Sunday, August 23, 2015

Memories of grain elevators

Sometimes memories of grain elevators go beyond simply delivering grain. In 1962, I was unloading a truckload of wheat at this former UGG elevator in Rosthern when I received a phone call from my father telling me that my mother had just delivered a set of twin boys. It was a surprise to everyone, including the doctors, that she had twins. I still associate this elevator with that phone call. I took this "updated" photo on August 19, 2015. (If only I'd taken a photo in 1962.)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

In Rosthern again

I delivered grain to Rosthern when I was at home on the farm. I was "home" for a visit and just had to take another grain elevator photo. I took this one from a spot that I may have found before. I liked how the train cars formed a line next to the elevator. I guess I don't tire of these photos even though I've taken hundreds of them by now. It was a cloudy day which I prefer as it gives the sky some detail and appeal. The Pool sign has been painted over and is likely being managed by a private company.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


One of the reasons I have collected photos of Saskatchewan grain elevators is because I used to haul grain to this very elevator when I was a teenager. Grain elevators were part of my life experience and became a part of my memory for ever. For many prairie folks elevators hold a special place near to their heart as farmers made up the majority of the province for the first years until cities grew in size often due to the fact that the small farmers could no longer afford to support themselves and had to sell to their wealthier neighbors. Many of the new city residents were farmers.

I've added some effects to this photo to make it appear like it's an old photo. Considering that I was a teenager so many years ago I think it's fitting.

Friday, December 26, 2014


When we used to sell cards and framed photos of Saskatchewan grain elevators at craft shows in Saskatoon, we'd hear many a story about parents or grandparents who had worked in elevators as agents and of those who delivered grain by horse and wagon way back when. They always came across as fond memories but also with some sadness at the thought of losing these prairie icons. With every wooden grain elevator that is torn down, memories go down with them. A physical reminder is far more powerful than an empty space beside the old railway tracks.
May this holiday season bring each of you fond memories of times past that we can build on for future generations.
All the best in 2015!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Another look at White Bear, SK

I thought I'd "paint" the falling icon and give it a look for posterity.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bladworth impastoed

One of the "paints" that can be applied via software to photos is called impasto. I had to look it up. The link to trusty wikipedia is here. It's essentially a heavy pasting of paints creating a texture that reflects light and can give almost a 3D appearance. I applied it to a Bladworth elevator photo I took this August. I quite like the results.

Pense painted

I "painted" Pense like this using software and liked the effect of the red sky. It could be fire. Some wooden grain elevators burned down when grain got too hot because it wasn't dry enough to store. But many more were burned down intentionally when the grain companies made the decision to get rid of the town elevators. Perhaps this photo symbolizes the demise of the prairie grain elevators.

What if Van Gogh had painted Saskatchewan grain elevators?

Would it have looked something like this one I took of the Mortlach elevator?
 I'm trying out a program called Topaz Impressions. Great fun.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moose Jaw, SK

I just had to stop, again, and take a photo of the Moose Jaw grain elevator. I stopped at the side of the highway and took it through the window of the car. It turned out to be a good thing we stopped to do this as the RCMP were catching speeding drivers close to where we stopped. IF I'd been speeding, of course.

Mortlach, SK

We drove by the Mortlach grain elevator that, thankfully, was still standing. I'd taken it before but this time there was a large puddle of water nearby offering a great reflection.