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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last Sunday Stroll of 2012 -WARNING: Photo Laden

We take a stroll around the place almost every Sunday. On weekdays I get my exercise at the gym and on Saturdays I figure cleaning TheCastle is enough of a workout. But Sundays are my days to reconnect with home. 

Yesterday was the most beautiful Sunday I've seen in a whole month of 'em. I almost always take the camera because ... you never know ... maybe something special will happen. But the day was so gorgeous I longed to capture it and took over 100 photographs! That's enough to chronicle the walk and I thought perhaps you'd like to join me on my Last Sunday Stroll of the year.

We started out going down the rim path that skirts the north end of the property and I wasn't yet thinking about taking pictures - Our vistas were just the usual thrillingly gorgeous view of terrain. That path puts us out, though, on the old farm road that RE built when he took over farming here - way back before we moved down. Here we are walking towards Robert's Landing to see just how far out the tide has been blown - we're not actually on our own place at this point - but I wanted to be sure I was in the picture too. LOL
This used to be Sock's favorite place to have a drink and take a dip in summertime. It's really just a drainage ditch and today it was way too cold and windy to swim. Only Callie was thirsty. But just look at that sky! 
We're coming up on Farmer's Hall Creek. We could hear the geese muttering to each other and if you had telescopic eyes you could see them swimming in that patch of blue in the middle of the picture. I love the soft brown and grey of a winter landscape, especially on a day as full of blue sky as this.

And there they go - wave after wave of them flying off into the wintry air.

The wind was fierce out of the north - then later the north west. BD took his wind gauge and measured a steady 8 knots per hour with gusts up to 12! I had on So Many Clothes - turtle neck, vest, fleece jacket and second fleece jacket, plus hat and gloves. (Yes. I did knit that hat) I was never cold and never hot, the whole afternoon!

When the wind blows hard out of the N or NW we get what is called a blow-out low tide.  You can see the wide mud flats of Farmer's Hall in these pictures.

I caught Callie in a pensive mood - I wonder what she's thinking of right now. (food, probably)

Or maybe she was thinking about how nice she smelled now that she'd rolled in something nasty. Note the streak on shoulder and belly. This is the true Labrador - even more than this retriever pose. And yes. She did go out in that icy water and bring back the stick.
This is my favorite picture of the whole walk.

And this is the one I'd like to crop and then try painting - I took half a dozen pictures of this glistening white sycamore tree but could never capture the excitement it threw off. But I love the curves and arches of this picture.
Way across the field was a perfectly beautiful walnut tree looking like its tickling the sky

We wanted to end up in what we now call The Deer Park - the plot of forest across the tar road from us - where BD planted cypress trees so long ago. So at the mile point we turned right and headed towards John Allen's old place.

If I owned this I'd call it Seven Cypress because there is a row of them along a little low spot to the east of the house. We didn't go all the way to the old house, though, but turned off on the lane that just skirts the western boundary of our place. It puts us out right opposite The Deer Park.

This little spot of heaven has the most amazing effect on me. I first noticed it 20 years ago, long before there were paths and copses or even cypress trees. To get into this thick jungle you had to brave more greenbriar and holly than my delicate skin liked but once I'd get in the middle of it the most amazing calm would come over me. It has to be some sort of ancient sacred spot to still be able to comfort this 21st century, post-Mayan Apocalypse girl just by existing and letting her stand upon it.

This speckled bird dog is Buster - boon companion to LD. He can't ever figure out why his master wants to leave this place but he sure is glad he comes home often.
This is a tree that has been marked by three generations of the same men. When the whole flats was divided back in the 1920's BD's grandfather marked the lines on this hickory tree. Seven decades later BD marked it himself before we had the timber cut. In 2007 LD painted the lines once more as a birthday gift to his dad.

Last week I told LD he couldn't take Callie on a walk longer than 5 miles. I thought she was too young to be worked that hard. He left her at home on his marathon trek but we'd already gone 5 miles when we turned around to go home and Callie doesn't look like she's too tired to me. I guess she's a big girl now. And how I love those teeth of Jack's.

This is the most interesting pine tree - note how that branch on the right stretches out - and the dead portion of it arches all the way to the ground. We aren't on our own property here - but those pine trees in the background are ours.

This is just a lovely view through to the north east.
Back on our own place once again we're beginning to think about hot tea - and maybe some lunch.  The sun warmed our backs and it was casting long enough shadows to tell us the afternoon would soon draw to a close.

But what's this I see, up there on the left - across the last bit of the lane? What's in the field - at the very edge of my view?
Oh la! A dead tree down across the lane. Looks like we aren't going anywhere any time soon. LOL! And I know what BD will be doing on New Year's Eve day. This wood will warm him twice 'cause I have to go back to work on the 2nd.
And look! There's another dead tree just waiting to come toppling down in the Next Big Wind.

But not today, thank goodness. We're ready to take it easy with the Sunday paper and a hot cuppa. I make a last exploratory peek beneath the cedars to see if the daffodils have begun to poke their heads up.  They have. It's as if they're wanting to assure me that though the cold winter days are upon us - spring is not far away.

I love my house. I love it any time I'm in it. I love it when it's cluttered. I love it when it's ship-shape. I love it when I'm puttering around outside and I love it when I welcome guests inside. It is always beautiful to me - but I believe it is at its most beautiful when I'm walking up to its front door.

The last thing this beautiful day gave us was the low setting sun, golden in the sky and lighting up the porch. This is what I stared at as I sipped hot peppermint tea, with my legs stretched before me and the dogs on the rug. A fitting goodbye from Old Sol, to the last Sunday Stroll of 2012. Thanks for coming along.


  1. Thank you for the lovely tour -- so spring-like from where I sit surrounded by Alberta snow!

    And may you have a warm, rich, healthy, happy New Year!


  2. Thank you for taking readers along on the ramble. What a treat to read and see the places you went to.