During the past few days I’ve felt compelled to actually go find things to take photos of instead of just taking photos of things I come across randomly. This afternoon, Justin took the kids to visit relatives to give me a chance to decompress a little. I decided to go walk our property and see what I could find.
Our Great Pyrenees dogs, 1 year old Hunter and 5 month old Piper, came along. Piper loves to dash off through the hay field and licks the grass seed off her nose as she goes. One second she’s at your heel, the next second she’s off like a fuzzy white bolt of lightning. Hunter trodded along at my knee or broke the trail while stopping every few feet to make sure I was following him.
The wild blackberries are starting to set fruit, and I found a long line of wild strawberry plants along the edge of the berry thicket. Now that our homegrown workforce is out of school, I plan to take them picking this week.
The hay is now up to my elbow, but we haven’t had enough dry days in a row to cut it. The tart cherry trees are setting fruit too, although we usually lose it all to the birds. More tasks for my midget militia, as soon as the cries of “I’m bored!” begin.
Out in our woods there’s a spot that the original owners of the property used as a miniature landfill of sorts. Old broken glass bottles, rusting milk pails, discarded tires and old appliances marr the natural beauty. We plan to clean it all up eventually, but haven’t gotten to it yet. For now it sits, exactly as it has for decades, while the landscape slowly grows around and over it.
There’s a lot of fallen wood that needs to be dealt with too. The blackberries are using a huge hardwood tree as a trellis and growing further up its length every summer. Moss sets in on the more recently felled victims while the others just weather and harden even more in the sun. The dogs sent a whole warren of rabbits bounding out from under a thick pile of brush.
A small creek winds across the woods, attracting all sorts of wildlife. Deer, raccoons, opossums and rabbits all congregate here. Coyotes come in looking for an easy dinner. Hunter stayed at my side, but Piper jumped into the creek and got as muddy as she could.
On the way back I stopped into the garden. The tomato seedlings survived transfer and are growing new leaves. Our sugar snap peas are up and starting to reach their tendrils toward the chicken wire trellis. The hay wagons still stand empty as another afternoon thunderstorm looms to the east.
The dogs abandoned me in favor of the cool dirt under the porch, so I went back to the hayfield to wait for my family to get home. I’m muddy, sweaty and damn near exsanguinated by mosquitoes, but I’m happy. This place is more than worth everything it took to get us here. It’s time to take on another week and a new set of challenges.