Sunday, February 16, 2014

...and the water runs through it

Before the rains came we had beautiful clear skies that allowed us to dig holes for the fruit trees that will soon be on their way from up north.  Still operating with the connections we had in the Eugene area that were built over years of doing business with people and friends there, we hope to find them here also.  We worked in our sweatshirts under sunny skies and after a few holes were dug, we were down to our tee-shirts.  The rains soon came and the Oregon that we know and love made us feel at home again.
The path of least resistance
This past week we welcomed the first full moon on the new property, moving in and out of the clouds while appearing to be so thunderous.  The few stars that displayed their light were bright in the dark sky and the sound of running water made us feel secluded on our very own island.  While feeling a little more remote on more acreage, there is an open feeling of a broad valley with big green pastures off to the side.  It is very quiet and peaceful.

I don’t miss the sound of planes like rockets going off overhead and have heard very few since living here, instead we wonder if we’ll ever hear the sound of crickets over the frogs singing.  They sing to us all through the night off and on for what we think is no reason at all.  Sometimes singing in harmony than other times they sound like lost wanderers coming together to form some type of synchronicity.  Our beautiful fountain built by the previous owners, provides their living habitat and they sound so happy to have a home.
Home for singing frogs

Braying is something we never heard at our old address but now we have a donkey behind us (can’t remember his name) and one to the side of us named John Boy.  The neighbors tell us that there has been cougar problems in the past and the donkeys are protective to the sheep, horses and other livestock that they roam with.


We’ve seen plenty of wildlife in the three weeks we’ve been here.  Deer frequent the property every day and they don’t disappear when the flash of the camera goes off, instead they seem to pose for the attention.  Turkeys lined the front lawn early in our move and they looked much bigger than the ones that visited our old property.  They appeared big enough to carry away small children!

Acorn woodpeckers frequent the feeders out front that the previous owners left full of seed.  Their bright colored heads are more orange than the ones we were use to seeing.
Acorn Woodpecker (picture taken out the window from where I sit)
We have a black cat named “Blackie” that we inherited.  We feed her but have yet to see her around except for the night we moved in and our dog barked before he got out of the car.  Seems like our black shepherd has kept her at bay and she has yet to make herself noticeable during the day but the food is gone every morning when I go to look.

I still miss some of the familiarities with the old property, but I have enjoyed discovering new things where I live today.  It’s so nice to have almost 14 acres to roam.  We both look forward to discovering more about what the property has to offer and graciously accepting the benefits.

We hope to get chickens this spring and sometimes I feel like I've forgotten to collect their eggs or shut them up for the night.  I really miss Dolly and Leigh Leigh our Ancona ducks.  I bet they had fun in the latest snow storm that hit the Eugene area.  I still remember the one in December when they barely ventured out of their house then once it started melting they were in worm heaven.

It was hard to imagine having sheep where we use to live.  The land was so sloped (thus the name Slipperyslope) and would of been hard to keep the pasture area green.  I look at the three fenced areas we have here and can imagine them in any of the three.  I can’t wait to harvest my own fleece to spin and learn some animal husbandry skills.  My homespun will take on a whole new meaning.  We also hope to have cows that will feed us and those close by who want to partake in the raising of beef that is grass fed.  My hands long to harvest herbs from the plants that came with us on our journey.  I was reminded of them while unpacking the brightly colored jars of dried Calendula, waiting to be made into a salve or lotion. 

Once again I look to nature to heal me and protect me.  I cannot give enough of myself to make up for the destruction that I’ve caused to this once well tuned planet, but both of us can and will provide the nutrients to the soil so that we can grow once again the good food that nourishes us.

Beans and things

Our drying beans are displayed openly in our kitchen in different size jars noting the diversity of all the  varieties we grow.

In just the few weeks we’ve been here our home inside looks as good as most (if not better).  It’s so nice to use a broom and mop over running a vacuum cleaner and the solid oak floors show years of character with some bumps and bruises.
Living Room

All the rooms are in order and we’re now beginning to look outside as we begin to dig holes and put up fencing for an orchard that will include the 35 new fruit trees that are waiting to be buried.
Digging holes for fruit trees

The garden that is here, is already alive with perennials and beautiful ornamentals.  Everywhere I look around the home, bulbs are beginning to burst out of the ground looking for light.
Spring in the air
Good eats

Though it still seems early for Spring to be here, we are so looking forward to another growing season.  Much of what we moved was food and though the jars are sealed tightly for storage, we’ll need to continue to build our arsenal of good eats.

It will be awhile until we’re once again acclimated to the area and can feel comfortable with the landscape.  In some ways it seems like we never left this valley and had it not been for "re-engineering" we probably wouldn’t of.  All the places we frequent now, we see familiar faces and think about how our journey would of been different if we had stayed.  We probably wouldn’t be sitting on this beautiful acreage adoring the nature that is so abundant out of every window of this old home.  Right now I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but on this piece of property where the water runs through it.
...where the water runs through it