Gone forever but not forgotten

farm, landscape, Alberta, summer, storm, wildflowers, prairie, Dan Jurak, rural, granaries, granary, wooden buildings,

Just a few minutes from where I live is agricultural parkland. The prairies here were once and in some places still are a mix of open prairie and scattered plots of aspens, willows and birch trees.

Alberta is a recently new place to be inhabited by western civilization. Long before Europeans arrived the First Nations people lived and prospered here.

Theirs was a nomadic, hunter, gatherer existence. They moved where the game was. Staying in one place until the hunting and resources were better in another.

That changed a  hundred or so years ago here when the prairies started to be settled and farmed by emigrating Europeans.  The homestead where my ancestors arrived over one hundred years ago is no doubt gone. Turned into a pile of dust and consumed by the earth.

So many of the buildings on the prairie were built with the resources at hand and that meant there are very few stone structures like in Europe. The difference between old buildings in Europe and Western Canada is great. An old building here is one hundred years old. In Europe? Hundreds of years.

Over my lifetime the prairie has changed. The wooden grain elevators that once dotted the land were slowly but surely replaced by concrete buildings. The once quaint and familiar wooden elevators are but memories.

Maybe one day we will look at the large concrete fortresses with fondness and think of them as attractive but I doubt it.

A slower more gradual change is taking place here.

The small wooden farm granaries that farmers used to store grain until they shipped it away are disappearing. I have many photos of buildings in various states of decay that no longer exist.

The two old wooden structures at the top of this post were standing a dozen years ago. They withstood strong winter and summer winds for many years before being weakened and neglected only to fall under the weight of a winter snow or the winds of a strong summer storm.

They are gone forever but for as long as there are photos of them they are remembered.

Happy shooting,


~ by Dan Jurak on February 7, 2018.

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