December Monthly Moos {Winter Walking!}

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's been called to my attention that I am WAY behind on my Monthly Moos posts!  Honestly, it is kind of hard to write about the happenings on the farm when nothing very exciting happens!!!

However, one thing that we did this summer that is a very big deal is that we put in a post and rail fence around our house and hilltop.   I thought I had written about it here, but I realized that I wrote about it where I blog for MaryJanesFarm.  (That is the problem in blogging in two places - I never remember what blog I wrote on!) So if you would like to read about our fencing project, you can read about it here.  

However, the update since that post was written is that Eldon painted the fence and it is so gorgeous.  Can you honestly believe that I got out of painting the fence?!  He purchased a great sprayer and it made very quick work of the job.  I was very happy to just stay out of his way!   We love the fence and loved being able to do away with the electric fence around the house! 

So, a little off the subject here.  Our son is a runner and actually does some of the Ultra Marathons that are ridiculous and crazy and so of course it gets Eldon and I thinking about the half marathon that we ran/walked in April of 2015.  It is called the Oak Barrel Half Marathon and is only open to a small number of people so you've really got to be on your game to get in.  Last year I didn't manage to get us entered but this year I did!  Our son is going to fly out for the race in April and run it with us.  So.....  with that in mind I've been trying to build up to some running by doing some major speed walking around the farm.  

 I've been using some of the trails that Eldon has cleared in the woods that allow me to walk the entire perimeter of the farm; according to my Fitbit it is about 2.5 miles to walk the entire perimeter.   I like to do it twice a day.  

So I thought that Belle and I would take you along with us today!

When we head out the yard gate I walk along the tree line down this hill in the above picture.  Pictures never really show how steep the hills are on our farm, but this one is actually very steep and I've been known to slip and slide in the leaves a bit as I head down!

The above picture is partway down the hill looking up to the back of the house.  Those trees are really beautiful in the summer and I named them The Island when we moved to the farm, as that is what they remind me of.  

Once we get to the bottom of the hill we come into this opening in the woods to a trail that we've named The Nut Trail.  There are Hickory and Black Walnut trees lining the trail and so it is covered in nuts.  It is sort of a magical trail.  

Belle loves The Nut Trail.   A couple weeks ago she jumped a Bobcat and ran it right next to me and up a tree!  Usually it is squirrels and deer that we see, so you can imagine my surprise when a little Bobcat came flying past me with Belle in major pursuit.  Needless to say that scrapper dog went home with a bloody face!  

Once again, pictures don't show the incline here but it is a nice steady climb and I'm always huffing and puffing!  I try really hard to not break my speed walking pace!

We come out of The Nut Trail and if you look up the hill next to us you'll see the tip top of the Hickory Tree that is next to our house.  So, if you were to walk straight up this hill (a VERY steep walk) you'd come out to the house.   

A little more walking around the base of the hill and then the house comes into view.

The trail I take continues along the base of the hill where I can get glimpses of the front of our house. In the summertime these trees are too thick to see anything!

I head completely off the hill to our hay pasture down below and walk along our gravel drive.  

We've been having a new road put in to our farm and this is where the new road joins in.  We no longer use the straight road ahead that you see in the above picture.  

Our new road branches off to the right and goes under this big tree...

... and alongside this old pond that never really holds water and has always been kind of gross.  BUT, we had all the trees removed from along the bank, some repairs done to the pond and all the drainage ditches from the road lead right into the pond.  So once the winter rains start it should really change the look of this pond.  Eldon also planted winter wheat all along these areas where the dirt has been moved.  It should be pretty and green all winter! 

 Belle and I continue along the road to the highway where we then follow the fence line around the perimeter of the hay pasture.  That's the least exciting part of the walk!    (Incidentally where you see our gravel road come to the little highway is where we always park our flower cart in the summertime.  We'll be improving that entrance for parking in front of the cart and prettying it up a bit.  I promise to write a blog post on that in the spring!)

After we pass through the hay pasture, through the corrals, and around the cows we come to another set of woods that is great in the winter time but honestly it is super creepy in the summer!

It is really thick with trees and kind of dark in the summer.  And one time I watched a black snake (harmless, but still...)  climb a tree in here and all I can think of are snakes up in the trees as I walk under them!

Then we break out of the thick woods to the upper part of our gravel road.  I always love how the sun shines through these trees. 

Then we start the steady climb up along the side of this steep hill.

And then turn the bend and make the final climb to the back entrance of the house!  The back door is always the door that everyone uses.  I've always been a fan of the saying "Back door friends are best"!  

I'm ready to step up my 15 minute mile speed walk to a 14 minute mile run!  Ha Ha!  Seriously though, I'm so happy that I have the half marathon in April to motivate me!  And happy to have our farm trails to walk on.  At least until the bitter wet and cold days at which point we will join the gym for three months!  I did write about our last marathon experience if you'd like to read about it here.  It was a super fun day and we're looking forward to doing it again.  

We do have numerous projects coming on the farm that I promise to update you about in January or February!  And this week we had rain after weeks and weeks of no rain, so things on the farm are fresher and prettier again!  Hopefully your winter is off to a good start too!


  1. Hi Dori. Your walk looks wonderful. We only have 11 acres, all flat, but I am working on a walking path around our perimeter. We have a spot of woods that my husband has to clear the brush, etc from first. Thanks for your tour, and happy half marathon. :) You have a beautiful place!

  2. Having Belle to keep you company and be your protector during your walkabouts is wonderful, especially with the bobcat. A beautiful place to walk and yuck with the snakes in the woods!
    Kathleen in Az

  3. Just finished reading about your marathon. Now that was amazing! Your son and daughter-in-law must be so proud of you both! What great training grounds you have right there at home! A bobcat?! Now that might have got me moving myself! Yikes!

    Your farm and fence are both to read your other post...

  4. What a gorgeous place to walk and meditate. Congrats on your training. Glad you have your pooch to keep you company (and safe). I am praying that we can find a beautiful farmhouse with a plot of land similar to yours in the next few months. Enjoy it!

  5. What a gorgeous farm you live on , Dori! It is a motivation to do about anything you want to do. Such gorgeous and inspirational scenery! Good luck preparing for next year's half marathon. Keep us posted on how it all works out for you.

  6. Your photos are quite magical !