It was the perfect day to walk around the back 30 acres where the three horses pasture. We wanted to see how the grass was coming along as it had pretty much been eaten down last year when we pastured several horses for some friends.The day was glorious-perhaps the last real spring day of the year. We followed the horse paths as the grass had indeed recovered. And unfortunately the poison ivy had also made a good comeback! The wild rose bushes were in full bloom punctuating the pasture with their draping pink and white flowers. The cherry trees were past bloom but the wild asters were arriving as the purple clover. The catalpa trees are leafing out nicely as were the redbuds which have shed their purple flowers. As we looked over at the pasture where the lambs were grazing the slight breeze made the grass heads roll in waves as the lambs grazed leisurely.
Then we walked to the place I hope to build my house. It is on the west side of the property. On the west is a small stream surrounded by large trees many of the oaks and maples. It sits on a gentle slope in a bowl of evergreens.
To the North you can see the pond, the lamb pasture and the farm house. But the biggest surprise is looking to the south. Our land slopes down. Then the terrain rises into tree covered hills. It looks much like the Ozarks.
For a moment I am taken back in time to when I spent two summers on a farm. That is when my longing to live in the country began. I imagine the wrap around porch I hope to have and the white fence that will separate the house from the horse pasture. I had given up that dream as a childhood fantasy many years ago. But here I am at 60 in the middle of that dream.
Already that day we had spent time tending to the horses. Our combined group of six Border collies had played in the yard at the farm house and delighted at the lambs coming to the fence looking eagerly for grain. The three youngest lambs were just beginning the sprints away from mom and their games of kind of the mountain. We had mowed and clucked and shook our heads at the thistle that was resisting efforts to kill it and Jen had called the “hay guy” as the lambs were getting lost in the tall grass. We bemoaned that rain was coming which would delay his cutting it and the timing required to let it dry before it can be bailed.(If it gets rained on while laying in the field that is a very bad thing.)
We had also worked on the farm yard. So much of the time in the last year has been taken up by fencing and removing debris as well as preparing the lambing shed and barn there hadn’t been much time (or bucks) for beautifying things. Now Jen’s family has helped her move plants from her mom’s yard and baby trees have been planted from the Arbor society. We planted a small river birch which will grow quickly and noted that one of the maples we dug up from the woods had survived the winter. The front of the house now has a planting of Hostas and other perennials.
On the east side of the house Jen has put in a colorful group of perennials and on the porch pots of annuals are merrily blooming with a hummingbird darting in and out. An old stand of peonies obviously planted many years ago has just finished blooming and the scent remains. But the most exciting thing is that the peach tree has peaches on it!
The previous year a late frost had ended any hope of peach pie. But this year the tree is weighted down with peaches now the size of walnuts!
Some of the less beautiful parts of country life have also emerged. Jen did battle with a huge black snake while mowing and the ticks...oh my. We ruminate on whether or not it would be safe to put frontline on ourselves!
We have treated the horses dogs and sheep for flies, mosquito’s and ticks which will be a routine for the next six months. Jen has had her first round of poison ivy and an invasion of tiny ticks. So far I haven’t been afflicted.
As the sun sets (and it almost always gives us a picture perfect sunset) the stars come out and the frogs start their nightly serenade. The dogs settle down on the porch exhausted from their day and I remember why we named this place Dreamcatcher Farm.