Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 03/19/2016

Photo taken on December 21, 2015

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Old barns Old barns


rural scene
Anne Elliott
SE of Calgary
E of High River
Frank Lake & area
21 December 2015
peeling top layer
old barn in distance

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A life left behind

A life left behind
On 21 December 2015, my daughter and I had our Christmas get-together. Like the previous year, she asked if I wanted to spend the day out of the city, looking for Snowy Owls (and other things). We were both so happy to at least see a (very distant) Snowy Owl, which she cleverly spotted, even though we had hoped to find a much closer one. Thank goodness, last year, my daughter and I did see and photograph beautiful Snowies that were closer.

Finding one of these magnificent birds of prey was not the only purpose in our minds, though. It was our Christmas get-together, and we had a great day, in beautiful sunshine and in one of my favourite areas to explore. We had first planned to go NE of the city, but my daughter, waiting for her surgery on 11 January 2016, didn't feel up to travelling that far.

So, plans changed and instead, we went first to the Saskatoon Farm for breakfast. This interesting place is maybe a 20-minute drive SE from the southern edge of Calgary. You can collect your own Saskatoon berries in season, look around their outside green houses, and their inside gift shop full of unusual things, and buy special baking, jams, teas and so on. They also have a restaurant that offers great food.

Afterwards, we then went a bit further south, to drive some of the roads east of High River, hoping to possibly find a Snowy Owl. We went as far as Mossleigh, where we stopped to take a few quick photos of the three grain elevators and later found a group of several old barns that I don't remember seeing before. This photo shows the old barn in the distance, the old house (I believe) and an old silo. The previous photo posted this morning shows a fully zoomed close-up of the front of the distant barn. I much prefer the look of the beautiful old, grained wood on the house, rather than the rather ugly layer that had been added on top of the wood. These barns were off the main road, but fortunately the narrow gravel road/trail had enough snow packed on it that the short drive was very smooth. From there, we stopped at the little wooden church at Dinton.

I'm not sure, but I think the 'brick' covering is called insulbrick. If this is what my photo shows, then the following information applies.

"The name Insulbrick is misleading because it is not a brick.
This imitation brick has been popular for years and still can be found on some older houses, garages and workshops. Insulbrick is a fibreboard sheathing coated with tar and added granular material, similar to asphalt shingles.

The surface was stamped with a brick or rectangular stone pattern. Insulbrick is a brand name and was used for all types of asphalt siding much like most tissues are called Kleenex.

As a rule, tar paper and Insulbrick were applied over wood siding. Insulbrick was the preferred choice for replacement siding until aluminum and vinyl siding became available in the late 1950s. Asphalt siding was available from the 1930s to about 1960.

Houses clad in Insulbrick can appear to be brick houses from a distance. Insulbrick carried an UL rating for fire suppression and had an insulating value of R 1.3. It was easy and quick to install. The siding also provided an excellent hiding place for insects."

Later in the afternoon, we couldn't resist the temptation to call in at Glamorgan Bakery on the way home and buy a few Christmas goodies, followed by a desperately needed food shopping trip. I just hadn't had a chance to go grocery shopping and had run out of even basic things. This was a huge relief, especially as I had a very long day the next day, taking part in the Drumheller area Christmas Bird Count.

Thanks so much for a great day out, Rachel. The best kind of day, as far as I am concerned : ) Many thanks, too, for the beautiful, very carefully chosen (as always!) Christmas gifts. Love the owl that looks rather like a furry, stuffed children's toy, that is in fact a wonderful heat pad (that you warm in the microwave), full of lavender.

Hans van Dongen has particularly liked this photo