I've been pretty quiet lately, but today I was inspired. I regularly read The Common Room blog and thoroughly enjoyed the home tours that were posted by their blog group "4 Moms, 35 Kids" (Read about it at the link.)
Here are the four participants and their blog posts with this week's theme: Open House: Yard and Entryway
Aaaaand, here's mine.
As you're heading west on our county road, you may glimpse our house. It's set waaay back from the road and we like it that way. We can hang out on the front porch in our jammies.
Here's our mailbox. I planted some daylilies last year and there may still be some under this patch of weeds somewhere. I thought of getting a pretty new mailbox, but this rusty one has grown on me. It looks like it's settled in to stay.
Here we are, starting down the driveway. Electric horse fence on the right, neighbor's house behind the trees way over on the left. We have 38-point-something-something acres.
Our front yard. The first year after I had the house built and began beating back nature, there was a six-foot swath of shorter weeds near the house surrounded by an old gopher-filled hay field. I didn't even own a lawn mower. I used a weed-whacker. Then DH Tom married us and moved in. Voila! He made a yard. That was only the beginning of his improvements to the place.
Here I am turning the curve up to the house and I turn around to find an entrance to the woods in the back 20 acres.
You could not pay me enough to go into that mosquito-infested woods during this time of year. Fall, Winter, and Spring it is beautiful! There is a swamp with a little brook running through it further back. On the other end of the property DH has built an enormous log path with a little bridge to get us way back to the high ground on the far side with dry feet. It's beautiful and quite wild back there.
We're continuing down the driveway towards the back of the garage and house. Our house is built on the edge of a reclaimed gravel pit.
When I bought the property 14 years ago, the sides of this drive were mostly barren. It did not take long for the growth to come back over the exposed gravel.
This is the "boneyard" about 400 feet behind the house along the driveway to the barn. DH is collecting firewood from the never-ending dead-tree-cleanup. This is also where large items are staged in preparation for disposal or recycling. (The very large orange truck is not slated for disposal any time soon. We are very fond of that truck. It has done a lot of plowing for us and our oldest daughter enjoyed driving it to school much to the bemusement and admiration of the local male population.)
Through the trees ahead and slightly to the left is "Mount Killamanfast", so-named by our older kids and their cousins that lived next door. They did use it for sledding a few times, hence, the name.
The barn/shed. The shed half belongs to DH, the barn half to me and my animals. DH has gotten the horse hay ready for winter. I cannot give him too much credit for the many ways he serves his family.
On the right is the little brown chicken coop built by my father. We brought it over here to our house since my mother will be selling her house to move here with us. She will be happy to see his beautiful little coop in use here. To the right of Dad's chicken coop is a small structure we call the "cat house" it's an insulated and solar-heated structure (a large plexi-glass window facing south) where the outdoor cats could stay warm in the winter before we had a barn. They still love it.
Here are the horses and ponies cooling off in the barn. The barn entries face north and south so we keep both large doors open all summer. It provides a wonderful cooling draft for the horses. It's the same concept that was used for corn-cribs in the old days.
Here we are heading back to the house from the tack room in the barn. The old chicken coop is on the right, the pony barn (loafing shed) DH built is in the middle. The back of the house is supposed to have an upper deck built off the dining area, but we haven't gotten'er done yet.
Here is the lone chicken that survived free-ranging this summer. There were nine one morning, and just one there in the evening. They apparently "free-ranged" too close to the fox trail. We found a few feathers, that's all. Before, the fox always picked them off one-by-one, so we had time to cage them if we wanted. Not this time. They were my Dad's chickens, so we felt pretty bad about it. I think this chicken that remains is actually happier, since she was picked on by the others. She lays an egg almost every day. (Note that she's behind the chicken wire.)
And here's where I'll be watching for your arrival. On the front porch, (mosquitoes willing).