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.

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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!





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…


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…and in season!


Variations on a Theme: Marvelous Michigan Mailboxes



I was driving with my husband through Northern Michigan a couple of weeks ago, and I was struck by how even in what I would consider the “middle of nowhere” there were fun mailboxes to be found!

This is what I saw:


My first whirligig!


I am not sure I would have noticed this mailboxes if I hadn’t started noticing them. How could that be? I think I would have missed it!


I think I would have noticed this one!

Variations on a Theme: Floridian Mailboxes

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Can you get too much of a good thing?


I was thinking it may be time to give the mailbox hunt a rest.

That is, until I went to Florida and walked around a neighborhood in Key Largo.

A little back story: we were waiting for The African Queen tour boat to return to the dock when we decided to go for a short walk.

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The boat used in the movie The African Queen.

Here are the mailboxes we saw all in one neighborhood!

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If they throw a block party I want to be invited!


Variations on a Theme: The one that (almost) got away.


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I mentioned previously that I had been taking pictures of mailboxes while walking which is a million times easier than in a moving car. It is difficult as a passenger to interrupt the trip and either stop, or slow down, or go back- just for a mailbox.

For example, I was out driving with my sister in New Jersey when we passed a great mailbox. I hated to ask her to stop so I could take a picture of it, but luckily she was agreeable! She turned around and became part of the hunt. Even so, the picture didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

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Almost there!

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Can you tell it is a dog?

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Finally a clear photo.

Even though the last one generally turned out okay, I still didn’t feel like I captured it as well as it deserved, so I went back.

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Some things are worth going back for!


Variations on a Theme: Mailboxes worth going back for…

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Driving beyond my neighborhood, I began to notice more delightful mailboxes. Mailboxes, like benches, are far more varied than I expected them to be. Why haven’t I noticed them before?!

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Can’t get enough of this amazing mailbox!

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Photographing these mailboxes has proven to be challenging. Since I am driving, I make a mental note of where I saw it and have on occasion returned to photograph it.  It becomes dicey when the mailbox is on a winding country road with no shoulder.

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I may need to get a GoPro camera!




Variations on a Theme: A Journey of 10,000 Steps Begins with a Single Mailbox

Barn Mailbox

I began noticing more mailboxes after my initial appreciation of the Mack bulldog.

My morning walk with my husband is about 3 miles. We have walked 1 of 2 routes for about 3 years now. Despite having lived in the same neighborhood for decades, I never paid very much attention to my neighbor’s mailboxes, unless of course I collided with it with my car (which did actually happen. Another story for another day. Let’s keep this post positive!)

But once I started walking the same route consistently, I began to appreciate the creativity and care that a surprising number of my neighbors put into their mailboxes.

Here are some from my neighborhood:

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