Monday, February 21, 2011

Take a Walk with Me ~ Early Feb 2011

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! 


Chai Chai said...

I would love to have a stream here, no wonder you have so much wildlife. Perfect for your raccoons and of course fox. Your guineas really have a survival test to pass every night!

Country Girl said...

I want to come back down and take a hike through the woods. Still got all those cardinals? You should put some of them on your blog! Haven't seen too many birds here. Just juncos, sparrows, and mourning doves. Only one or two blue jays or cardinals. Out in the fields we have a few eagles, lots of vultures, and geese, swans and ducks in the lakes.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

you have some lovely areas! do you all not mow your fields? if not, then yes, the trees will take over. sad that the barn fell down. :(

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I guess I came onto your blog without having any knowledge of how big your property is. Wow, 250 acres, how fun to go on discovery walks with you. I love the babbling brook. You're right, you might as well accept the fact that it's probably gonna be cold for a couple more months, right? The trees do look like tall weeds in some places. Beautiful walk, thanks for taking me with you!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

It's so lovely there! I think you need a nice goat to help you eat those new little trees! Yummy yum!

Kessie said...

Wow, it's a completely different world out there. Out here in southern CA, we kind of get into some tree-worship because it's so hard to get them to grow. Our hot, dry summers kill them off. If you want a tree, you have to plan for it and water it lovingly and babysit the thing to make sure it has a chance.

Out there, they're pests!

Farm Girl said...

I like going on a walk. It just amazes me the amount of trees that you have. Today my husband was removing trees that died after last summer and replacing them. We have to beg ours to grow and your grow like...weeds. It must be the water. We don't have enough. :)

Terry said...

I never get to go for a walk in the woods, so thank you, thank you!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Yes, please. Take us for a walk in the summer! I love walking in the woods!

Such a peaceful place you have there.

Dawn said...

Looks like you live in a very pretty "part of the woods":)
Thanks for the walk!

Robin said...

It is so pretty where you live. Even though your tobacco barn fell down it's still neat that you had one on your place.

John Gray said...

Ill come for a walk anyday

Razzberry Corner said...

Chai - Yes, the poor guineas. Randy says he's surprised we haven't had more guineas killed. We lost one royal purple female a long time ago - she just disappeared and never returned. But that's it, except for the one coral blue one that now is missing.

Barb - I raerly take pics of birds because the pics don't come out very well thru the windows.

KK - Yes, we used to mow the fields. But then I guess we got busy and got behind a few months on the mowing. We have to use an old mower because the trees tear up the good mower. Then the old mower broke, and parts had to be ordered. And in that time the trees took over...

CAGrammy - In the summertime I'll do more walks. I hate the cold!

IsobelleGoLightly - I think you are so right, we need a few goats!! :) But right now I just cannot handle anymore work, and with goats, comes feeding and maintaining... Maybe one day when things quiet down for me...

Kessie - Yes it is a different world. I love to travel and see other places. We used to always drive across the country every year just to see the land...

Kim - In the summer last year we had a drought. Our well dried up, our garden died. It was truly awful. But right now water is plentiful.

Terry - We'll do more walks in the springtime! The plants will be budding and will make for some nice pictures!!

Toni - That it is - peaceful! It is so quiet and peaceful here.

Dawn - Thanks for coming along!! :)

Robin - Oh, I love the history here. I could go on and on about history. Funny, when I was in high school and college I hated history, now I love it!

John - We go out again soon, ok? ;)