Our Heritage on the Prairies is Being Lost…
This weekend I had plans of making it out to Abraham Lake near Nordegg to get more mountain landscapes. David Thompson country is a beautiful and oft neglected area of Alberta. It’s proximity to Jasper and Banff makes it the poor sister of the three.
Instead of going into someone else’s back yard to take pictures, I ended up in mine. Early Saturday evening the skies were looking promising. Just the right amount of cloud and open sky. Would the clouds disappear completely and give me an empty, blue space above the horizon? Would the clouds close in completely and get the opposite, a dark, featureless sky?
It turned out to be a lovely evening. As I headed north out of Edmonton, I could see a cloud front on the horizon. As I pulled off the highway in Fedorah, a black sky awaited across the valley. I saw one lightning strike as the storm blew through the county but failed to catch it with the camera.
This cemetary is familiar to me. Being only twenty minutes from where I live I pass by it frequently. When the light is right, it’s a great place to be.
What never noticed until I planted the camera is that a very, very old wooden cross, a grave marker had finally rotted away on the bottom and fallen to the ground. Or maybe it was pushed? Whatever the cause, this old marker, maybe close to one hundred years old or more will soon be gone. Happily I have photos of it still standing.
I continued on after shooting the cemetary, looking for photo opportunities. Getting close to sunset, I had planned on shooting a very old, small, wooden granary. Last year when I shot it, it was tilted at a 45 degree angle, looking ready to collapse. As I reached the crest of the hill where the granary was, something was different.
It had collapsed. Where a rustic, interesting old granary once stood was a pile of stick with the outline of a roof sitting on top of them. Another prairie relic gone.
It struck me as I drove home that evening, how nature reclaims it’s own. Every season we lose more and more of our prairie history. Capture it while you can. One day the old wooden buildings will all be gone.
Landscape photography isn’t all about the mountains or pretty waterfalls, it is also about where we live.