Lost dreams?

My friend Cheryl and I have been hiking the Bruce Trail on and off since April and have covered a respectable distance. Besides all the amazing countryside we’ve seen, one fascinating aspect for me are those sights that seem to represent lost parts of peoples lives and perhaps even their dreams. We’ve passed closed mills and factories…

Walters Falls mill


…towns past their heyday and abandoned homes along the trail and wondered about the families who may have lost it all or may have moved on to greener pastures.

old house

We’ve been crossing rough terrain, usually in thick brush or seemingly the middle of nowhere and come across a broken fence, something that once marked a boundary or contained livestock or crops…a long time ago and built with hope and hard work but now overgrown as nature takes it back.

fence in the woods

For me the most compelling are the dry boulder fences built by settlers using huge rocks they cleared from the land in hopes of tilling the soil. They suddenly appear in a forest and stretch for as far as you can see…each boulder painstakingly dug up and lifted now demarcating nothing. I’m sure I’ve bored my hiking companion silly as each time I point them out and marvel at the determination these long ago farmers showed.

Stone fence 2


And what’s the story behind this abandoned machine that blocked our path and cause a detour through greenery that may contain poison ivy?

Abandonned machine

As we walk this trail we think not only about those who have traversed it before us but also the lost times and hard times of those who lived in the places we pass in days gone by…

This entry was posted in Life, Photography, Puzzles and Contradictions, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Walking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Lost dreams?

  1. Sartenada says:

    Lost dreams – yes indeed. Well presented, I love it.

  2. Argus says:

    Evocative, provocative …

  3. Mike says:

    Very nicely done. Someone needs to take that junk off that nice Cadillac..

  4. Looks like a beautiful part of the Bruce Trail. You have captured its slow pace and feeling of time gone by delightfully in these images. Yes, maybe it is lost dreams. Each photograph tells its own story.

    • Thank you for your comments and you’re right to say this was part of the Bruce trail because we’re finding that each section we walk has its own stories…so many more to go!

  5. I love especially the picture of the old mill. It makes you just want to reach out and save it !

  6. Sheryl says:

    Lovely pictures—It would be really interesting to know the stories behind these photos. The trail looks like a really fun place to hike.

  7. Nancy says:

    You are seeing some lovely sights! I too have come across abandoned areas and wonder… where are they now? Thank You for sharing…! And a lost spirit or two are sure glad you have remembered them by sharing your photos with us.

  8. hermitsdoor says:

    So many reasons that people pack-up and move on. Ambition. Adventure. Economics. Family (adding to and subtracting from). Climate… Rural areas retain these features of homesteads from a few decades ago and foundations of civilizations hundrends and thousands of years ago. Urban and suburban areas raze and rebuild… All those foreclosed mortgages and gutted houses only a few years abandonded, may go the way of Detroit and Baltimore (razed) or California (short-sales).

  9. joannesisco says:

    Reading your post was really interesting – I too felt the same way. It seemed like I was forever photographing abandoned cars, buildings, often building that were simply foundations that remained.
    I find abandoned or derelict buildings very sad … like you said in your title, I think of them as lost dreams.

  10. I often had the same thoughts as we drove around the U.S. and saw derelict buildings, abandoned motels and nearly deserted towns. Shame.

  11. Thank you…Now I better understand the wabi sabi concept – thanks to your last post and this comment!

  12. agnesashe says:

    Some beautiful photographs – capturing that poignant charm of fading away. It would seem from your pictures and the comments above that plenty of us Westerners appreciate the ‘wabi sabi’ art aesthetic – we just haven’t named it.

  13. I’m completely drawn to abandoned places and buildings. I get this pull inside me that I can’t describe. I find incredible beauty in them and could spend hours imagining the people that inhabited them and the reasons why they left xx

  14. Lynn says:

    It is so interesting what gets left behind, isn’t it? The abandoned parked car intrigues me. Did the person just up & leave? Beautiful photos.

  15. icelandpenny says:

    Oh I’m so glad you noticed, thought about and paid tribute to those pioneers who — or so it looks from here — were doomed from the start. So much of that country was/is so unsuitable for farming, & the people attempting it often knew nothing about it anyway. So much effort, so little reward.

  16. quilt32 says:

    The boulder fences are particularly interesting.

  17. margaret21 says:

    These are wonderful, evocative images. I love to walk through areas that bring me into contact with its history, especailly if that history seems to be a forgotten or little understood one.

    • Thank you…while our history is not as dramatically visible as some other parts of the world it is still there in the whisper of the birch trees if you look hard enough.

  18. Sue Slaght says:

    Oh the stories it could tell. Such time on a journey leaves our minds to wonder.

  19. Gallivanta says:

    What we leave behind! It is fascinating.

  20. Lavinia Ross says:

    The photos are beautiful, and remind me of New England, where I am from originally. Stone fences everywhere, and many in the woods, where Nature had reclaimed an old farm.

  21. Gunta says:

    My husband used to explain every bit of the machinery or equipment or the way things were done. It was always fascinating to head out into areas such as this with him.

  22. Beautiful photographs and for me memories of the many “dreams” both lost and found that we’ve encountered on the trail.

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