One scene, two visions

It was a chilly November morning.

We left Spokane bright and early with coffee in our hands and plans for a full day of shooting. We arrived at our destination in time for blue hour, that moment just before sunrise when a cast of gorgeous blue drapes across the entire world.

My friend, Gerald Hardy, gave us permission to visit the Rux homestead in Rocklyn, WA, to document the damage done by vandals and scavengers (more on that soon).

The blue enveloped the old farmhouse, giving it a ghostly aura.

old farmhouse davenport wa

Ice cube fingers

My friend, Michele, is no stranger to exploring.

We met because we found each other in a Facebook group called Abandoned Washington, realized we both lived in Spokane, and quickly became friends.

She’s a fan of old barns, dirt roads and desolate homesteads.

She was a good fit for a Great Escape in November … Eddie’s first, in fact.

We poked around the Rux homestead for a bit but continued our journey around the area where the bustling town of Rocklyn once stood.

Just as we about to head back to Davenport for breakfast, I had a thought.

Wait … have you seen the church?

Church? What church?

The old church on the top of the hill! Let’s go!

The Zion Rocklyn United Methodist Church was the first organized church in Harrington, according to an Odessa Record story from 2015.

Rev. Adam Buehler was assigned on June 15, 1884, to the small flock of Germans homesteading in that region, about seven miles northwest of Harrington and five miles south of Rocklyn.

The church that stands today wasn’t built until 1905, a construction that cost $3,000.

rocklyn zion church historical

A different look

We spent all morning shooting together.

But neither one of us is the type to want to shoot the exact same thing every minute of the day.

A fog was rolling in, cloaking everything around us. Our visibility wasn’t much more than a mile.

We knew we didn’t have much time left with the light.

I hear Michele say, “Oh, I think I see something over here.”

She reached for her tripod.

I reached for mine as I saw something over there.

We weren’t more than 100 feet away from each other. We each saw a tree, or a set of trees.

We came back with these:

davenport tree
tree harrington church

See the difference?

We learned at Inland Outlook Camera Club last week to look deeper into our images and to explore our intent.

It’s especially interesting to me when two photographers go to the same place and see different things.

For me, I saw this lone tree beginning to be engulfed by the fog.

The air was cold, turning bitter cold as the haze rolled in, and I wanted that to be evident in my final image.

The landscape is stark, especially in November, and the tree gave me a feeling of loneliness, its lower branches reaching while its upper ones hold onto their leaves until the last minute.

It’s Michele’s turn.

I hope she shares her thoughts while she was taking her picture in the comments below or on my Facebook page.