June 1 – June 11 2021 Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm Celia’s 5th Birthday
Virginia Spring Brings Changes
I’ve been waiting for June ever since I was forced back to Virginia in March this year because I could not find either anyone to truly fix my hydraulic problems or a way to get the covid vaccination while on the road. But both of those have been taken care of and I’ve been anxious to get back to living in Winnona.
June has been vacillating between gorgeous wonderful weather and hotter than the fires of hades weather. I guess I’m thankful it hasn’t all been the latter.
One benefit of being in Virginia for so uncommonly long is that I see more of Carrie and her family. She and Colin were here, see blog link above, I was at their house for Celia’s birthday just under 3 weeks ago and she and her mother are coming on Saturday for a visit to the farm.
So this is the post of what I’ve done or not between visits. Mostly it’s hiking and reading and business of all kinds – routine medical, my dad’s estate STILL. These last two are boring so I’m not going to say anything about them.
The fields at the farm are grown high with grasses and wildflowers. I can hear the whippoorwill in the evenings and after dark and the wood thrush in the mornings.
I don’t often take my real camera with me when I’m wandering around the property so nearly all of these pictures were all taken with my TOTALLY INADEQUATE Motorola phone. I apologize in advance. Motorola may have been the first company to make and sell a cell phone but the one I have is junk. Wish Santa would bring me an Iphone or at least a much better droid. End of rant and apology especially for these field wildflower pictures..
I always run into somebody on my hikes.
One morning it was turtles. I hadn’t seen them before and I haven’t seen them since but on that day, I saw two of them not very far apart. Both are Box Turtles and in these pictures look alike but they aren’t the same turtle given how far apart they were and how quickly I saw them both.
I see deer at some point every day but usually they see me first and all I get is their white tail flag flying as they disappear. But on this day, One was just ahead of me and I stopped and tried to get his picture. We stared at each other for quite some time. If I’d had my “real” camera this would have been a great shot. Wish it weren’t so heavy to take with me.
Other white tails are on the little bunnies I see as frequently. But I never see their little white puff tails unless they are hopping away and then whatever pictures I take are blurry.
But they are cute never the less and I GREATLY prefer them to the other frequent visitor whom I am actually trying to trap with no success. I’m afraid he and his clan are living both under the house and under the shed so they really do have to go. I have told Shannon that when he is here this summer painting the inside upstairs to do what he can to eliminate them before they dig trenches that fill with water under the buildings or chew the wires.
I spent years fighting to save my vegetable gardens and I have ZERO love for the Woodchuck no matter how much wood he can chuck. If I knew how to use David’s rifle, this guy right outside my west porch would have been history.
Back to something concerning but slightly less unpleasant.
One of the reasons we have had some days of delightful weather in June, read that 70’s to mid 80’s, rather than over 90 is that we have had rain, rain, and more rain.
How I wish I could send it out to the poor desert southwest. It’s doing a number on my farm lane which cost me many pennies to put back in shape two years ago. I spent one morning raking gravel back into the sunken spots and holes as best I could but I’m afraid I’m going to have to pay for some more gravel and more professional maintenance unfortunately. There are ruts that are just too much for me where the gravel has been washed into the side ditches.
We’ve had days of all day drizzle. I actually don’t mind those cool days and am willing to hike or walk in them though pictures don’t turn out well and I fear for my camera.
But other days it has been down pours. Those are the ones that over flow the gutters, pool around the foundation of the house and wash out the road.
These pictures were taken from the front porch. I love to sit on the swing or in the rocker and watch it rain if it isn’t blowing in my direction. Not sure if you can see how hard it’s coming down in these pictures. The mountains are invisible just beyond the yard in the fist picture. The gutters are overflowing in the second. These were taken just before I was forced inside.
Back inside I could see out the pantry window that I had serious gutter overflow issues so I jumped outside for a second to take these pictures of it pouring down and where on the ground it was splashing. The standing stone marker is for our beagles who are buried under several of the gardens around the house.
But then the rain stops, the clouds at least lift and the sky glows pink.
I am spending a lot of time at perhaps my 4th favorite activity after kayaking, hiking and reading – planning my travels. David was always the driver and maintenance man and I planned the trips, made the reservations, mapped everything out and navigated. I like my job better than his and so wish he were still here to share the fun.
I sent this selfie of me to Carrie to tell her that I had discovered Vermont, where I will be this summer, has over 100 covered bridges, over 422 waterfalls and endless places to hike and kayak. I haven’t gotten the numbers on those yet but clearly I can’t do it all even spending nearly the entire summer there. In this picture I am mapping the distance from each waterfall and covered bridge to each of the two different parks I’ll be staying in –one for July, one for August – so I’ll be able to hit the ground running so to speak. I’ve spent fun filled hours at this activity and I’m not nearly finished.
Speaking of reading. My Wednesday night book discussion with my friend Laurie has us reading Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood. It’s a beautifully written memoir of her happy childhood and has kept me laughing out loud. Every child should have such a mother.
On my own I have been reading Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton. He’s a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and after his fiancé pretty much left left him standing at the alter, he took his broken heart on the task of visiting every one of America’s National Parks in a single year. Even Hawaii, Alaska and American Samoa. I’m enjoying
it but in my opinion, he’s moving much too fast to really take in the magnificence. How many days could he possibly spend in each park of the 63 National Parks allowing for travel days?
The book is not organized chronologically so it is difficult to know how many days he spent where.
The of the 23 chapters have titles and several parks are discussed in each with no regard for location. Chapter 3 is titled Animals and discusses Everglades, Channel Islands, Pinnacles and Death Valley. chapter 22 is titled Disconnecting: Isle Royale, Olympic, Virgin Islands.
Still it is wonderful to read about these parks and he was very lucky to have been at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park just as the Kilauea volcano erupted and red hot lava spilled down its sides into the sea. What a spectacular even that must have been.
I’ll close with some fun things I’ve seen around on my walks. Who could possibly have set up this paw print looking set of rocks? Wasn’t me and no one else walks out here.
Walking down this path I found an interesting tree with a see through hole right through it. The tree seems to be thriving just the same. Nature is amazing!
Closer lock. It’s a shagbark hickory.
Another lovely scene from this walk and then evidence my neighbors and I walk the same path.
Pretty soon I’ll be saying good bye to this view from my bedroom window and heading on down the road.
But I’ll be right back here sooner or later.
Sounds like you have accomplish a lot of stuff while you've been at the farm. I would love to get some maps and travel ideas on Vermont after you finish your summer there!!! I love that photo taken from your bedroom window:o))ReplyDelete
Great to hear from you Nancy. Hope you two aren't sweltering. I'll let you know what's going on in Vermont once I get there.Delete
Can’t wait to hear about Vermont!ReplyDelete
I'm pretty anxious to get there. I'll make time to blog about it for my commenters. I want to hear about Alaska.Delete
So glad you are going North for the summer. I sent you an email recommendation for a phone with an excellent camera. If you think Virginia is hot, wait till you visit Texas!!! Looking forward to your blogs from New England. Planning to come North this fall.....ReplyDelete
Yes after two summers in a row in the humidity and heat of Virginia, I'm glad to be going too. Thanks for your phone recommendation. I wish I'd complained early in my stay here since it's easier to have something sent to the farm than to Winnona.Delete
Your farm is so beautiful even if there is a huge upkeep. I agree, Groundhogs or Woodchuck critters are very destructive! In the book you're reading about the National parks you mentioned the Pinnacles. That is not far from us here. Matter of fact, we can see them clearly from our favorite winery :)ReplyDelete
Thank you Laurel. I love it here but I have itchy feet. I know I could never do this without a handy man. I'm lucky to have found someone who can do most of what David could. But his time is not my time if you know what I mean. Really miss David.Delete
The pictures of the turtles, the deer and groundhog (whistle pig!) are fun! I always enjoy the animals that you document in your blog. The last picture of the farm house is particularly special. If you were to do a photo Christmas card, that picture should be on it. xxxoooReplyDelete
It is always fun to see them here - well not Ghog but the rest. I gave up holiday cards years ago but before that we did send one out that had a picture of the house in the snow.Delete
Lovely pictures...makes me return there in mind. You've been very productive. I think the grape arbor deserves a picture at some point. I know you're excited to be on the road again, but it's been nice seeing a bit more of you. xoxoReplyDelete
The list of things I'd like or need to do is so long, Every time I take one thing off, something else goes on. I will post the arbor perhaps in the fall after it's painted. If I have one of the original arbor which was even better, I doubt I could find it. It's been great seeing you too and I definitely "miss you when you go". I am anxious to get back out into some other nature for hiking and especially kayaking which I can't do here without driving a pretty good distance.Delete
Can't wait to see pictures of Vermont. Good choice, I am sure!ReplyDelete
Time will tell Pam. Wish we could have gotten together while I was here.Delete
Amazon had some great camera straps. They look like scraves, my daughter bought me, I love it it is soft and makes the camera feel much lighter.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the suggestion Jo. It's a 35mm camera and its strap isn't a problem. It's just seems to bother me more these days to have it over my shoulder every where I go.Delete
Hopefully You can set aside some time to visit me while you’re here in my neighborhood of Vermont.ReplyDelete
I think you have a covered bridge in your neighborhood so if it gets on my list, I'll be there. Starting out making a circle around each campground and going to the closest things first given that despite my favorite lifestyle, I hate to drive. Shocking and great to see your comment.Delete
Look up the following bridges which are near me:Delete
Martin’s Mill/Martinsville Road
Willard/No. Hartland/East Twin
May I be your chauffeur while here? I work just about every morning and I’m home no later than 11 o’clock.Delete
FYI - I have a feeling you’d be able to maneuver Whinona into my driveway, using the neighbor’s driveway also. (Just for future reference. You can check it out while here.)
Any specific time frame or ETA?
Oh how I wish for some of that rain. It's so dry here I can't use enough lotion and chapstick to stop cracking. The farm is lovely but I''m sure much upkeep, especially with woodchucks living underneath the house. I look forward to your Vermont travels as it's a place I don't know at all.ReplyDelete
I would sure send it to you if I could Gaelyn. You've got a pretty sweet summer spot yourself. Maybe we could do a summer in New England one year when you aren't rangering.Delete
I can relate to your issues dealing with a washed out farm lane, I have the same problem. Vermont is going to be wonderful. Look forward to reading about it. Just curious, do you have any cicadas in your area? I do enjoy hearing them.ReplyDelete
I can hear my daughter laughing at your comment Doris. I don't have any cicadas here this year. Apparently my area doesn't have the 17 year brood we have another less intense group but I'm not sure when they will be back. Not so long between times though. But at Carrie's they are deafening. They can't stand to be outside they are so loud. They are counting the weeks until they are gone.Delete
You say you can't see all 100 bridges and 422 waterfalls in VT this summer? I've never known you to back down from a challenge! :cDReplyDelete
Glad to hear you have Winnona back in tip-top shape. Hope she stays that way for your summer travels. My Journey had a funny way of breaking something just when I thought it was running 100%.
I'd be proud of myself if I could take pictures as good as you do with your phone. I'm still unsure of even turning on my phone, let alone take a picture. Yep, I'm a Neanderthal...
HA HA Paul. You are showing your age and how long you've been reading my blog since you obviously remember my hiking every trail in and to every waterfall in The Great Smokey Mountains National Park one summer and the entire AT in Shenandoah National Park on another. But I think I'll have to settle for part of these in Vermont. I'd be doing way more driving than I want to in order to hit them all. Crossing my fingers that everything is in tip top shape but I've had your experience far too many times. Thanks for being with me for so many years!Delete
Thank you William especially given that most of them were with that horrid phone.ReplyDelete
Lovely lovely seeing more of your farm and its views!ReplyDelete
You should come out and visit. You and Mary. Although I leave in a week. Maybe in the fall when I'm coming back through here.Delete
Love those turtles!!!ReplyDelete
don't think i would ever leave there... it is so beautiful
Yes Loree it is beautiful and for 33 years we only took vacations. But we always had serious wanderlust and you can't see much in 2 weeks at a time. One day I won't be able to travel in Winnona anymore and I'll be back here permanently in this beautiful place for as long as I can keep it maintained.Delete
I agree about sending some of that wet to our desert! Maybe some day we'll stop abusing Mother Nature and she'll balance out the moisture :-) She can't be very motivated to take care of us. Love those lavender skies, so peaceful. That rock foot print is very interesting... Can't wait to see Vermont through your eyes. Jeff is hoping to move there at the end of the year and I'll be able to share the natural beauty for him to enjoy. Your farm is so very special, I'm hoping to see it in person one day :-)ReplyDelete
I think Vermont will be wonderful with all I've researched. Happy to have you at the farm any time although getting here would be very tricky with a big rig which is why Winnona is not here. I think Mother Nature was having a go at flicking us off with Covid and I doubt she's finished given what we are responsible for.Delete
As much as I do not like the heat and humidity coming our way in Florida, I am so grateful that we're not suffering from the intense drought afflicting the West. It is truly frightening, and does not bode well for the future. I know you and I think similarly about this.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you've enjoyed spring this year at your beautiful farm. Although we're still recovering from the last year and a half and not quite ready to travel yet, your plans for Vermont are so enticing. I'm going to be envying you big time come July and August! It will be fun to follow along on your explorations. :-)
The situation out west just makes me so very sad. Water is going to be another serious problem for them.Delete
I feel very lucky that I've been able to stay in Virginia until mid-June and with the exception of a few days not have it be abjectly miserably hot.
love that path in the woods picture!!! and of course the one of the house, so lovely...ReplyDelete
like your hair!!! you cut your hair....
Such a beautiful place to go back to.ReplyDelete