I always love to take pictures after a snow. Everything is fresh and bright.
Yeah, it's cold, but I've come to understand that it's going to be cold here in MD, so I mind's well embrace it and make the most of it. I'd prefer it to be warm every day of the year, but, alas, I don't live in the south. And even down south they have been cold this year.
What's up with this weather???
Here are some pictures I took around the property in early February, 2011. This was right after a light snow. The first picture below shows our old tobacco barn.
Here in MD, for almost 400 years, wood-frame tobacco barns sat along the rolling fields. Tobacco used to be a mainstay crop of Maryland's agriculture since the 17th century, and every farm had a tobacco barn. The tobacco barns had to be big enough to hang the tobacco, which was essential to the process of air-curing tobacco. Now historic tobacco barns are being lost at an alarming rate as the region's agricultural land is consumed by the spread of the D.C. metropolitan area. Also, Maryland's 2001 "tobacco buy-out" state policy, which encouraged farmers to stop cultivating tobacco, unintentionally made the barns unused. Scores of tobacco barns now have no productive purpose and are deteriorating. In 2004, southern Maryland tobacco barns were placed on the National Historic Trust's list of 11 most endangered historical sites.
Our tobacco barn had already collapsed before we bought the property. You can see it through the trees in the below picture. It seems a fox uses the barn now. We often find carcasses of small dead animals underneath the fallen roof of the old barn.
The trees here grow like weeds. Especially the sweet gum trees. I like to have some rolling fields (with no trees), but it's almost impossible to keep down the trees. Most of our 250 acres is wooded, but there used to be a few fields along our entry road without trees. But now the trees are taking over those fields, too. The wind must blow the tree seeds into the fields, and the young trees grow up fast and very close together. We've been here 2 years and all the little trees in the right side of the above picture have grown since then! There is a natural spring at the left side of that field, and the water flows down into the woods on the left into a little brook which joins a stream on the property. I guess the trees have a good water supply.
The below picture shows more trees along the right side of the field pictured above. We've found quite a few deer antlers along that treeline. We planted corn and pumpkins in the field last summer, but the summer drought killed most of it before it grew very big.
The below picture shows Randy's firewood area. He's constantly cutting, chopping and splitting wood for firewood. We use it in our woodstove and he sells quite a bit of firewood, too. He's been burning wood scraps (bark, limbs, old bad logs, etc) in a barrel in the firewood area which not only gets rid of the waste products, but creates some warmth while he works. You can see the smoke from the barrel in the picture.
The below picture shows one of the front fields. It, too, has been taken over by small trees.
Thanks for taking this short talk with me. I hope it was interesting!
We'll have to do this again when the weather is nicer and we can take a longer walk!