• Blaine Hoppenrath

Adair, IL


This week we have been working around Macomb, IL. I had never heard of it before two weeks ago when we mobilized the gang out here. The town is by no means the big city, but since there is a state university here (Western Illinois University) there is a Jimmy Johns and a fro-yo stop. The town only takes about 10 minutes to traverse, and all around is farmland, more farmland, and even more farmland. It is absolutely beautiful here. While it lacks any sort of landscape features here there is something about the flatness of the land and your ability to see for miles.

It is the begining of growing season, so while we are working on the tracks there are farmers out and about tending to their fields. Since nothing is growing right now there is an openness to the land that is refreshing. My absoulte favorite part is the old barns that are in wonderful shape.

I fell in love with this shot with the horse in the foreground. I snapped this picture while I was passing, and returned later in the evening to take some more photos. While I was taking pictures from the road of this barn a women emerged from the house. I was a little nervous at first hoping that she wouldn't be freaked out that I found her barn so interesting.

The woman was concerned that a horse had gotten out, but when she found out that I was just snapping some photos she started showing me around the horses. Lisa first showed me three horses that she was nursing back to health after their former owner was unable to feed them because he couldn't afford the food. The poor horses looked frail and she told me that they have been working on getting them healthy for over a month. Lisa only planned on watching them for the time being until she could find homes for them.

I initally told her that I was drawn to the barn and the horses mainly because I grew up with horses, and she told me that the prevoious night she had been a mess because one of her horses (which I had seen the week prior) had passed away after a fruitful 29 years as her horse. I immediatley knew how she had felt after losing my own Tuff-meister less than a year ago, because when you have a horse like she did for that long they become part of your family. I know even though I wasn't able to ride my beloved pony Tuffy for the past 10 years, he was my raggemuffin that I loved my whole life.

But she kept showing me all of her horses and led me into the old dairy barn which was in amazing condition and taked about how she was able to bring the horses in for whatever reason. I even got to see her barn cats including a sweet black cat that is expecting kittens in the upcoming days!

Lisa let me wander around for a little while and before long a front came in and I was caught without a coat suitable for the weather. But I drove away with a smile on my face for her company for the half hour that I spent learning about her and taking photographs.


#barn #illinois

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