Comforting and Changing Scenery – Centennial Valley, Montana

/, Centennial Valley, Montana, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge/Comforting and Changing Scenery – Centennial Valley, Montana

Wildflowers, clouds and Mt. BaldyWildflowers, clouds and Mt. Baldy – May 2014

Today’s post isn’t about birds or wildlife it is about how scenery can comfort us and about change. When I am not in the Centennial Valley of Montana I can close my eyes and easily envision it from climbing the first hill near Monida, the views from the south road overlooking the Lima Reservoir, the first view of Mt. Baldy’s Peak, Wigeon Pond, the Lower Lake campground, views of the Upper Lake and Red Rock Creek. Having those views in my mind’s eye and the images I have taken give me a sense of peace and of belonging to nature.

Old Barn in the Centennial Valley, MontanaOld Barn in the Centennial Valley, Montana

One of my favorite views included a man made element, this old barn that was shaped by someone a long time ago with a central square section that had four rectangular sections coming off of it. I can honestly say I have never seen a barn shaped that way until my first view of it in the Centennial Valley.

That old barn came to be a “friend” in a sense to me, when I would see it I felt like it was saying “Welcome Home” to me.  There were other  run down buildings around it but it was that old barn that fascinated me by causing me to wonder who built it and what were their lives like and it was that old barn that welcomed me back to the valley.

The old barn is goneThe old barn is gone

On my recent trip to the Centennial Valley of Montana I was waiting to get my first glimpse of my favorite old barn but as we drew nearer I realized the scenery had changed and it confused me for a bit, it just didn’t look right. Then it hit me.

My favorite old barn was gone, it no longer graces the valley with its aging structure and weather worn old wood. One homely newer building still stands, the dilapidated small well house still stands and the barn furthest north is in the process of being brought down. The scenery there will never be the same because it has changed.

I felt a sense of loss when I didn’t see my welcome back barn.

Old Barn on the way to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, MontanaOld Barn on the way to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana

I know, we never know when things in our lives will change but I had come to depend of seeing that dear old barn on each journey through the Centennial Valley of Montana. She is gone now and I will miss her.

Life is good but life does change. Even when we don’t expect it.



  1. Humming Bird Lover June 17, 2014 at 7:39 am


    I grew up looking at theses barns! There was one on the way to Suffolk,Va. but it finally fell down. I miss it! and many on the back roads going to Michigan from Virgina
    Have enjoyed all your photo’s and Info!

  2. Marilyn Kircus June 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    This was a very interesting post since I’m now living and volunteering at Red Rock Lakes NWR. But I didn’t get here until mid-May. Sorry I missed you AND the barn.

  3. Patty Chadwick June 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I can see why you loved to see that wonderful old barn..I love the way the different parts have sloped into the center together…a special beauty of its own, along with the lovely, soft colors of the weathered wood. Thank goodness you have these great photos of it!.. I hate to see these beautiful old barns go…they are disappearing everywhere. So many are now gone from the Catskills and the Adirondacks. When on the rare occasion they’re replaced these days, it’s too often by some metal type of “Butler” building or worse. The old barns came in such a wonderful variety of sizes, shapes and architectural styles. The structures erected in their place are usually just plain ugly and boring…no character…a sad loss!

  4. Wally June 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Spectacular! Now, THAT’S a landscape photograph!

    As for the barn — you took possession of it the first time you saw it — and it will be with you always.

  5. Montanagirl June 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Beautiful photos, Mia; and some things should NEVER change!

  6. Elephant's Child June 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    That barn will not be gone while you are alive. It is firmly framed in your heart.

  7. Jolanta June 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Great photos; I love old buildings. They have soul…

  8. Jane Chesebrough June 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I can relate to losing our landmarks that we come to love over the years and the sense of sadness that ensues.I see that with the disappearance of the grain elevators, they become popular topics for photos and paintings.I am glad you still have photos for yourself as well as to share.

  9. Chris Rohrer June 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    That’s a hard one. The barn is iconic. Perhaps home to several birds?:) I sometimes have a hard time about losing older iconic buildings. There are memories and stories that come from these places. It’s also great to get out and see a change in landscape from the usual ones around us. I think that is what is exciting to me about birding. There is nothing cooler than exploring new or different areas.

  10. Susan June 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Mia, I would miss that barn, too. The close up of it shows something about that barn that just draws me the way it drew you. Maybe it’s the odd angles caused by it collapsing. Whatever it is, I understand your feeling of loss.

  11. Stu June 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Fascinating Buildings and wonderful images

  12. judy watson June 5, 2014 at 6:07 am


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