Friday, 14 December 2012

Decembers Celebration Preparations

The snow has fallen twice now. However it was just a powder covering that lasted a day or two on the deck. The snow on the fields disappeared fairly quick as the temperatures still variate at this time. We did have several mornings of frost however, which I enjoy because I don’t have to be concerned with driving. I’m sure my daughter who leaves in the dark to work would disagree with me. However what I don’t enjoy this time of year is the cold rain that still falls and the darkened sky in the afternoon bringing the day to an early end. Once the snow covers the ground in a more permanent blanket the white reflection will lighten the day making it longer. Then I can enjoy watching my grandson play in the snow and walk the fields and woods in white steps. I’m considering snow shoes this winter as an efficient investment. The walking may be easier through the fields to the tree line.

3 birds in flight
We did get out to the woods a few weeks ago to cut some boughs for the decorations on the deck. With the leaves gone from the trees the sun sent beams of light down through the limbs throwing lights and shadows on the tapestry floor. It made it a magical place and I was awe struck in the realization this land was ours. These trees which I looked up to the sky to view their tops were now ours. I used the excursion as a photo shoot and got some beautiful results that are more the result of the day and the subject matter than my skill as a photographer. One of the pictures I am using as a card motif. A few others would make great black and while photo illustrations. They are also a great memory for us later.

The deer are back and looking large and relaxed in our fields. I can’t believe the size those pheasants have bulged to and are regular visitors daily now. I’m waiting to see them burst at some point of expansion. The feeders are busy now as the weather changed and food sources are scarcer. The black capped chickadees lack any fear of us and we can get within feet of them while they continue their feedings. They come back and forth to the feeder rather than remain and feed continuously. Watching them dip and dive on their route with camera in hand becomes a test to catch them in flight. The hawk has returned after an absence of time. There is such a choice of so many fields for it to hunt in; it isn’t attached to one area. I enjoy seeing him hunt because I know there are mice in these former hay fields and am glad to see the hawk clean them out. It is also enjoyable to watch those huge wings spreading and floating and cornering in the air just above the ground as it tracks its prey.

The skies are a great delight to us as well. We have open area and a full view of starry nights as well as sunsets and sun rises that catch our breathe. But even more astonishing is the varied cloud formations in the wide sky here. The other day I saw the exact sky I had envisioned for my “woman on the horse” painting and hurried to get my camera knowing the clouds were moving fast and would change drastically if I waited. I did catch the formations I wanted before they adjusted to an entirely new cloud scape.

Look to the light
light in the trees
I await the snow fall now as my next experience with a new winter season spent in the new house. I am hoping as much as my grandson for deep fall. He will experience a long steep run from the house to the lower field.I hope to experience walking above the snow about the fields and into the woods again. I also hope to catch the West River again in paint showing its new seasonal cloak of winter.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Better View

Autumn colours
The autumn leaves were not as brilliant or as colourful as I expected this fall. The temperatures were too fine well into the season so the expected frosts that make the colours bright with orange and reds did not come quickly enough. As the winds and rains, instead fell for many consistent days, the leaves went early with the weather. At the end we did finally reach many oranges and yellows but the majority of colours were the rusts. Still beautiful along with the changes, I enjoy this time of year the most. School is in and people are at their chores and making regular schedules. For me, it’s a determined effort to get back to my art with consistency. For the last two weeks it has been a panic to capture the colours of the leaves as they disappear and I was left with the darker deeper colours that cloudy days bestow on the autumn event.

Now the leaves are pretty much gone to the wind or on the ground drying into brown wrinkled skins that will crumble as they are picked up. The many straight pole like trunks of trees multiply in rows as you enter the woods edge. The more interesting gnarly twisted aged limbs and trunks become the showcase for the artist. The white birches are evident and lonely without their yellow canopy. But the true advantage for me is that I can see within the woods that were curtained before with thick impassable greenery. Now the depth of view opens up for me and access is made easier. 

More objects and the floor carpet itself becomes interesting and plants and mosses are a delight in their now individuality. I can see the old blue ford from the windows calling me in curiosity to investigate again. I had taken photos before the house construction as we explored the property. Now I want to go in closer, photograph the changes in the last two years and see deeper into the vehicle that I was hesitate to disturb as a newbie on the land. Of course there will be some caution taken in the investigation. After all, we now know our residents better. We have heard from neighbours on their larger traveling residents. Raccoons and mice are an obvious home owner here and I really don’t want to disturb a skunk. We have everything else and seen most of the animal neighbours here, but I suspect skunks are part of our menagerie. Much noise on approach and a bit of banging on the metal should move any critters onward.

We have also been asked by a few people in the area for hunting permission. We are close to the top of the hill and near the edge of our property line so we don’t relish guns in the vicinity. We know already our neighbours responses so as new residents, we will go with the majority because our land borders their property and we do not wish to open access to the neighbours who declined. It would also make me very nervous to be out and walking about our property knowing someone is in the area with a gun. We do suspect now that our 49 acres must have been accessed before to hunters by the requests and some cars or trucks part on sides of the roads around. Added to that, I have become partial to my animal habitants and we have become accustomed to their habits and they to ours. Leave undisturbed what is normal now and I believe we can all co-inhabit the area in peace.

West River /Water in Motion

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

September's End

Autumn Air

After the heat of the summer September month brought us the long needed moisture for the land. Rain however came in torrents instead of trickles, causing flooding in towns near water shed areas. We have a water shed area at the bottom of our acreage along the road. Almost everyone along here catches the mountain run off along the level road area. Tall grasses and bullrushes and a variety of wetland plants line the road. There are lowland marsh in the lower flat lands behind or between some of the houses. A river runs in back of the other side of the road. We can’t see it but know from he line of trees running along the banks where it flows. During two heavy rain falls the river overflowed the banks trapping some cows and their calfs and some of the horses at the barn. They were rescued by the farmer and the horse owner and brought off their little island sanctuaries of grass through the water. The horses remained in the upper fields near the barn for some days to allow for the drainage. I didn’t know that the water was bad for their hooves and one had soften feet but will be okay. 
Driveway wash out

The second rains came the next week and the same scene happened again. For us, it meant a wash out on the long drive way in two areas. The brook handling the upper field drainage overflowed at the culvert and the low wet lands on both side of the road were awash like a pond. The water caught up with the ditch on the right side bringing the water almost up to road level. The ditches were very deep there fortunately as this is where our drainage brook becomes a stream and runs under the road eventually to the river. We called our neighbour whom landscaped with the purpose of running off the water from our house. It has been successful except in those conditions. When we heard how others had fared, we were feeling somewhat fortunate. Our water drained off sufficiently fast afterwards to give us back out driveway in little time. However our neighbour will run another drain on the other side to catch some overflow when torrential rain hits again. It was stated on the news that the extra dry soil could not absorb the huge amount of rain, due to the long dry summer. The power of the weather is evident in the meandering deep ditches the water cut where the rain traffic was directed and are deep enough, although narrow, to reach down to the stones underneath. The stones have gathered with the rush and formed cascading falls all along the ditches. When walking down the lane you are accompanied by the trickling sound of water.

Another change is the deer accumulating in our fields. Where we had bush hogged to cut the hay and weeds it is coming back and now about two feet high. We do plan to cut again when the ground dries so that we head into winter with a close cropped field. Meanwhile the deer are enjoying grazing the fresh growth around the house. They were coming here and there individually all summer, but now with autumn upon us, they have formed a herd of six or seven members and move together. The fawns have lost their spots but are still small to the adults. In the mornings as I walk my grandson to the bus we have encountered a few flocks of geese in the “v” formation.   The trees are changing to brown while others are thinning in leaves. We haven’t had a night frost yet what with all the wet weather, but once it hits, the brilliant colours of fall will appear. We have been told several times of how beautiful it is in the area during the fall colours.

The garden is looking worn and dry. We did get another bunch of beans last week but everything but the tomatoes are done now. The rain did a job on the tomatoes where several are on the ground. However we are still picking some red ones off the bushes. The last remaining crop is the pumpkins now. We have brought one already to the deck. A perfect orange shape for the jack o lantern. There are about five other good size ones turning to that matte orange in the garden and will be the filling for pumpkin pies. With the wet we couldn’t reach the few apple trees on our property side so we waited a week and went out in boots yesterday to collect what was left of the apples. We got some lovely small yellow green apples that taste sweet and tart at the same time. There was a crab apple tree next to it and got a few unspoiled ones there. Then we walked down the perimeter searching for more trees. There is an entry to the neighbours trees where she invited us to walk the paths in the abandoned orchard. Very near the line was a tree with large red apples, many of which were on the ground. We felt she wouldn’t mind us picking some from the branches to salvage the fruit. They are beautiful indeed. My daughter plans next year to plant a small orchard near our present apple trees to aid in the pollination. Grapes are also on the horizon for the spring. Meanwhile we contemplate the four months and the summer we have lived here and feel good about our move. It is time now to prepare for our first winter in the area and in our new house. 

Apple pie on the way
This blog chapter is dedicated to our neighbour Rose whose visits and local stories and garden advice we thoroughly enjoyed. Her tenacity and strength of spirit is an inspiration.

Big spider web

Monday, 27 August 2012

This place is Ours - Home at Last

Our home from lookout
Now that any construction and clean up has finished, we are getting down to enjoying the place and looking about the area to familiarize ourselves with people and place. We, the family, held an open house for an afternoon and evening and welcomed many friends and co-workers and neighbours to our home. We had a canopy set up, games spread around, and bought more deck furniture so all would be comfortable. It was a success and if we thought no one knew we were here, we discovered the area knows all there is to know about us. Houses appear to be spread out with so much territory but you can bet in the country, folks know what is happening everywhere and to whom it is happening.

On a walk we were pulled in by a neighbour who had stepped out to meet us. We went in to meet his wife, Rose. She is one of the bravest individuals I had ever met and a bit of a hoot in the best way. Cancer over taking her, she remains in a forthright “this is how it is” mood and informed us of activities about the road and talked of the gardens, and the neighbours. She welcomed us and knew all about us. She was a delight and an inspiration.We felt very much accepted and at home. Her husband spoke to mine mostly about the past and former jobs. We met another neighbour a few days before out cutting the grass and stood and chatted for some time then. Previously we had met and already know the horse people as I had walked up to them to ask for pictures or drawings for a painting. I have all the pictures now for an artwork. It is doubtful I will get the resource from drawings as the horses are loose in fields so requesting them to hold a pose will not work. The photographs will have to suffice as reference.

View from lookout
This weekend we decided to drive around the area to find what roads came out where, and visited the lookout, viewed from our house. We have been asked twice for the directions on the road. A drive up for curiosity and to be able to inform any other seekers, seemed like a good Sunday event. We did find the spot from the lookout road where we could view our new home. We also discovered on the other side of that hill we could see the town of Pictou and the harbour. Driving the whole area gave us orientation of place.

The area is not built up to point that at night you can see where you are in relation to other’s lights. In fact, it is the blackest of abysses out there at night. The few houses we can peek through the trees do not use night lights. We ventured out onto the deck one night to see the clear skies. It is dark on the deck and stepping off to complete blackness didn’t seem a good idea. My husband had heard muffled noises in the woods when he came out to see the meteor showers some nights before and decided meeting something out there wasn’t a good idea. We do need a good flashlight or spotlight. Binoculars for day time viewing are also on the list. We can see far afield here. This night the showers had mostly dissipated but I could see a few faint flashes of trail. Mostly I was awed by the brilliance of the stars and the layers behind the brightest ones seemingly to disappear into the back with dimmer light in layers. We seem to be able to see deep into the layers to a faded cloud of stars behind. There was a full canopy of sky unlike anything I had seen before. We sat out for some time enjoying the view.

The town and harbour
We took a drive another day to a spot easily accessible to the West River. It is where we have seen fishers many times. I want to do a watercolour of the river. The river is low where we have had hot weather all summer but still interesting enough to paint. I am sure as the autumn rains come the river will be high and full and deep again and I will paint it then as well. The best part of the river is at the bridge. Still full there, it is difficult to get down the high banks. Maybe I will learn of a spot from others where I can get to the bank below. Meanwhile I know the autumn will bring me plenty of muse as they all exclaim about the beauty of the coloured leaves here in the fall. Finally I am at a point where art making is taking over the work of settling in and I expect to be busy in the studio if not out prowling around the land.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Walking the Land

With the hay now bush hogged and cut to some tree lines, my husband and I decided to explore the area and started out with great purpose. He did bring along a stick from the garage and I had my camera in hand. The day before in the evening we saw two coyotes slinking through the rise a little ways out where the deer regularly cross from the tree line to the larger woods. One was a darker grey brown and in the lead. The second was a lighter shade grey and halted momentarily when one of us spoke. We had the window opened and it was calm. He stared and then bolted for the woods. It all happened so fast that going for my camera was useless. It was exciting but also worrisome. 
As we headed out I thought that having a Nikon was a good choice after all. With the steel body it may add weight on a trek, but with the strap would make a hefty weapon if needed. We walked down on the cut area not seeing much action anywhere and entered the tall hay and ragweed wall. It was well up to my head. The farmer hadn’t quite cut to the woods edge as I had hoped. We waded through the weeds stepping down on hefty thorny stalks until we met the tree line. We were dismayed to see the branches and the growth in there. A machete would have been handy. It was another wall of small trees and still the weeds between them. When we emerged on the other side, we were met with another yellow wall of ragweed to counter. We did find a deer path soon and even saw areas where they rested and it was a relief to step into an open area even that small. We decided to head back through some more trees attempting to come out at the creek edge and from there to the driveway. 
As we moved forward, we flushed out three pheasants or partridge. I didn’t see which species; it was such a sudden flurry and flight. We fought the high grasses again and were disappointed that the creek edge was dry from the hot weather and fairly grown over with alders as well. So I suggested we head for the road. I could see the sweat areas on my husbands shirt and I was very hot by then and getting tired. We didn’t think to bring water on what was to be a stroll to the woods. When we emerged onto the drive, he was still determined to find an entrance to some woods so we headed to the back woods where we have been before. It is easier to access and he wanted to find the lot marker there. Once into the woods I found it not so easy as it was in the fall that we had entered before and walked  through the trees. It had flourished with new growth and was a tighter fit to get about. He found the marker and the red ties and placed them on a tree branch above so that it would be easily seen next time. I didn’t get much to photograph on this excursion except for ourselves, a lovely Queen Anne's Lace plant, a butterfly and weeds. My battery ran out as we discovered apple trees and a refreshing shaded, sunlit spotted path through some trees. Note to myself to be sure the battery is charged and to buy a back up next trip into town.
Not discouraged form our attempt to gain access to the rest of our land, we will prepare better and attempt another foray into the jungle known as the other half, again very soon.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Seeing Patterns

bush hogginh

I am starting to get familiar with patterns on the land now. I have been sitting on the deck and watching the birds and the deer peruse their territory. A hummingbird that is very bold or not familiar with people have been visiting me on the front and back decks. It flies right to my face, only a foot or so away, stops and seems to study me, and then zips away again. These strange face to face visits have happened several times but I haven’t been able to lift the camera before he dashes off again.The deer have been almost as evasive of my camera, but I finally got a few shots. We are not encouraging them to stay long as we are protecting our garden vegetables from the many deer that habitant the area. One deer brings her two fawns regularly and there is a lone wolf, which I call him, because he appears by him self in the front area fields. He seems to be puzzled about us and will stare for a while as if trying to figure from where we had sprouted. 
We have two red tailed hawks that also make about seven or eight searches low over the fields in a pattern that is interrupted when it spots and chases prey. We can tell it has something in its sights as it weaves in and out and sharply turns and makes a dive into the grass. 
With the hay cut now, we can see this action much clearer as it doesn’t hide the activity in the fields any more. It will also allow me to investigate the area with some convenience now. I have access to the tree line as well. We haven’t cut all the acreage so some will stay wild and be more of a hiding space for the birds and animals and remain in a more natural state. There is a bevy of birds in the tree line and they zip in and out from the fields and seem appreciative of our recent cutting. We are told that the insect level will go down with the hay cut. We haven’t really been bothered too much with insects here. It could be the breezes that blow through. It can be calm and hot and suddenly a breeze will flow through the trees like a wave and cool the area. 
I enjoy sitting on the deck and listening to the music in the trees as it starts at one end and flows through to the other end of the line. The branches seem to sing as the wind blows in and out and the chorus is embellished with the many songs of the birds. I know we must have many species by the variety of the chirping. The hawks shrill call is most recognizable of them all. I photographed many of the plants before they were cut with the bush hog. I intend to find out all the names of them and know what is growing on the land. Some like the daises and Queen Anne Lace are apparent but I was not sure of many of the common weeds. I will gather some tree leaves as well and make an effort to name the many varieties here. I know the alders as they line the creek running and cutting across the fields which drains the rain water. I will call it Alder Creek. 
Tadpoles getting legs
We are home now with the installation of a rural mailbox. A trip to the near town gave us our address. It wasn’t the one we had assumed but with a check of the post offices discovered the postal area cuts between our neighbour and our lot line. So we are in the next town with a different postal code. That was a surprise and we had to change again some of the address notifications we had sent out.
Momma and fawn

Storm clouds in big sky
We are also getting to know the area better.  The knowledge of the area is coming to us from default. A nail in the tire had us searching out a nearby service station and we had a lovely chat with the owner. He sent us from there after a spare tire change to the next town where we could buy and install a matching tire. So we looked about that town as well and had a coffee in the local shop while waiting for the car. On the way home one afternoon we stopped at the nearby community centre for a strawberry tea. We sat with an older woman who was alone at a table for four , as the other tables were quite full. We received much information about our neighbourhood and met her daughter and spouse. I wish to investigate the older stones in the accompanying cemetery. The daughter seem to be the historian for that cemetery. Meanwhile our daughter signed us up for involvement in the centre, so expect a call one day. Of course we are meeting people like the farmer who cut the hay and other services we have needed. We are definitely feeling more like home here and now visitors are fulfilling their promises to come to see us. A couple have just left and we expect more soon. We aren’t set up fully yet or have the house organized but are managing to receive people. That is making it our home as we introduce them to the house and local towns.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Living on the Land

It has yet to be one week living in the new house on our land. It has been stressful moving our belongings and settling in to the new area and new lifestyle. The new lifestyle is a shared experience with our daughter and grandson, so accommodating everyone's habits and routines will take some time to adjust to and incorporate. We haven't as yet moved our furniture and other items from the "before" house. We made several tiring trips loading the cars with what we felt would make us comfortable in the interim until the "before" house sells and all items at once will come into the new house. I suspect there will be a combo yard sale as we weed out items we don't need and are duplicated.

Mounds of Top Soil referred to as Anthills by some.
Meanwhile we have spent a few nights in the stillness and the darkness of the countryside. Maybe it
is the construction soundness of a new house or just a quiet area, but I haven't heard anything during the nights. And it is definitely very black out there. We are also adjusting to a very long driveway of 1400 feet to the road. The distance from the road may be another reason for the stillness . It should indeed be an interesting experience in the winter snows to come. The house area is not landscaped yet and we have mounds of top soil piled along the drive where it was scraped off for the road construction. This will be used to level and grade the yard area so that we can finally seed and not be hostage to the muds in the rains. I am also missing my flower gardens which  I experienced in the "before" house. I will pot some of those plants requiring thinning and bring them here to the new house. But I shall have to patient until the grading is complete. My daughter, however, has the vegetable garden in already.

There is a deer in that hay!
Whether we enjoy fresh produce will be up to the deer and my husband's attempt at a garden mesh fence to hold the large creatures off from that area. They are not as timid as I thought deer should be and look at us with indignation as we yell and whack sticks to chase them away. There are tracks everywhere so it wasn't unexpected that we would be visited by these animals. There is at least six in a herd that may all show up or a few at a time. I was surprised at how large and solid an animal they were, as they jumped away from fairly near the house. The scarecrow is obviously just a decor for the garden. I shall have to get a good photo of the deer the next visit by waiting a little more before trying to run them off and before the mesh fence is complete. I am sure that they will visit in the next few days as they have been regular in their appearances.

Another project is the cutting of the hay in the  fields. It has become very high and gives the deer cover and courage to visit. I do not wish to run into any other animal residents while trying to force a path through the hay. Although I haven't heard from anyone in the area that there are ticks here, I prefer not to test out that theory. The hay at present is acting as a fence to keep me from exploring further into the fields. So a call will go out for the farmer that will bush hog the land for us. Then I plan to walk the entire area  and take out my pencils for sketching and painting. I desperately want to record the area in my art.

We are beginning to feel a little like this is home and should be settling more as we bring in some other belongings to the house and become familiar to the area and the towns. It has been a very impacting transition. And we recognized all the newness is the stress that we are feeling now. That will dissipate as we become familiar with a routine. Twenty-two years in one house and place does not shed as quickly as expected with a total change in lifestyle.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Near the Natural Spring
A mile or so from the new house stands a natural spring site where many in the area stop to collect water. It is an active popular spot. Over time it seems others have augmented to the natural beauty of the woods environment. There are a few benches built into the woods inviting people to come in and enjoy the site. Another addition is a flower box where someone has planted colourful blooms. It is slightly rocky and steep but open with worn paths up the slope and deeper into the trees. 
There is a spot paved off the main road where two cars could comfortably park and access the water. The water comes from a pipe into the rock and flows into a large wooden barrel that overflows with another pipe running the water into a ditch. Mention the spring on Greenhill road, and everyone seems to know the location. 
I had entered a project offered by the art house site out of Boston. It asked for entries to take on a mystery project. Intrigued, I decided to take up the challenge as I like the fact it would mean giving away your artwork as a public site art piece. I began the piece and immediately thought of the spring area for a public art site. Looking up into the woodsy area, an artwork could not be missed.  Enthusiastically I decided it was a good opportunity to get back into my sculpture. I wanted an easy material that would take the elements. I had some winter stone plaster and cement product that I thought would work well especially as there was limited time to the project and sculpture is a slow building process. It had been a few years since I used this material.
While I got the wire mesh structure ready and applied some burlap dipped in the winter stone to the wire as an armature, the package from the art house project arrived. In the entry was a theme I hadn’t expected but I was already into my piece. Luck was with me and my idea piece suited the theme perfectly. The theme was, “Robots take over an elementary school.” I chuckled as I had the child already in process and it was waving with a hello, enthusiastically. This is how I think robots would be received coming into an elementary school.  I would use a more contemporary method because of time and exaggerate the body language but make the face realistically so that it is received with familiarity by viewers.
When completed, my husband attached it to the site and it showed up well in the woods environment, seen easily from the spring well head.  I am sure it will be received with a chuckle as it greets the people collecting the water. It is anonymous as the mystery part of the project and will be interesting to see how it is accepted and if it remains on site. Each time we go up to the land during the build or when we move there, we will view the sculpture piece in the woods at the spring. MY little touch of self in my new home.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Spring Bursts Without Me
The next visit to the land to check on the house construction was met with a scene of white and pale green buds and blossoms that had bloomed since my last visit. I was excited to see that the grasses were growing higher and hay was beginning to get higher on the surrounding untouched field. It was also a panic as well. For if the hay grows too high, it will prevent me from walking on all the field that I was planning to explore. The summer we posted the poles for the proposed road up the hill, my husband and the over six foot tall contractor were lost in the hay. They used their long poles to wave to each other and find the road direction to stake the poles. I am much shorter than both these men. We had plans to bush hog the field and control the height of the hay, but as we are late finishing the house, so is the plan to cut the hay before it gets too tall. I will have to wait and be patient once we are into the house and later into the season.
Meanwhile where we had plowed up the grounds for the house build, the grasses were not too high yet and I wandered up to the tree line to investigate the numerous types of bush and trees coming to life in this new season. I haven’t yet bought my guide book on flora and  fauna of Nova Scotia so that I can learn the names of the species. I took a few photographs and will check online for some tree types to match my pictures of buds and repost results of pictures there. I do notice that I can get a CD of identification of trees from Natural Resources and will call  for that item.
I haven’t yet seen any mammals like the contractor had seen and strained my eyes toward the far tree line hoping to see some deer or small movements in the grass. So far on the land the birds and insects is all I have taken note of in my search. I did notice the hornets that were enjoying the heat off the deck seemed unusually large to me. Maybe having been left to their own devices in this abandoned hay fields, they have managed to grow rather large. I wonder if all the species I will come across will be somewhat healthier for living here. That could be a bit of a worry depending on what kind of mammal we run into while outdoors.
I had noticed when we turned in that the lengthly drain ditches, yet to be graded to the gravel road top, had something dark and moving in the shallow water running to the main stream at the bottom of the hill. I walked back down from the house the fourteen hundred feet of driveway to the road. There were black tadpoles filling the ditches and I stopped to photograph. Another research project for me to see what species of frog will develop from these tadpoles. Another fear as it has only been a few weeks that we could hear the spring peepers along the highway as we drove. We had once rented a house having just moved to our present home, and it stood across from a marsh. For a terrible week, we were serenaded by spring peepers day and night, but mostly night. At one point madness had set in and I opened the bedroom window after midnight and screamed at them to shut up. I had been awake for nights at this point. The chorus immediately stopped for all of fifteen seconds before resuming. As romantic a sign of warm weather finishing our long winter that these peepers sing to us, I fear that next spring a week of madness waits for us.

As usual my visit up to the house, did not leave me with time to take out the art supplies or get right into the woods. The construction still requires our diligence and we were off to make some needed purchases. I had carried my sketchbook from the Art house coop museum project, but didn’t have time to open the book. This is a world wide project where an artist fills the small book with her art and sends it back into the Boston museum where it will eventually go out on tour with all the others. In my second year of the project I want to record the land with drawings. I will have to wait until I have more time on the land to use my art tools. It is to be hoped that as we get closer to completion on the house, that time will come and I will have some artwork for this blog as well.        

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Discovering My New Home On 49 Acres.

The time is coming close where I will move onto the land. Many visits, although short in time, has made me eager to permanently relocate myself in a farming and rolling hill region. And with summer nearing I do not want to miss the unveiling of plant and animal species ,as anxious as I to come out from the long winter. Throw in the fact that the house has been late to complete and the few years we owned the land , only once able to climb the hill to the top because of high hay; I am more than ready to experience dawn and dusk at our land.
With camera in hand on each trip I photographed the house construction noting stages and progress. Now I wish to turn the lens and my hand to discovering what else lives and moves about on the 49 acres. Up to now the builders have had the pleasure to view the regular appearance of about 6 deer in a herd on their daily crossing. They have seen a red tail hawk that appears to be a regular resident as well the eagle I did have a chance to watch overhead at one visit. Then there have been pheasant and quail running through the field and bordering woods. I feel that I am missing out but hope they all put on a show for me once I arrive. 
Are these populars? Next project!
I will search for a book with pictures and detail on the indigenous plant and wildlife of the area, so that I can learn what grows and lives there. Then if adding to the species is necessary I will follow protocol on what should inhabit the area. With solar energy and heat pumps bringing us into a greener era of our life, we should also respect what would be the proper species and get to recognize what and why they are abundant. 
Watching the weather patterns as well will be a new subject to study, just as the farmer that mowed his fields must have participated. Our neighbour whom will grade our soil and clear our long drive, says he knows how the snow lays and drifts so can drain the area around the house when completed. I didn’t realize the science involved in grading the lawn area for maximum drainage. Most of our neighbours are long time residents and know the area as well as all who live there. There is a wealth of information I have already been privilege to with this chap. Although there is new construction with a few neighbours ,so that we aren’t the only newbies on the land, it is prudent as the new residents, to watch and learn the habits and ways of our neighbours. Two already have used the back acreage for snowmobiling for years so that will go on uninhibited. Apparently with their ownership of trail comes a protective nature and was told they would disperse anyone nosing around while we aren’t there.  A benefit for sure for us in exchange of tolerating the movement of machines and with so much space, there isn’t a problem with sharing.
We have even given up the idea of removing the two old vehicles collapsed and rusting in the woods where they were dumped many years ago. It was my first thought to have them removed. but as no one sees value in the process of removal, and the costs looking dear, maybe just leaving them to the elements and the curiosity of visitors, is the way to go for now. So long as they don’t represent a danger, especially to our eight year old grandson, the woods will continue to encapsulate them. And he can use his imagination with the vehicles. This is something we can take our time to revisit. Already I seem to be moving into rural or country mode.
OLd Ford becoming part of landscape
So while I wait to get my camera and canvasses and paints out on the land and the area, I envision the possibilities ahead to a new adventure and life style. I will continue to record my discoveries and art works once I get to the land and my new home.