With Daylight Savings Time coming around again, it’s been nice to have a bit of light in the morning. I’d rather trade the darker evenings for a glimpse at dawn.

This one, though, was back before the gloom and ugliness of November took over – when the leaves were just turning, and that beautiful September light made the commute a wonderland.

My work commute has kept me entertained for going on three years now.

Every day, the rural scenery is lovely – not matter what season it is. And I always pass things that I think to myself, “I’m going to pull over and grab a shot of that.”

Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it takes a year or two. But eventually, I pull over and take the photo.

This barbed post, for instance, is something I’ve had my eye on since this summer. Now, with the autumn colors, I felt like it was the perfect time to capture it.

Patience. Weather. Observation. Scenery.

Albion, Michigan is one of those towns that was hit hard by the flight of rust belt industry. One big employer leaves and the whole town gasps.

There’s the college. And a few taverns to grab a bite to eat. A few manufacturers here and there.

But there’s also quite a few of abandoned spots in town – a glimpse at what this place used to look like, not so long ago.

Abandoned Albion: Wood and Brick

Some of these structures were built to last. Strong brick and wood. It probably means they’ll last for decades.

They’ll probably outlast their original owners.

Abandoned Albion: Peeling Away

But others? The paint’s peeling. The wood is splintering. The glass is shattering.

It’s all going to hell, fading in the sun and the seasons.

Abandoned Albion: Shattered

There’s that old adage about one broken window in a neighborhood can’t be tolerated, or else more will appear. Here, though, people just drive past.

Abandoned Albion: For Sale

Jesus fading in the window. Boards protecting the inside from the sun’s rays and onlookers’ curiosity.

I don’t see this stuff as ruin porn or a fetishization of the Rust Belt Economy that’s dying (or in some places, dead). For me, it’s cool history.

Some of these places have a story, and lives attached to them. Who were they? What did they do here? How long did they hold out? Where are they now?