Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168: Seen Better Days

This week’s challenge, to show photos of places and things that have seen better days, could start with pictures of myself!  But it won’t, sorry.  I will, however, start close to home.  A few blocks away from my house, along the arterial street, is a house that has definitely seen better days.  It’s not that old, but has been sorely neglected over its life.  It has a “For Sale” sign in the front yard, and has been on the market for over a month.  Now, our local real estate market in the Seattle area is red-hot, with homes selling for over the asking price, after mini-wars among interested buyers.  That this home has not sold, shows its neglect.


They did clean up the outside, which was very dirty, but did not attend to the roof.  Here’s a closeup.

Plants in gutters

Yes, that shows plants growing in the gutter over the garage!

Also in my neighborhood, a little corner house has a row of Arborvitae growing in front of the house.  They are all dead.  They certainly have seen better days.  I don’t know what the cause is, but other homes in our neighborhood also have the same variety of plant, and many of them are dying in the same way.

Dead Arborvitae

Last year, I worked for my county elections department, doing signature verification for our all-mail-ballot general election.  The county did the election work in an office building in an industrial park, and the building was mostly empty.  The entire building had only one existing tenant, other than the elections department.  This office had certainly seen better days.  To the right of this picture were some tables widely-spaced for us to eat lunch.  I thought this empty floor looked really sad.

Empty office floor

In Bellevue, across Lake Washington from us, is a very nice wetland park.  In that park, I found an old building, obviously no longer used but with character.  It was someone’s home, when this area was relative wilderness, probably in the late 19th Century.

Building returning to Nature

Over in the Port Townsend area on the North Olympic Peninsula, we saw another structure, this one an old store, being “eaten by plants”.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, our most invasive species, like the Kudzu in the South, is the Himalayan Blackberry.  Its very thorny vines are everywhere, and that’s what is consuming this old structure.


Below is an example of a rotting structure that you see in lots of places in the Pacific Northwest, the piers from an old dock.  They appear in lakes, and along Puget Sound.  This one is at Picnic Point.  The dock is long gone, but the pilings remain.  They are beautiful, even in their decay.

Rotten pier

England, of course, has thousands of ruined stone structures from their early history.  Like Tina, I love old castles and ruined churches from the medieval period, because of their character.  We visited dozens on my summer course in Cambridge in 1991.

Castle Rising
Castle Rising

This castle dates from the Twelfth Century, and was a gift by a high lord to his new wife.  It has certainly seen better days-wouldn’t you just love a castle as a wedding present?

Even older, in Israel we visited the ruined fortress at Masada, near the Dead Sea.  The Jews lived there for many years, before being overrun by the Romans.  The interior still showed some of the decoration, and the place must have been reasonably comfortable while it was inhabited.

Walls, Masada
Walls and room, Masada, Israel

Just because something, or someone, has seen better days, that doesn’t mean that it should be abandoned.  Go speak to someone much older than you are, and ask them about their better, younger days.  You might get a better appreciation for your current days.

Link to Tina’s Original Post.

5 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168: Seen Better Days

  1. Loved your closing thought RB as well as the images of decomposing buildings. The dying trees were really sad, I wonder if there’s a specific insect or disease that is attacking them.

    1. I wondered about the plants too. I had four in my backyard that had been there since I bought the house in 2000. They fell apart last year and I had them removed, but they were all still alive. I may find a plant expert to ask.

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