Old barns are common along roadsides in Sonoma County, but I never tire of the character and beauty they add to the landscape. Many are no longer in use; seemingly held together by nothing but peeling paint, their roofs sag and the walls bear holes big enough to accommodate all sorts of critters. Yet somehow these barns manage to keep standing. I like to think they’ve grown roots, like the old oak trees from which they were built, that each is digging ever deeper into the soil in order to prop up its increasingly frail frame. This old barn along West Side Road complements the season’s earthy browns and greens, now that recent rains have washed away much of autumn’s warmer tones.