Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reclaiming the Land

Before we can bring home our new lawnmowers we have to make it safe for them. We have thorn trees like this all over the property. We've been told they planted these in the old days to help ward off predators. I'm thinking they would have been highly effective. No one wants to be impaled with a four inch spike.

Friday we removed the thorn trees and some of the other small scrub inside the half acre or so we're fencing off for the sheep. It's the same area the original owners had fenced 100 years ago. Most likely they used it for a bull pen. If this whole sheep thing works out, we'll eventually use it for a ram. But that's another story.

The woods have made every attempt to take over this spot. The idea was to leave the browse and the large trees but remove enough of the medium stuff to let more sunlight into this area. The second family to live here were not farmers and unfortunately piled up all the waste from the burn pile along the fence line creating a berm which now prohibits this area to drain naturally. Combine that with the dense shade and it gets pretty damp back there. Now that it's cleared out we can dig a small trench and I think solve that issue.

The Engineer really got in touch with his lumberjack roots and got a little carried away though and we ended up with three huge piles of limbs, each bigger than a large SUV, scattered around the property.

Which, by the way, we had stake surveyed over the weekend. We had a copy of the original survey from when we purchased the property, but we never really knew where the east side of our property line was.

Behind the barn there is a ridge that falls down into a meadow with a winding shallow creek running through it. Then, finally, another ridge up and then a plowed field. It's obvious that the first family raised cattle here. I suspect this view was gorgeous when it was grazed and before the trees reclaimed it. We knew our property ended in the meadow somewhere, we just didn't know where.

There is an old welded wire fence, but we know that when the second family bought the property they didn't follow that line. They asked for seven acres, someone came out, did a survey and they all lived happily ever after. ( By the way, if anyone has a clue why there is a metal hanging post next to the big old tree in the middle of the woods could you please let me know, because frankly, it freaks me out.)

The survey lead us all the way back across the creek to the South East corner stopping at this little retention pond I fondly refer to as "Frog Hollow". We watched a HUGE turtle skinny dipping a bit then decided he probably wanted his privacy.

Turning North we traipsed along a deer path through the meadow. On the left (West) of us we could see the old barn. The only thing on our right was the East ridge. Come to find out we own almost all of the meadow.

It kept going and going until we finally found the North East corner. If you click on the picture below and squint you can almost see the chicken coop in the dead center of the photograph. The barn is hiding to it's left and the house is to it's right. What? You can't see it? Well, squint harder. Keep squinting...there, now do you see it?

If we ever win the lottery I'm going to fence off this this meadow and get enough goats and sheep to restore it to it's former glory. It would remind me of the pasture behind my Aunt Martha's house where I used to play in the creek when I was a kid. I'll never forget the day a cow sneaked up behind me and let out a loud MOOOOO. Scared the bejillywhickers out of me. You've never seen a short kid move so quickly through tall grass! Of course, restoring the farmstead here would mean we would actually have to play the lottery. (I hear your chances are better at winning it that way.)


Milah said...

That pile of limbs looks familiar. And that thorn tree looks evil. We have locust trees and I thought they were bad! Geez, those thorns could kill somebody.

Do you think the steel post could be remnants of a homemade deer stand? I've seen deer hunters come up with some doozies. Or maybe a child tried to make a tree house?? Those were my first thoughts.

~Bren~ said...

I would get rid of those thorn trees too! OUCH!
Your property is just gorgeous!!!
I wanted to say that the feathers on the chicken in your last post are beautiful...I know, that sounds weird, but they were certainly detailed! Shows how God puts His beauty everywhere...even in a chicken feather!

Griffox said...

I have those thorn trees, too. I've always called them Jesus thorns, because they look like they could have been used for the crown of thorns.

bennie and patsy said...

What an adventure and work to restore the old farm. I just hope the predators have left and what were they.

Karen Anne said...

I'd take that metal post out before the poor tree grows around it.

In my neck of the woods, metal in a tree means maple syrup, but it doesn't have that vertical part.

Reny said...

What a beautiful piece of property! You are blessed!