I have walked and driven by this barn with its majestic cupola countless times as it slowly sinks toward the ground and usually think only of its decorative features, not considering that it once had an important function. Since the construction of the first cupola they have had a vital purpose to the function and contents of the barn. Barns contained hay stacked in high towers in order to accommodate greater amounts in less space. Cupolas on top of barns contain holes that provide light and constantly draw in circulating air, which dries the hay stored nearest to the top of these stacks.
To me the cupola evokes a sense of nostalgia and and appreciation of the hard work involved with farming in the past. I imagine how hot, sweaty and dusty it must have been back in the days of farming with horses and when daily life of a farmer involved hard physical labor. It was also a farm kid’s playground for games that may or may not have involved broken bones or wounded egos at some point. The barn is a symbol of farming in American but is a vanishing site as they become too expensive to repair and modern technologies have deemed them impractical for present day use.
There may be fewer of the “old style” barns as we drive through the rural regions of our country but you can’t help but have a “Norman Rockwell” moment you when you drive by an old farmplace after a fresh snowfall and see the cupola on the barn roof jutting into the skyline with its majectic features as if to say “Remember me?”
Photo information: Canon 5D Mark 2 / available light with reflector / Aperture priority 2.8 / Edited with Photoshop CS5