Of Barns and Bluejays

A bluejay flew onto our back deck this morning; a gift. You hardly ever see a bluejay in our part of town.

I was taking a break from working on a proposal, having a coffee, my first day working from home this week, after an intensive four-day programme on evaluation, held downtown at Ryerson University by the Canadian Evaluation Society. And there it was – confident, assertive, with a round yellow globe in its open beak. An unripe cherry, maybe, from the cherry tree opposite, on the other side of the lane.

We are in the beginning of fall, although the weather has been warm; grey today, and cooler; raining lightly. You sense the world turning. Earth-bound, I watched as the bird flew away.

Here is my little flight from reality: another two barns, from the Prince Edward County Barn Quilt Trail.

Prince Edward County Barn Quilt Trails

Barns – preferably red, or collapsing, studies in contrast and texture – are a familiar trope: always an attraction to the holidaying photographer, often a foray into images that are hackneyed or sentimental. ‘The country,’ through the eyes of a city-dweller.

What then is the photographer to do, in Prince Edward County, which has photogenic barns aplenty?

Photograph barns on the PEC Barn Quilt Trail. Across the county, worthy locals are fixing painted quilt squares on boards to the sides of their barns, and marketing the ‘barn quilt trails’ as a local attraction.

There are some rather nice examples, so as and when I have time (I am still tied up with this darned proposal) I will post a couple, hopefully for your enjoyment. See this, not as urban sentimentality, but as sharing – and promoting – the pleasures of the county.

You can learn more about PEC’s barn quilt trails here, on this website.