Variations on a Theme: Hex Sign Tour



Sometimes it takes seeing something away from home to appreciate your own backyard. When I saw the barn quilt in Michigan, I realized the barns in my own state of Pennsylvania have a specialized barn quilt that have been around since at least the early 1800s. Not being from Pennsylvania originally, I had heard of Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs but didn’t know much more than that they existed. I saw them on barns but never paid much attention.

That is, until now.

As I drove through the Berks Country Hex Trail, I could see that the Hex signs were varied and beautiful. The Hex Signs, also known as Barn Stars, take a utilitarian agricultural building and elevate it to a large scale piece of folk art.

CM Circa 1829_Fotor.jpgcm-hex-barn-silo_fotor


What a bonus to find an amazing mailbox along the way!



Look to the left and see the friend I made!


My new friend up close. So sweet.

When I stopped to take a picture of one of them the owner of the property was sitting out on his porch taking in the day. After asking if he minded if I took pictures of his barn, I complimented him on how beautiful his barn was. He proudly pointed out to me that the etching on the barn requires that the signs be painted directly on the barn which is dangerous and takes dedication.



Each hex sign is unique and some are quite elaborate!





Variations of a Theme: Double Take from a Friend


I received an email from a friend of mine that suggested I check out a sculpture of a giraffe she saw from the road as she was driving to her sister’s.  Her directions were intriguing and got me humming “We’re going on a bear hunt…”

I enlisted the help of my husband so that he could drive and I could take pictures and try and figure out how to get closer to it should we find it.

So, with my 35mm camera on the ready and my phone to “pin” my coordinates in Google Maps, I was scanning the right side of the road as directed when I saw the giraffe.


Picture taken from inside the car as we were driving past it at (let’s say) 65 miles per hour.


In my excitement I “pinned” its location a little south but we were able to locate it off the highway.  I like that it is looking out over the highway. It is difficult to get a true sense of its size from this distance.


Getting closer.





It was so fun getting a tip from my friend and being able to find it! Now that I found it it has left me with more questions than answers. Why is it there? Where is it from? Did it have a previous purpose? Maybe from a carnival? I am hoping to get more tips!


You just never know when you will happen upon a very large wooden giraffe!



Favorite Things: In Season


I drove by this mailbox a couple of weeks ago and thought how beautiful it was with the starkness of the heavily twigged tree above it. It looked like a nest to me, and the mailbox was camouflaged. I never noticed how it looked when the tree was in bloom but I will definitely keep an eye out in the future.

The change of seasons affords the opportunity to take notice of the now because it is fleeting. It got me thinking about the old adage- to everything a season. Time waits for no one. Turn, turn, turn- you get the idea!

This was re-enforced when I walked past my “Most Beautiful Mailbox” recently. It isn’t the season for it. Some things have a short window of time to be at its peak. It is special when we are there to enjoy it!


The “Most Beautiful Mailbox” out of season…


CM Most beautiful mailbox

…and in season!


A Picture a Day: Day 13



My fascination with mailboxes began with this mailbox.  I have walked past this mailbox for years now, and today it is my picture of the day since I haven’t seen it celebrating the Christmas season before. Maybe I don’t walk as often during the holidays because it gets busy but I am so glad I saw it today before it got changed into its Russian hat!


Technically I guess I took 2 pictures today!

Favorite Things: A Picture a Day


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This is a bench! 

Many years ago I read an article about Carly Simon that I have thought about over the years but have never been able to see it through. In it she shared an activity that she incorporated into her daily routine. Every day she was sure to snap a picture using her polaroid camera. The pictures she took that were chosen for the article were candid family photos. I haven’t been able to recover my original article, but I remember her describing the daily picture taken over time became a photo essay of her life and the people in her life. What a lovely idea.

I just haven’t been able to make it a daily habit until now. So far this year… all 12 days of it!

I haven’t decided what to do with the picture a day but for now I am enjoying taking it!


My picture taken today!