I forgot to post something that my parents did for my birthday last month...
These are the fruit trees my parents got me this year. I actually got four, 2 cherries and 2 apples. Dad has already taken one of the cherry trees over the hill to its new home in the field.
This is the first one we planted. It's a 6 in 1 apple tree. My parents had one in the backyard for a number of years, and it always produced very well. The only bad thing about these trees is that each tree has its own growth pattern, so these trees tend to look a little... Frankenstein-y.
This is my Idared apple. We planted it up at the front entrance of the land, and it's going to be fantastic. We noticed a lot of charcoal while we were digging the hole, so we're pretty sure this was a burning area quite some time ago.
These are the two cherry trees. A Van and a Hedelfingen. They're both sweet cherries, and will grow to about 3 to 4 meters high. They're planted at the north edge of one of the fields, close to the bee hives. I'm hoping for some sour cherries next spring, which will go just south of the sweet cherries.
So, these are the latest babies on the land. They probably won't produce next year, but should start producing the year after that.
I was throwing some scraps into our firepit to burn them, and noticed that we'd had a visitor sometime after the rain had stopped last night.
Here's a closer look
Looks like some decent sized claws to me. I'm not quite sure what he was looking for around our firepit, but I think he may have found it:
All in all, I was ready to call this an interesting morning and go for coffee. But then I found these:
Leading up to our shed.
I wasn't sure you could really appreciate how large this guy was, so:
He's BIG. Mom was worried that we hadn't seen any deer in a while, but hey:
Looks like we don't have too much to worry about. I was looking for more tracks, and I found another visitor as well:
This is a puffball mushroom after it's gone to spore and exploded. Looks like I'm going to have to check the field for mushrooms next year! Given that this one was fairly dry inside and we've had rain the past little while, I'd have to say he exploded fairly recently.
It was quite a day, and it ended off with a blizzard:
We've only had the land for about 3 months now, but we've had to get a lot of work done.
We've been attempting to clear out a lot of the original farm paths. This picture here is one of the old gates.
The deadfall is pretty substantial. These woods haven't been taken care of for a long time, so we've really had our work cut out for us. To add to the problem, we didn't have anywhere we could store the tractor for any length of time, meaning we've had to basically leave it out for the elements. We decided to fix that on Thanksgiving weekend.
Grandpa Hughes was in town for this week, and he came up with a plan for us to build the shed we needed to house our tools and supplies.
Grandpa cut everything to size for us, which really minimized the amount of work we needed to do on site. First, we put together the floor.
Then we had to get it into place. To do this, we leveled out the back of the shed, and raised the front. This makes it a little more difficult if people decide they really want our tractor. The entrance is at least 2 feet off the ground.
We're in place, we're level, and we're ready to get the walls up.
It was very much a family effort.
By the end of the first day, we had the walls up, the additional height on one side for a sleeping loft up, and we'd made a quick jig for the rafters, which we decided to cut at home.
We headed out bright and early on Day 2 to get the rafters up as soon as possible.
We learned some new skills.
We had some moments to reflect.
Everyone had a job and helped out.
We conquered some old fears.
We pulled together and got all of the framework for the shed up in only 2 days. The following weeks were hellish, and it poured rain nearly every time we were able to get up to work on it.
But little by little...
We wench the tractor up the ramps.
Step by agonizing step...
We managed to pull it together, and finish it in only 4 weekends.
We barely made it before the snow started to come down.
It was an amazing family project that came together so well. We all had a hand in it, we all got to help, and it really turned out amazingly well. I wonder how many we're going to have after we all decide we want our own?