story about the barn's history. Years ago, farmers often put more time and money into building their barns than into their houses.

Gail said...

Marnie, I loved this post and your photos are fantastic...They have transported me to the backroads of rural Missouri! When I lived there I had a 30 mile drive to Jeff City to work and would take as many alternate routes to avoid the highway! Over hills, along the river and onto country lanes. It would take hours to get home, but it was a great time. Was gas ever cheaper then. gail

tina said...

Your posts are always so thought provoking and it's wonderful to be able to travel with you. Such splendid scenes. Yes, sometimes it is so much better to slow down and 'take the road less traveled'.

Gayle @ Mountain Moma said...

The wonderful thing about reading blogs is seeing what nature looks like in your part of the world. I loved the tour today!

Rosey Pollen said...

Marnie,
We used to go on aimless drives when we lived in Michigan. It seems like we never have time now. I miss those idyllic days.
I loved that adorable donkey. How nice of you to give it a treat!

Carol said...

Lovely walking along with you Marnie... I feel the same way about the old barns... and avoiding highways when possible. The clouds are so mysterious... Lovely images and words. Carol

mothernaturesgarden said...

Marnie,
You have captured such beautiful photos of fall. I also love the sounds the grasses and dry leaves make in the wind.
Donna

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We often are on these backroads when out birding. They are the most relaxing and enjoyable drive. I always feel sad when I see a big old barn decaying in a field. It is especially bad when I see one of those tinny, no personality, metal barns sitting there beside the old decaying barn.

Linda said...

Wonderful fall scenes. You are correct about old barns, what stories they could tell but it is too expensive to add new roofs and siding.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I think we have become even more isolated from the land when interstates were built. I love to drive the backroads, and will go out of my way to take them instead of the main roads. The backroads of Illinois are beautiful. I find myself wanting to rescue those decaying barns. They represent a part of our country that is almost gone.

Love the photos of the Milkweed. Sure brings back memories as a kid walking home from school (v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y) finding milkweed and blowing it to watch it catch the wind.

What a sweet little donkey. He looks like he was smiling at the camera. Wish I had an apple to give him.

joey said...

I so enjoyed your trip, Marnie, and your photos are autumn delightful! My heart is with yours ... I love nothing better than traveling back roads with my camera, something I hope to do this weekend up north.

troutbirder said...

It's all there. You just have to slow down and see it. You do that so well, Marnie. Thnks

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I too love taking the back roads--it's a habit I learned from my father-in-law. Also love the milkweed fluff! And I admit I haven't seen a donkey along any back roads I've traveled--cute!

Teresa O said...

Country roads hold so many mysteries and so much beauty. Wonderful photography partnered with graceful words. Thanks for sharing.

CONEFLOWER said...

Hi Marnie and All,
Loved your post, Marnie. N. Ill is very much like N. Ohio where I live so it is very familiar to me and I love it. I love the grasses so I plant them around my house. The trees were beautiful this year as you've shown although they were slow in coming. But then summer was slow in coming too.

How gracious and giving of plants to show us their beauty all summer and then to show us how they will not desert us, but promise to be back next year through their seeds.

Dawn said...

Marnie, I take the backroads when I can, there is something so beautiful about the leaves swirling around on the tar as I drive. That first photo is breathtaking.

Cheryl said...

Marnie, Marnie....that last photograph took my breath away, it really did....

I love your mildweed.....it's fluffy seeds are just so very beautiful...

We have a lot of old barns here and they to are falling down....so sad.....

Phillip said...

What beautiful photos Marnie. I love the sky on the first photo and the trees in the last one are incredible.

Connie said...

Love, love, love old barns! They evoke such memories in me of my childhood... growing up on the N.Dakota prairies.

BeadedTail said...

Thanks for taking us along on through the countryside! I love seeing old barns too and often wonder about their history. Such wonderful things to see off the beaten path!

texasdaisey said...

Oh thank you for taking us on such a beautiful golden autumn drive. Your pictures are gorgeous.
Debbie

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Marnie, Your pictures are wonderful. I like them all --but that last one is superb... Love the colors.

That was nice of you to feed the donkey. Did you hear him say THANKS. I'm sure he did!!!!

Love seeing the old barns... Makes me wonder what went on inside at one time!

Have a great week.

Hugs,
Betsy

sweet bay said...

Those golden trees lining the road are gorgeous.

Susie said...

Marnie all these pics are just gorgeous. I would love to ride my bike down that beautiful fall enclosed road.

Racquel said...

Wow you captured some wonderful scenery on your drive! Thanks for taking us along. :) The sky in the first photo was breathtaking!

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

What a wonderful autumn drive! Lovely, natural photos! Love the mix of views and details.

Cameron

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Those lines in the sky are caused by jet contrails. They make for a beautiful photo. Your post reminds me of growing up in McHenry County. I love the backroads and the old barns.

Sherri said...

Marnie, I'm with you I avoid highways and take back roads! I love the little donkey! The last picture is a beautiful picture as are all the others!

Kerri said...

Marnie, that sky photo is spectacular! Backroads, a camera, and plenty of time is a wonderful way to go. Ah yes, those lovely old barns are full of history.
I love the little donkey, and that silky bursting milkweed seedpod...goreous! Those golden trees are positively glowing. Wonderful photos, and I enjoyed your narrative too.
It's cold and rainy here tonight, but your tour warmed the cockels :) Thanks for taking us along.

Kathleen said...

I would sure love a drive down the road in the last photo Marnie. The foliage has to be at its peak when that picture was taken. It's simply breath taking. You're so good at capturing images of your area ~ the homes, countryside and now these fabulous barns. It's a shame they can't be kept up. I never knew pumpkins were such a treat ~ I bet the horses at my daughters riding center would love our cast offs?? I should ask and see if we can drop them off.

btw, Anemones do very well in my garden so I'm sure they'd like yours. They're vigorous actually ~ so much so that I usually thin them out every spring. If I can remember and if you'd like some, I'd be happy to send you a few of the single white ones (name long ago forgotten) next spring.

Darla said...

How in the world did I miss this post...lovely photos..LOVE the last one!! pepper seeds... rusdar at hotmail dot com

*Ulrike* said...

Your backroads tour was so lovely. I enjoyed seeing everything in your area, and I like taking pictures of barns too. It's sad to see so many being run down. Your last picture looks like a drive we took last weekend. Ahhh fall colors!

:: flyingstars :: said...

simply beautifully captured shots...lovely scenes!

Jann said...

Fabulous photos! I love them all!

Msrobin said...

Such charming photos Marnie, thanks for taking me along. I dearly love back roads, and just found a few new treasures here in Ohio this very afternoon. We live so close to the city, but the country is lurking around every corner. I just love that about Columbus!

ShySongbird said...

A lovely post Marnie! I much prefer the back roads. There is far more of interest to see.

We have some lovely old barns over here too, there were some quite near to us which sadly have recently been demolished to make way for more houses, a sad fact of life in our small country I'm afraid...so much of our beautiful green land is being built on.

All of your photos are lovely, so atmospheric! The sky, the glistening Milkweed seed, the grasses, all so pretty! I also loed the little donkey and the last photo showing the Autumn leaves.

Meems said...

Beautiful post, Marnie, and beautiful photos. As always you know how to capture the moments and draw in the reader. The sky, the grasses, those old barns are so wonderful (wish they could be maintained)and that last autumn leaves photo is just lovely... especially since I don't get to see anything like that here.

walk2write said...

Lovely scenes from your neck of the woods, Marnie. The backwoods country is best for interesting scenes. We don't have many dilapidated barns nearby, but I took a pic this morning of one of the many houses in this area that are falling apart. With the storm coming in, that house might not survive the wind.

oldcrow61 said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures.

Sweet Repose said...

Girl, you know what I'm all about, there's nothin' like a drive in the country takin' pictures of old barns and homesteads, right up my alley...er lane...beautiful shots as usual, aren't ya lovin' this Indian Summer weather!!!

sharon

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Marnie, your post is pure art, I have never seen a sky like that...
Gorgeous/ Tyra

The Birdlady said...

This is a delightful post Marnie...every image is lovely.

Haddock said...

How could getting somewhere fast be better than driving slowly through scenes like this one?. . . . . . . Totally agree with this. I always avoid the expressway (which is so straight and boring) and take the usual old country road.

Anonymous said...

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