Crash asked for photos of the farm and surrounding area, and I said I'd take some pics as soon as the clouds parted. Well, the sun came out today for about 45 minutes. Here ya go, buddy.
This is a view to the west from our back porch. The red outbuildings belong to our OCD neighbors. I believe one can see the difference between how we keep our respective yards. The little well is real, hand dug in 1965 by the original owner of the property.
Turning a little to the right, this is what I see. The bridge is cosmetic to some degree, as it rests on the ground above where the culvert goes underground for about fifty feet. It is also, I suspect, cover for a hole in which more nutria may reside. There are what appear to be slides that nutria make to get down to the little stream. Stay tuned.
The red barn used to be a stable when this place was a horse farm in the 1970s and 1980s. It is now a bit more open inside, and the repository for a lot of thing that need to be organized. We also store our firewood in it.
The metal shed is the bird coop and where I keep my tractor, tiller, bush hog and a trailer. Beyond that is the paddock in which the birds spend the winter. The hoop house is where we grow a few vegetables that need extra heat in the summer. Right now it is where the birds can go to stay dry.
Turn a little bit more to the right and one sees this scene. We built our geodesic greenhouse the first year we were here. It is a very efficient growing area. behind it is the shed that we use to store veggies and packing supplies. The shed next to the Douglas Fir is our pump house. The crap laying next to the tree is a future run to the dump. The wood pile is for the fire pit we have behind the pump house. And oh yes, our property ends at the treeline in the background.
Turning right a bit more... On the other side of the open gate is our seasonal pond.
Still turning to the right, a side yard that once had a mobile home on it. We planted Willamette Ponderosa Pines about four years ago. You can see them scattered about. They've grown about a foot a year. We'll be long dead before they cast a significant shadow. we planted them for someone yet to come.
I almost forgot... Turn back to the left a bit. See the red barn past the trees? That is where our neighborhood druggie lives. Not in the barn (but he's had visitors stay in it), but that's his property. Our Neighborhood Watch group monitors the situation very closely, resulting in quite a large bust a few years ago. Concussion grenades, swat team and a helicopter. Big excitement and 15 arrests. It's calmer these days.
About a quarter mile to the north of our farm is an area called Kingston Prairie, owned by The Nature Conservancy. They maintain the area, which is about 100 acres, with the primary intention of encouraging native species plants to prosper. The bird is a kestrel. There is a Northern Harrier that also hunts in the prairie. I tried to get a picture of it as well, but it wouldn't cooperate. Other birds that I've seen on the prairie include Western Bluebirds, Western Meadowlarks and California Quail.
This little seasonal stream run through Kingston Prairie. If you enlarge this photo I believe you can see the little flags the Conservancy people have used to mark important plants.
I went into town to pick up the mail just as the weather was changing. We get a lot of these low cloud formations during the winter.
And finally, a drive-by view of the Santiam River.