Last weekend I went exploring and came across a group of herons at the lower basin of Pelican Lake, in a run off ditch which is typically full of water. While they were a bit spooked, they kept coming back so I was able to stop and take some photos.

I figured this was a good time to pull out that long lens that I don’t much like. And I suppose the truth is that I don’t know how to use it properly and need to commit some time to it. Regardless, these are two of what I thought were the best shots from that little trip. I am not completely happy with them as I feel I need to work on making them sharper. A trip to Whitewater Lake is definitely in my future.


Last weekend I drove out to Holmfield which is not far from us. I was searching for two old trucks that were tucked away in the trees when I was there years ago! I could not find them but I did find this!

I posted this photo on Instagram and it was featured. I regret passing by many of the old vehicles I’ve come across over the years.


My fellow abandoned seeking friend Lee found this house a while back, very close to two that I had previously photograghed. I finally got out there this summer.

The property is very grown over and getting a good shot with all the foliage was really hard given all the broken trees and branches around the front of the house. The landowner wanted to be out there with me when I took the photos and it had been some time since she had been here herself. The home had never been lived in by her family and was purchased for farm land. She wasn’t able to tell me much about its history and a search of the property and original owners didn’t tell me anything.

While walking around we scared up an owl. She also told me that she would be willing to attend with me to some of her other properties that also have abandoned houses on them. We talked about doing that in the fall after the crops were off but that didn’t happen. We will shoot for Spring.

While we were out and about on the property she did advise me that for the longest time there was a boat near the house which is no longer there.

She assures me that the homes on her other land are far more exciting so I’m looking forward to getting out there to see what she has.


I think I’ve used this title before. I spotted this house on the way home from Wilcox. Can’t tell you anything much about this home. I did request the books for the library but I haven’t received them yet. So this will be one of those picture posts.


At 13, John ran away from Ireland to England. From there he stowed away on a cattle boat to Canada. When he was discovered, he worked to earn his passage until he arrived in Ontario. He soon found work with a stone mason and continued to work in this trade. He married his Mrs. in 1874 and had 4 children. One of their son’s passed away and the tender age of 7. In 1885 the family moved to Peotone, Illinois but came back to Canada in 1887.

John chose this piece of land to settle on and immediately began to build a home using wood hauled from the Turtle Mountains.

While John made money doing masonry work in the area, his son and wife broke 14 acres of land with an ox, horse and walking plow.

In 1897 a prairie wild fire threatened the homestead but Mrs. & her daughter were able to safe the home by dumping water on the grass all around the house. They did lose the barn, a bull, pigs and some chickens. John then built a stone barn with a sod roof.

In 1913 John was killed when he was ran over by a pony on the streets in Waskada, MB. The family moved away from the farm for a couple years while William learned the ins and outs of farming from his uncle. William, his mother and sister, Annie moved back in 1916. In 1935 Mrs. and her daughter Annie moved back to town. There Mrs. spent hours quilting for her grandchildren as well as carding wool and spinning it into yarn to make mitts for her family & friends. Mrs. passed away in 1941 at the young age of 81 years. At that time Annie moved back in with her brother but passed away 13 years later.

The family has said that this was a place where many memories were made. At one time there were 27 people on the farm for a whole week where they slept on the floor and even in the barn loft.

Cade spotted this farmstead on our tour of the far Southwest corner of the province last April. The sky was amazing, the weather was beautiful. These photos were taken from the road and were not on our to see list.


On the way home and not long after stopping for the foxes, I spotted something else up on the highway just before we got to Ninette.  It was a bald eagle.  I started to slow down and asked Colton to reach in the back and grab the Sigma lens (the really, really long one that I don’t really love yet).  As we approached and slowed, it picked its roadkill up off the road and flew into the trees on the other side of the highway.  In another photograph, a black bird is flying around trying to convince this bird to share its meal.  Don’t think that happened.

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I had been fortunate enough to find the foxes and the eagle during the golden hour.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a lot of good shots of it and actually came home and listed the Sigma lens for sale.  I have since changed my mind and have decided to keep it but need to make a decision soon as its a very expensive lens to dislike!  And saying that I don’t have the time to play with it is a crock because I’ve been unemployed since May 1st and will be unemployed until September.  Time to stop procrastinating and do something with it.


W.S.S was born in Tyner, North Dakota on December 22, 1881.  He worked on various farms until 1910 when he decided to seek a “non-flooding area to farm” and moved to Canada.


He came to this area and purchased this land.  He didn’t live there right away and lived in a rental or “boarded” across the road in a small village.  In 1922 he purchased a house that he purchased from the local blacksmith and moved it onto his property.

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I do not know if this is the original house that was hauled onto the property but I do know from the current land owner that the house was small and as the family grew they added more and more on to it.  It makes perfect sense to me that this could very well be the original house just from the layout of it.

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W.S.S. eventually got married and together they raised 3 children on this farm, not to mention the grandchildren that would also be raised here.  The family pasture was the site of many baseball games.

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W.S.S. and his wife were community minded people and his efforts were instrumental in forming the local elevator, Co-Op and united church.

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The family kept Percheron horses and they jointly owned a Case tractor and separator with another family.

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In 1927 this barn was built and the family ran a dairy cow operation.  The cows were milked in the morning and the children would deliver the fresh milk in little bottles to village members, by cart, on their way to school.

The boys farmed with their Dad for some years until the oldest left and moved to Oregon.  Father and remaining son farmed together until Mr. & Mrs. retired and moved to town.  Mr. passed away in 1968 and Mrs. in 1972.  The son continued farming on the land and married and raised 4 children of his own on the family farm until he moved to town in 1990.  The current landowner purchased the property in approximately 1996/97.

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M & M were very active in their community, just like his parents.  For many years the basement of their home was used to collect, sort and wrap gifts for the Christmas cheer.  Upon moving to town Mr. was very active in establishing the recycling project.



This beautiful home was built in the early 1900’s.

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Mr. M. came to Manitoba in 1899 and married Bella in 1890.  Both were from Ontario. Together they had 4 children but sadly lost one girl at just 3 years of age.

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My photograph above was taken before I seen the photograph of the family and house from the Municipality history book.  A fellow abandoned seeker, Lee, who also photographed the house just days before me, took a shot at the same angle.  The house is a magnificent sight and I was determined not to miss a thing.

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I was told by the present land owner that when he purchased the home more than 20 years ago, the home was in excellent condition.  Over the years people have attended the home and stripped the brick of the front of the house, removed wood trim from the inside and broke the windows.


If you note the door on the second floor, from the other side of the house I could see the staircase that leads up there.  All of the wood banisters have been removed as has most of the wood trim around the doors and windows.  The lack of glass in the windows has caused extensive damage to the inside of the home and there are now large holes in the floor.  The owner asked me not to go inside the house so I only peered through the windows.

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There were many outbuildings on the property and a long stream flowed through the property.  The views from the home would have been spectacular at any time of the year.

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Mr. died in 1938 at the age of 77, 15 years after he lost his wife.  At that time, his youngest son, whom never married, took over the farm.  I am told that he lived in his own home across the road.  A friend asked his mother about the home and the family. She grew up in the small town near the home and she can remember them.  She remembers the son, a bachelor who wore a black top hat and smoked a pipe.

Years later when his sister lost her husband, he took her and her children in and eventually they moved back into this big, brick house.  When he retired in 1967 his nephew took over the family farm.





Back in February, on a beautiful sunny and mild day, I went out.  Just my camera and I.  It was just what I needed.  On my way home I thought I’d check for another place when I decided to check out an old favourite of mine, in the winter.

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This house was one of the very first contacts I made and I often think I’d like a re-do of the first shots that I took because of the growth I’ve made in my photography.  I may have to put it back on my to-do list.

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Constructed between 1916 and 1917 using day labour, at a cost of about $6,000, this abandoned concrete arch bridge is situated in the RM of Prairie Lakes, Manitoba.


Now over a hundred years old and recently under the extreme pressure of a winter run off, the bridge remains at the edge of their small community and is used as a foot bridge.

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The remains of a former concrete culvert bridge sits below it.



This house has been on my list for some time.  There’s a good chance you’ve seen it before.  I will tell you that as of yesterday, November 23rd, the owner called me to make sure I had been out there as he was burning it down!  Cade and I are heading to Winnipeg this week and it’ll be different not seeing it there.

A month ago when we had our big snow storm, I called about getting onto this property.  I was told by the first person I spoke to that under no circumstances was I allowed onto the property as it was unsafe and wild boars lived behind the house in the bushes.  The idea of meeting up with a wild boar should have been enough to scare me off but I don’t typically like to be told no so I kept calling around.  If I couldn’t get onto the property I was going to fall back onto the good old Sigma 600mm.

A couple weeks later the owner called and said that I could go on to take whatever photos I wanted but that I was not to go into the bushes as he wasn’t sure if the well was covered and he did advise me that he has seen boars around the house but that they typically come out at night.  His biggest concern was the state of the home and the fact that the floor was caving in.  He advised me that because people continue to trespass he had decided to burn it down, soon.

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Last weekend I called him to find out that he was planning on burning it down but that the wind was to high so he would give me the weekend to get out there.

Cade and I drove out last Sunday.  I have to admit that I was afraid of every little noise and was on high alert.  I didn’t get close enough to see what was going on inside.  I was just happy that I was given the chance to take photos before it was gone.

The owner of the home purchased the land in 1982.  The house has been vacant since 1971.  He couldn’t tell me much about the home or its history and I couldn’t find anything about its history.

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As I write this post, I realize that there may be a way for me to find out more about this home.  I guess I’ll leave it as stay tuned!


This Snowy Owl, which I have been referring to as a “he” in all of my other postings is actually a “she”.  How do I know this?  The male Snowy Owl is mostly white while the female has more flecks of black in its plummage.

Cade, Makenna and I were out and about, touring around for houses that I had permission to shoot.  We pulled up to my final stop of the day only to discover that I would be soaked and covered in mud after getting through the ditch and then across the section of land to the house.  Cade started to drive around the section of land to see if I could get in easier, from another angle.  While driving around and contemplating just making the trek to the middle of the section Cade spotted this Snowy on the pole.

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I got my camera ready, lens extended and Cade slowly turned the car so that I could roll down the window.  I thought for sure I’d get it on the fly, the shot would be blurry and I would be pissed.  She didn’t move.  In fact, she wouldn’t turn her head and look at me.  I started to make noises and whistle.  I walked some distance and was pretty much under her when I got this shot.  I wanted her to fly.  She finally did and it wasn’t until we were driving away and I went through the shots that I found this.

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This was worth my numb fingers and sore shoulder from carrying my 600mm and trying to support it and hold it still in the wind.

Once she flew away I figured our photo shoot was done for the day but nope, she landed on an old fence post off in a field, not out of reach of my lens.  At this point, Cade had to drive back to get me, I had followed her that far by foot.  And of course, I didn’t have mitts and my hands were frozen.

We ended our session with this.  Cade figures this should be framed and displayed in the house as well.

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If I were to have this printed, I may crop it a tad.  What a day.  This is exactly why I bought this lens and I’m sure happy I did.



I love clouds.  In fact, last summer I would go out on any day to take photos, blaring sun, hot as heck, didn’t matter to me as long as I was taking photos and crossing off old houses before they were gone.  I’ve matured.  I wouldn’t say that its for the better though cause now I want clouds and I don’t care if there’s a little rain or lightning involved.

Here are a couple photos taken on our ride home last week from Winnipeg as we were heading into a storm.

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These were roadside shots and didn’t have permission to enter closer onto the property.  While this is a beautiful old barn it was really the clouds I wanted.


I also found this little building as well.  At first I thought it might be an old school with all those windows but historically, schools did not look like this.  I will assume this would have been a workshop.


Born on July 1, 1867, AM came to Manitoba at the age of 26 years of age.    He arrived in Hartney on August 13, 1895 on a harvest excursion train.  In the spring of 1897 he bought his first section of land and broke 60 acres using 3 horses and a walking plow.  Two years later, he bought this homestead.  He worked summers in the fields and winters at his camp in the Turtle Mountains.  One winter fire took out his camp.  He lost everything, including his horses.

In 1909 he built this big, beautiful brick house.

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In 1912 he purchased an E.M.F. car, one of the first in the area.  And on January 1, 1914 he married Grace, a registered nurse.  They had three children, 2 boys and a girl.

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The same year this big barn was built and has been a familiar landmark since.  In 1932 the original barn burnt but another was built on the same foundation that same year.

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He 1916 they built a large granary with horsepower installed to elevate grain.  The same year they had a 16 volt lighting plant installed in the home.   There was a building there, close to the house that I assumed was the granery.  Unfortunately I did not take a photograph of the building.  Dang.

I have to admit that driving out to these properties, I was a little annoyed the that sky got clearer and clearer as we got closer.  Not the skies I was hoping for.  I don’t typically research the property before I photograph it with the hope that I can pick up all the key parts I sometimes find in the history with the naked eye.  Guess I missed this one.

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Mr & Mrs. passed in 1962 and 1965, in their nineties.  Their son took over the farm where he farmed the land many years with his wife J, who married in 1957.   R & J had 4 children.  J was married previously and lost her husband at a young age to diabetes.  She was a teacher in the area and remained with her two children. She took great comfort in having her in-laws living on the farm in a separate house.  She eventually met and married R and her and the children moved to this farm.  J stopped teaching to raise her two youngest children.

R & J were both active in their community playing sports, hosting 4H Rally’s and club events.   When farm work was caught up the couple enjoyed travelling.  They travelled to western USA, Hawaii, Europe, Ireland, England and across Canada.

The diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease forced R to quit farming in 1996 where him and J built a retirement home in town.