Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Day in the Sun

A Day Off for a Walk
Lily, TJ and me on a country bridge

We took the afternoon off and went for a walk down a dirt road. Dirt roads are becoming an endangered species in our area. Part of Concord Road that borders the farm here isn't paved, but almost every road I remember as dirt as a child is now blacktopped. When we were little the edges of the road weren't mowed, and the long grass and little shrubs would be covered with dust. There were places where the dirt was sandy; you could wade through it with bare feet and kick up little puffs of dust. When Dad drove down a dirt road, plumes of dust rose in the air behind us like waves.

The little winding road where we walked yesterday was one that my dad showed me last fall. I had been on it before, but didn't realize it. My best friend and I had horses, and we rode almost every day. For awhile we kept the horses at a stable near Buffalo Mountain, and another friend would come with us and show us some new places to ride. We came into this particular road on an all day ride that cut across the country from the mountain and then followed this dirt road through a beautiful valley. There were two wooden bridges over Laurel Fork Creek, and an amazing old house, far away from anywhere, that looked Gothic and unexpected in the surroundings. I never went back and I had to give up the horseback riding when I started looking after my grandfather. But I've always wondered about that old house. It must have quite a history.

Gothic House
Old House

The house is empty. The fields are mowed so I assume someone is still getting hay here, but there were only a few cattle, maybe half a dozen, behind the house. I'm thinking of using the pictures we took of the house to illustrate an article for Blue Ridge Gazette.

Yesterday morning I cleaned more in the bunny house, hauling trays of manure up to the compost pile by the old apple tree stump. It was lovely and warm; the dogs stayed out all morning and romped while I worked. TJ was exhausted last night after all of his adventures.

I fed the birds but the usual chorus of hungry flutters was absent. There are some different birds coming to the feeder now; yesterday I saw red-winged blackbirds and the finches seem to be dwindling. I haven't seen the chickadees lately but I suppose they're still here. The tree-creeper spent a lot of time at the feeders yesterday, moving so quickly I never got a look to see what he might be. Carolina wrens are much in evidence and the starlings are nesting in the eaves.

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