Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Show us what endurance means to you. Is it that high-school diploma, beads of sweat earned on a long run, a treasured family heirloom, or something else entirely?

My first choice for “endurance” was a photo of the grand oak in front of my old Barn. It has endured much sturm und drang in its long life; in fact, it is missing half its giant limbs from an encounter with Hurricane Isabel.

But then I came across this photo from a recent trip to Scotland and changed my mind. This photo of the Queen’s pew in Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk is symbolic of the United Kingdom’s endurance, particularly in light of Scotland’s recent vote to secede.


In case there is any question, the crown signifies which pew belongs to Her Majesty.

And why not, here is one of my old oaks reaching out to the Barn.  Somebody suggested removing that branch. Can you imagine?


These ancient oaks rather remind me of the United Kingdom now that I think about it: a bit battered from enduring a long life, yet still standing strong and proud. And more than a little awe-inspiring.

About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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55 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

  1. Unless the branch is threatening the house, I wonder why some would suggest its removal. It’s stood its test of time!


  2. It astonishes me how these branches, exactly parallel to the ground remain that way!


    • And for such a distance! Believe me, Maggie, I do not spend a lot of time under those branches contemplating the question. It is incredible how heavy a limb from one of these old trees is and I’ve learned to respect their power.


  3. Caroline says:

    Lovely post Barbara! My Grandmother was a Brit and a royalist and I’m a lover of ancient trees… Hope you have a wonderful weekend!



  4. Pat S. says:

    Loved it, Barb!


  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful home and hurrah for ancient trees – I love them!


  6. Julie Clark says:

    This is written from Scotland. Your post reminds me of the endurance of my ancestors as they left these shores for a new world in Canada, not knowing just what those long voyages would bring or what awaited them in a rough new land. I’m grateful for their endurance.


    • How I envy you to be in Scotland during this historic time. I would love to know what you’ve gleaned about why the vote went the way it did. And, yes, to the endurance of all our brave ancestors who made that perilous voyage!


  7. mukhamani says:

    such a beautiful tree:)


  8. Let no one touch that tree! Such a beautiful survivor.

    You note that in Scotland the Queen has a pew….she is a member of the kirk, not its head as in the Church of England, in whose churches she has a right to a seat in the choir stalls.

    I had so hoped for independence…for Scotland to show what she could do: but, just as in the EU referendum of the ’70s, the comfortably off were ‘feart’ of change.

    Ah well, break out the Highland Park and take a dram to the next time round…


  9. bkpyett says:

    Beautiful photos and I do love the oak, such an ancient, magnificent tree!
    The kirk has a special light.


    • I was so surprised, Barbara, when I entered that kirk by exactly what you say. It was so light-filled and open in contrast to the heavy stone exterior. Thank you, Barbara, the old oaks are a joy….until leaf clean-up….


  10. M-R says:

    I’m puzzled by the ‘no’ vote, Barbara: not from Poms but from Scots. What did no voters fear to lose ?


    • When you consider that even during our Revolutionary War, about 20% of white Americans were staunch loyalists, it might help in understanding why Scotland went the way it did. Considering its longer history with and proximity to England, in contrast to our own, maybe this was just inevitable. That is my completely inexpert and uninformed opinion, M-R!


      • M-R says:

        Sighh … being deep into Diana Gabaldons’ “Outlander” series, I could wish it wasn’t so. One thinks of the Scots as being highlanders – all like her main protagonist. Jamie Fraser. If only … 🙂


      • OK, M-R, just have to read this book, I guess. I’m hearing of it from so many! Yours is on my list, BTW. Currently reading “The Boys in the Boat.” So very good!


      • M-R says:

        I hope that when you get ’round to it, you’ll enjoy it, Barbara. They say you will ! 🙂


  11. dorannrule says:

    A grand comparison! I love the old trees and their gnarly limbs. A perfect response to the “endurance” prompt.


  12. dorothy says:

    Oh the mighty oak..a fine example of enduring the ravages of storms, disease and various destructions. We all wish as humans we could endure with such strength the challenges in life. A wonderful post Barb. You have the best trees on your property.


  13. I saw a map recently of all the countries in the world that the British Empire occupied at one point or another. It was stunning – there were hardly any untouched countries. Glad they were put back in their place when all these countries fought for and gained their independence.
    Beautiful old tree – I, too, thought of them as THE symbol of endurance!


    • Regarding Empire, how the mighty do fall…..always. Including the day I dread, when one of these great old oaks finally has had enough. But that will be Mother Nature at work, and I’ll have to accept it, I know.

      Liked by 1 person

    • All those countries did not fight to gain independence from the British Empire, and you didn’t say the time of your map. Many were by mutual agreement. Most are still part of the Commonwealth (with the exception of the USA). Other countries who were part of British rule in the past still apply to join the Commonwealth.

      It was what happened in the past. If you think the British were put in their place for their imperialism perhaps you may wish to consider which country has invaded the most countries since WW2? Imperialism still exists.


      • Hi Rough Seas – sorry you felt the need to get defensive about your home country (I assume?). No, the British are not the only ones who invaded many countries and subjugated native people. And, no, imperialism has not stopped but it has taken many sneaky new shapes (just look at what the multinational corporations are doing all over the world). The US is in places where it has no business being. The Chinese are buying up agricultural rights all through Africa (the Saudis are doing the same just not to the same extent). Unconscious tourism is another form of turning people into a servant class…this is such a broad topic and I could go on and on.
        But the past is not the past: there are ongoing consequences of past occupations. After the colonial powers left, independence didn’t necessarily right the wrongs of the past. And this, too, is the subject matter of many books. I can’t possibly begin to address that here in a comment.


      • Hello Beauty. Thanks for your reply and your apology for my comment (?). Just seemed like a rather snide and unnecessary dig for a good photo challenge post.

        Apart from that, I agree with what you say. Colonialism and imperialism still exist, just in different shapes and forms. It’s a shame we don’t learn from our past. Although maybe we just learn power and wealth matter?


      • Certain people and powers apparently have no incentive (yet) to abandon the path of power and greed…sigh…and that nasty and ultimately people and earth-destroying behavior doesn’t have any particular flag on it. We can still shake hands 🙂


  14. nrhatch says:

    Beautiful share, Barbara ~ I love the look of your “barn” framed by the majestic oak.


  15. Barbara … I love oak trees and elm trees, but they would not on our smallish property. They are very stately and their longevity does symbolize ‘endurance.’ Great capture. 😉


  16. My understanding is that the vote went quite a bit along age lines, older people voting to stay, younger to go. Pretty close, though, and a shame about the riots. Good choices for photos, though.



  17. Pingback: Papa | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  18. Interesting juxtaposition and linkage of photos.

    Why is that huge house called a Barn though?


  19. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: endurance | my sweetpainteddreams

  20. Diane Ahlberg says:

    So that’s where your tiara is-
    Love the pics
    Thanks for sharing
    Your time is well spent in the wonderful gardens you have


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