Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dry Stone Fences

I've been walking the dog through our neighbour's farm, seeking to get my hour of walking a day.  And I've been planning the best time to go back and get pictures of the amazing dry stone fences that line part of the old farm lane.

The best time was earlier this week, with just a light dusting of snow that outlined all the rocks, but not so much as to cover them.  And of course all summer the leaves get in the way, while without any snow there's not enough contrast to really show off the stones.  Roxie enjoys our walks on the farm because I can let her off her leash to run.

The walk takes us first in through the woods off our cul-de-sac, down the old tractor trail.  I've taken lots of pictures of moss and ferns and fallen logs down this trail this fall.

Then we come out to the farm field and cut across to head up the old farm lane in the middle of the farm.  Soon we're seeing the stone fences along the edge.

These are not just your average old stone fencerows, of which there are lots on farms around here.  These are actual dry stone walls, with nearly vertical sides, about four feet high.  An incredible lot of work 150 years ago or so, and still standing!

And if you look along the top they're at least four feet thick as well, which helps explain how they've lasted.  Somebody a long time ago certainly new how to build stone fences!

They extend along the farm lane for quite a distance.  They make this route a really interesting walk for us at this time of year.

And there are a few other similar stretches on the farm as well.  This fence is along the eastern boundary, against the woods that backs our subdivision.

I can easily get in an hour of walking following this route, and with stops for photographs it takes longer.  Here we head back down the farm lane, across the field, and into the woods to head home.


This was a good example of learning over several years when the best photographs of a place should be taken.  I've photographed these stone fencerows several times over the past five years, and shared them previously, but I've come to realize when I've looked at the results exactly what conditions would be best.  I was already thinking of this when the day dawned with just a trace of snow, and realized that this would be a good time to come and try.  The light was so flat that the photos look almost black and white, but the snow on the stones did outline the fences the way I wanted.  Tonight we're getting more snow, and these conditions will be gaone.

Linking to:


  1. Marvelous shots. The sense of depth really comes through in these pics.

  2. Those are some impressive fences, I wonder how far they hauled rocks from. Some were no doubt in the farm fields, but that many, seems like a lot of stones. It was most certainly hard work. I enjoyed your photos:)

  3. Hello, what a nice walk with your dog. The rock fences are impressive. Great series of photos.
    Happy New Years to you and your family!

  4. Love stone walls and the snow topping is wonderful! Great place to walk!

  5. All very creative shots ~ composition is wonderful and love the stone walls with just a touch of snow! Love your doggie too!

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,
    artmusedog and carol

  6. I love those fences! Happy New Year to you!

  7. That stone fence/wall looks so peaceful with the snow on it. - It's been a great year blogging with you. Looking forward to your posts in 2016. - Happy New Year!

  8. wow, they're beautiful! really an amazing amount of manual labor to make them so sturdy! thanks for them!

  9. Always amazed by the old stone walls.

  10. Very nice walls, the amount of work need to build them is beyond most people's comprehension now. In our area some of the finest walls were built by refugees from the Irish potato famine who became itinerant wall builders, working for a place to stay and meals on the farm until they finished walling the fields and then moved on to another farm.

  11. SO pretty! happy new year for 2016 :-)