This particular barn was located off of a side road near the little town of Farmer, Washington. I came across it a few years ago and made this image. I loved the perfect location of the windmill. Recently, I tried to find this particular barn, but the field that I thought it was in is now all grain.


Another View

I’ve already posted a couple of views of this small pioneer home on Pearl Hill, but here’s one more. I liked the cinematic framing for this shot. The image was taken with an infrared filter on a green, spring day.

two thirty five to one

© Brad Skiff


Clouds, bitter in defeat,
retreat to the margins and scheme,
while beaming sun grins at their cowardice.

The sky was really active, so I grabbed my camera and this was the result: an abandoned home in the snow with harsh sunlight taunting the clouds. Taken with a 10-stop neutral density filter.


Palace of the Forgotten

Palace of the Forgotten

Birdsong and leaves beyond the panes
promise forever, and my blisters ache
with joy, hard-won.
Stew from the kettle, birthed
from the well, satiates my destiny.

But the magpie have fled the toppled poplars,
and my dreams are but patina
bleached in the sun.

Even the sage I mocked with toil
forgets my name.


Hidden Homestead

I stopped at an overgrown county road, the kind where wheel ruts disappear into tall grass. There was room at the juncture of this county road and the small highway I had been travelling on, so I pulled off and parked. It was June, and although there was a stop sign at the entrance to the route, I dared not drive on it. Catalytic converters can touch off fires, even on cooler days like this. Instead, I snagged my camera, locked my vehicle, and trekked over the rise and down into a little valley.

As is often the case where I live, my efforts were rewarded. Nestled among the sage was an entire homestead comprised of at least two separate homes, a barn, and several utility buildings. The spot lacked any official warning signs, perhaps it was so remote and hidden that none were needed, so I deemed it safe enough to explore.

This image, which I call Troubadour of the West, was taken with a Hoya infrared filter. I need to revisit this spot, perhaps this winter, when snow burdens the rafters and smooths out the fields. Or, certainly before some idiot drives down that lane, sparks a fire, and destroys all these lovely old bones of the past.

Troubadour of the West

A summer, a winter more, then…

This particular homestead lies in a very desolate location. A half a mile further along the deep-rutted road which segments the barren landscape, there once lived neighbors, but their homes are no more than vague patches on Google Earth; tall grass and sage fully entangle the former victories of pioneer life.

But this place survives. Despite the wildfire which ripped through these fields a few years ago, it remains unscathed. And when the heavy snows descend on its remaining rafters, it abides the weight. And so I drive all the way out here to visit this elderly grandparent, knowing one day I will find it has passed. Until then, I record the widening lines of its cantankerous hulk, which stands defiant in the face of time.

One Winter from Rubble