Would you look at this ordinary little mailbox: wrought of standard issue US Postal Service dimensions and materials. But, at closer look you realize there was something fishy here. No, not the bullet hole above the flag’s hinge. That’s not so unusual for a rural piece of metal. No, it’s the orientation of the box that’s odd.

Most mailboxes are set perpendicular to the road; posted that way, the mail carrier can breeze in, window down, slide the mail into the box and  quickly carry on. But this box is not facing the road, nor is it on the road. Posted on a paddock fence with a thick strip  grass between it and the road it would indeed be a prolonged stop for that postman.

Why? Perhaps it was placed away from the road so to protect it from  mailbox smashing hoodlums. I grew up in the country where mailbox smashing seemed to be a popular pastime. We went to great lengths to protect our mailbox from inevitable obliteration. No one on our stretch of road would dare have a decorative mailbox, or a simple standard issue box like this. No, we either had armored boxes or ugly barrels made into mailboxes, all to foil bat-wielding, box-smashing hooligans. Certainly, this box has not been dented, damaged, or otherwise batted around. It’s just a bit wind-weathered and worn, and once and only once shot at. Except now it’s shot by the camera-carrying visitors to the park.

Whatever the reason for its placement, it sits empty as the owners of this ranch deeded the land to the State of Washington and it is now a part of Columbia Hills State Park, just north of The Dalles Dam.

I started photographing it as a gift to one of my loyal blog followers. She’s been very supportive of my writing and photos and in return I wanted to participate in her Amazing Mailbox Quest. So, now I’ve presented her with an ordinary box with an extraordinary placement.

Thanks Madaqua for the inspiration to look at this box more than once. It does make for a lovely photo if I do say so myself.


8 thoughts on “Mailbox

    • Hi – I didn’t notice at first either, if it wasn’t for the Amazing Mailbox Quest I wouldn’t have taken a second look. I’m usually my own worst critic, but this photo is one of my favorites – perhaps because it reminds me of a peaceful and beautiful place.Thanks for visiting and liking the photo.

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  3. This mailbox is certainly something special, quite unique and I am very delighted to have it to add to our mailbox collection 🙂 I certainly have never come across anything like this before!

    As Aleafinspringtime has noted, it is in such a lovely setting – perhaps this has a lot to do with the photographer?!
    I am amazed that people vandalise mailboxes – they REALLY need to get a life!

    • I grew up believing that all boys in pick up trucks were cruising around after dark smashing mailboxes. One would drive, another would lean out the window with a bat and take aim at any protruding and vulnerable mailbox. I guess I saw it as a right of passage for country boys. But, it sure did frustrate and infuriate my dad. I guess it’s a ritual of the American West; I’m glad it hasn’t caught on in other parts of the world,

  4. This is indeed one amazing photo Barb! I found myself staring at it for a very long time. For the place that it was placed. The perspective. The rolling hills. The light and feel of the land. I love it. What a beautiful picture. A treasure I am sure your friend will cherish. Thinking of you. Sharon

    • Sharon, it is a beautiful, amazing, and peaceful place. I was there two weeks ago on my weekend and even though it’s a 2-hour drive away, I had to go back this week. Last time I didn’t explore this old ranch that’s now in the State Park. So, I spent several hours picnicking, photographing, and contemplating around the barns and in the fields. It was quite chilly but it is spring and the bird song kept me company. I could have stayed forever. I’m looking forward to my next visit…maybe this weekend.

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