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.