Before They’re Gone


I’ve had the images in this post on standby. It includes some of the local cabins, barns and mining buildings within my radius. The images were all made in the later half of 2022 and I’ve been saving them, waiting until I had enough for this blog set. Some of these are abandoned, some are restored, some are historic and some are still in use. Whatever the case I think they all have character, and I had fun shooting them … before they’re gone!

An old barn situated in an area with willows takes on morning light

‘Barn In The Willows’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A headframe belonging to the Colorado Boy mining operation remains as a reminder of days gone by.

‘Colorado Boy Remains’ © Denise Bush

An old log cabin and autumn aspens create a quaint and nostalgic scene.

‘Aspens Beside A Cabin’ © Denise Bush

An old, abandoned boarding house for miners is getting engulfed by trees under a stormy sky.

‘Boarded Up Boarding House’ © Denise Bush

An old red barn catches late day, warm light on a

‘Old Red Barn’ © Denise Bush

An old style barn and house reside in a lovely setting, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado

‘Barn With Antler Wreath’ © Denise Bush

An old cabin at the National Belle mining site remains with other evidence in the background.

‘National Belle Remains’ © Denise Bush

56 Responses to “Before They’re Gone”

  1. Colorado Boy and Barn with Antlers are my faves for this set, Denise!

  2. ‘Aspens Beside A Cabin’ is my favorite. ‘Barn With Antler Wreath’ is a close second.

  3. In the 1800s collectors of quaint and unusual things would put them in what they called a cabinet of curiosities. Now you’ve put together your own collection of curious cabins.

  4. Quaint, old cabins, barns and rural buildings are a favorite of mine, to photograph and to view others’ photographs of such. I always wonder about the lives of the people that built those old structures.

    I especially like photographs of these old buildings in various seasons, fall and winter are my favorites, but spring with flowering trees and/or summer with profusions of wildflowers around are also wonderful to see.

    Keep up the good work of photographing these quaint and historical structures.

    • Thanks Ken! I’ve been photographing old structures like these since I was a teen with a Kodak Instamatic. (About 50 years!) So, I guess I’ll keep it up! I know I’m not alone in my interest … lots of people like this subject matter.

  5. 9 Ken Curtis

    Cool pics, Denise. Your photos remind me of the Mountain Men show on TV. Just as the mountain men live, these cabins appear to be located in desolate areas. It makes me wonder how people could live such an isolated existence. I enjoyed viewing the images.

    • It’s crazy how they used to live. There is a book called ‘Tomboy Bride’ by a woman who came out here with her husband who was a mining manager. She lived high up in the mountains where the mines are in a little cabin. It gives a good account of what life was like. Thanks Ken!

  6. Another beautiful set, Denise. The sheer scale of the landscape always amazes me! My favorite is ‘Colorado Boy Remains’ … I love the foliage color variations in the background. What is the story around the title?

    • That is a mining headframe once owned by the Colorado Boy Mine. American Girl and Yankee Girl headframes are just up the ‘Million Dollar Hwy’ from here. All the mines have names like the last one too … National Belle. There’s a bunch. Thanks Eliza!

  7. I could move right in to the Barn with Antlers Wreath. Looks like a perfect setting. Ahhhh, one can dream. You know how I love those old barns. Thank you sharing your work.

    • There is a little house just up from that barn! The group of 3 buildings is protected by someone or the town of Telluride. There is a fence surrounding them to keep people out. I have several different shots of that location including the Christmas greeting I posted on FB. Thanks Beth!

  8. All so stunning, Denise. I especially love the verticality in the second and its colors. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

    • Thanks Jane! The Colorado Boy headframe is visible right from our ‘Million Dollar Hwy’ and I often see photogs stopping there to take a picture. It’s prettiest with the fall foliage of course but I’m sure I have a winter photo of it somewhere too. Thanks for looking and commenting!

  9. Aspens Beside a Cabin is a fave. Wonderful captures!

    • Hi Carlos … thank you! Those aspens are really up against that cabin. They grow like bamboo sending up shoots. It will be interesting to see what happens over time.

  10. 19 Deb

    Love these. Colorado Boy Remains is my absolute fave!! You’re so lucky to have all of these great scenery!

    • Thanks Deb! Colorado Boy Remains is a headframe used in mining. There are 2 more up the the Million Dollar Hwy … American Girl and Yankee Girl. You must have seen/photographed Yankee Girl on our way to Silverton.

  11. I really like the photos but also the way they fit together, almost like they are part of the same story.

    • Thank you! I do have a theme or subject to my posts and try to arrange them intentionally. I suppose sometimes a group of images might have a stronger connection and that is probably true with these old structures. I did have some others that just didn’t seem to fit and often find less is more. Thanks so much for your visit and comment!

  12. There’s just something about weathered wooden buildings out in nature….I am definitely drawn to them as well. Great collection.

  13. Wonderful shot Barn pictures, I can see you had fun whilst shooting these photographs. As for me I am into Fashion Photography and I have fun whilst doing it

    2023 I am bringing creativity to the table and trying new positions and outfits 💯🔥🔥

  14. “Abandoned, restored, historic, in use+ – I like it. 🙂 Were Colorado Boy and National Belle mines? I like the way you worked all those vertical aspens into the Colorado Boy photo – seamless! But really, each building is complemented perfectly by its surroundings. Even the caulking in the cabin (Aspens Beside a Cabin) matches the tree trunks! It’s a really nice set, Denise.

    • Yes, ‘Colorado Boy Remains’ is a mining headframe from the Colorado Boy mine. ‘National Belle Remains’ is a cabin on that mining site … you can see an open headframe to the right in the distance. Thanks for your visit and comments!

  15. Amazing, all these houses.
    Excellent photos, Denise!

  16. All are, I think, wooden structures. Where would humankind be without trees?

    • I’m a tree hugger and lover so I don’t even want to think about a world without trees! They’re beautiful, and useful in so many ways. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Beautiful collection.

  18. They do have character. Most of ’em look like they’ll be around for a while longer too, which is nice. Good set.

  19. Another fine collection and another challenge to pick a “winner” because they all could be the winner. But I like “Colorado Boy Remains” amongst them all. I love the height and verticality it portrays of both the trees and building and of course the combination of yellow and green. And that the structure is sitting on solid rock is really impressive.

  20. Those pictures are really amazing, because it reminds of living in Montana! Seeing old barns, in the countrysides, are super interesting with the historical backgrounds behind them all.

  21. Excellent selection. It was worth the wait. I loved the cabin with Aspens.

  22. How beautiful!! Old barns and cabins are my favorite, right up there with southern farm houses ☺️

    • Do you live in the south? Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park is one of my all-time favorite spots. I’m glad you like this subject matter too. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment!

      • I do! I live in the Smokey mountains on the Georgia side ☺️ also known as the Chattahoochees, cohutta, and fort mountain. We have 11.2 acres out here

  23. Wonderful photos! They definitely have a lot of character 🙂

  24. Beautiful images, as usual. ‘Colorado Boy Remains’ intrigued me the most. I kept thinking the Colorado Boy was standing in water, above a waterfall, but that didn’t make sense. Then I realized it is really frosty gravel?

  25. Wow….each and everyone is breathtaking!!! Such unique architecture and settings…again, Wow!!!

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