Sometimes I forget how grassy this state is… But Oregon is the world’s number one producer of cool-season forage and turf grass seed. Much of the grass seed is grown in the Willamette Valley where the mild winters and dry summers provide perfect growing conditions. With a good wind, it looks a lot like green ocean swells.
This was one of the more foreboding estates we came across. I saw the line of trees from afar, and it took a while to wind our way through the hills before we came to this house. It seemed strangely vivid for a such a modest, abandoned building. Right behind it, all the planted trees appeared to lean in the same direction, as if pulled by a force that we couldn’t see. One of the trees had collapsed through the back half of the house.
On the top of a gently sloping hill sits this beautiful schoolhouse. It’s very windy on this hill, and the grasses threaten to take over. The flagpole can be seen from pretty far away, but this area is deceptively hilly. Many times we came around some bend or hilltop and suddenly, what was so remote and isolated is filled with what sometimes feels like ancient civilization… Modern ruins.
Behind the little house in the canyon, a lone tree stands against the backdrop of a blue-grey sky, mid-trunk deep in a sea of prairie weeds. The grayed and brittle lichen-covered tree has a sort of quiet desperation about it; like the abandoned homestead, the tree is a victim of the elements that once nourished it. Just as the home, the tree still stands…it’s jagged and broken branches still reaching for the sky, in a futile (yet beautiful) plea for rain.
Whereas the rest of the other windows in the little house in the canyon were at least partially broken, this window was completely intact. To further add to the intrigue of this window was the lace curtain adorning the interior and obscuring the view of the demolished and deteriorating kitchen within. This particular window is almost like a window into the past, and gives a glimpse into what this home may have been like long before circumstance forced its abandonment.