Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As the Seasons Turn

Sunday a week ago, the day after our big snowfall, we bundled up after afternoon naps and went for a family drive. We went on back roads to see how much they had been cleared and to enjoy the scenery, and to me it almost felt like Christmas even though it was 5 days before the big day. It was just so relaxed and peaceful! We discovered that Bridgewater does better than other towns with clearing their roads, and we also learned that we would often drive past something and then think, "We should have taken a picture of that!" Walking would really have been better as far as capturing the photographs I wanted. It would have been a cold walk though. :)

Regardless, these are some of the photos that I liked best from all we took that day:

A farm not too far from here...
The sun was going down fairly early in our drive, and we were fighting against fading light the whole time...
Our beloved landmark, Mole Hill...
Dry River (not dry on this day though!)...
The moon above trees on a hillside; this was taken at Wildwood Park...
While we were there, a flock of geese happened to fly over. It was spectacular. During my first glance through the pictures I took that day, when I got to this photo, I thought, "This is The One. I was hoping to get at least one good picture during our drive, and this is it." The darkening sky, the geese, the sliver of moon, the tree branches - I love it in color...
And I love it in black and white... :)
I must be getting old because I get such a kick out of just driving around and looking at people's Christmas decorations. This pavilion by the river caught my eye...
As did the bit of snow on top of the fence post in front of the pavilion...
I really love the snow. I really, really, really love it!


As fall has given way to winter, I have pondered the unstoppable passing of time and the inescapable turning of the earth. In the past, I have sometimes dreaded winter; but not this year. I think now I'm more at peace with winter than I've been for quite a while, and I know one of the reasons for that: Josiah has the job of feeding the animals this year. It's silly, but knowing that I don't have to go outside in the cold to feed them makes me a much happier person. I can stay inside by the woodstove, nice and toasty warm; plus, I don't have to use my precious time when the little ones are napping to go outside to care for the animals. With Tobin and Shav awake and out of bed, I wouldn't be able to do the outside chores during that time; and it's a relief that I don't have to use "my" time for the animals. So I'm very grateful for Josiah. :)

Recently I came across a picture of Tobin that I never posted; this was taken this past summer when he got to play in the sandbox wearing his pajamas. :) He looks so young to me in this picture! It never ceases to amaze me how much temperature difference there is in this part of the world as we go from summer to winter and back again. Although I am thoroughly enjoying this season, I am also looking forward to the "sandbox days" when summer comes again!

Here are some other memories from this past summer:

~ during late spring and early summer, when we kept our windows open day and night, we would often be awakened in the early morning by birds singing...it was a beautiful noise, even though it was quite loud and perky for being so early!...it made me smile one morning when Jeff said, "We live in a bird's nest!"...it sure sounded like it :)

~ seeing wild rabbits became an everyday thing for us...there was a black one that we often spotted which may have been the black one that escaped from our pen a while back, or may have been the offspring of that black one...we also saw the native cottontail rabbits quite often; and sometimes the little ones would freeze as we approached and blend into the ground so much that we would get very close to them before we could even see them...then they would run off to safety...I'm not sure if there were several rabbit families sharing our property or if there was only one family...if it was one, it tended to move around a lot because we would see them under the lilac bushes behind the house, near the pine trees beside the neighbor's lane, under the blue spruce in the front of the house, etc...I know in some places, rabbits are pests; but here, I was glad to see them :)

~ another interesting thing we saw this past summer was deer...we were looking east from our porch across the Beery's pasture and saw three or so deer by the edge of the forest...I had heard that deer were in that forest but was skeptical because of how small the wood lot is...now I'm a believer :)

~ as far as domestic animals go, we had five sheep, which dwindled to three sheep when the babies died (not at the same time...our farmer friend wasn't surprised since they were weak to begin with...I guess some kind of infection killed them)...that number further dwindled when Jeff and our friend Jim butchered one of the sheep...later, Jim took one of the sheep to his farm...now we're down to one sheep in our pasture...but it's not alone: our dogs Molly and Jasper keep it company, and we also have two goats in the pasture now...we were very grateful for our four-legged lawnmowers this past summer!

~ Jeff got us some new chickens...a few died after a while (maybe the old ones, but I didn't keep track)...I think we now have nine hens (more or less) and one beautiful rooster whose crowing delights Tobin who responds with a hearty "Cock-a-ooooo!"

On to the less attractive animals:

~ once when Jeff was cleaning out the chicken coop, he lifted it up and discovered mice underneath...there were lots and lots of mice burrows and lots and lots of baby mice...as interesting as it was to see that, I wasn't thrilled!...I guess the mice weren't bothered in the least by the stinky smell of chicken poop in the hot summer sun

~ neither were the flies bothered by that smell...we had flies in abundance this past year, but not only us...I heard from numerous people around here that this was one of the worst years for flies in recent memory

~ of course, we had ants...they certainly are good incentive for me to completely clean up my kitchen before bedtime because if I don't, they march in and take over the place...we haven't had any for months--one of the true advantages of living in a place that gets cold weather--but I know they'll be back next summer

~ besides the snake encounter that I wrote about back in September, we also had a few instances of finding snakeskins...once when he was grilling, Jeff discovered one on the bottom part of the grill...and in the woodshed, my mom found one there...those things give me the heebie-jeebies!...I know it's just a skin, but it still makes my heart race

As I sit here on this cold winter's night, I'll say a prayer of thanks that it's been months since I've seen a mouse, fly, ant, or snake...and it likely will be months until I'll see one again. That is cause for rejoicing! :)


Home Instead said...

Thank you so much for your input about Horizons. I have Horizons 1st grade. I actually bought it to supplement with Math U See, I didn't buy the teachers book,which I think I should have. I haven't looked at Horizons 2, but I might take a look when I go to the homeschool store. Thanks for your suggestion.

Polly said...

What beauty you captured! Lovely, lovely!