Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Farm

This past weekend my dad asked me to drive out to his farm in Wisconsin with him. He was meeting a guy that he hopes will clean up some wood on the property. Before my dad purchased the property (in the '60's?) there were at least 10,000 trees planted. Over time those trees need thinning out so new growth can come up. There has been a logger working off and on since last year to clear out some of that wood (the bigger stuff). The guy we met this past weekend was going to do a little extra cleanup with the trees the logger didn't take (don't worry, there are still thousands and thousands of trees there).

While there I, of course, had to take some pictures. I wanted to capture so many details. I feel very sentimental about the farm these days. Perhaps it's because my dad talks about possibly selling it... or perhaps it's because my dad is getting older... and I know it's certainly because the farm reminds me of my brother every time I am out there. So many reminders of him there.

Renter's dog 'Thor'. Such a sweet and gentle dog.

My dad and husband teased me that morning about how many layers I had on, but I was grateful because it was a chilly day. We started a fire in the barn, and then tried to move as much as possible to keep warm. I was waiting for the sun to really come out, but that didn't really happen until the afternoon.

We cleaned up the barn while waiting for the wood guy. He'll cut and sell the wood to others and my dad will take a small cut. It helps my dad in the end so he doesn't have so much downed trees in his woods.

I wander around a bit too and decide to take pictures. Above is the old fire pit. It was huge. No fire pit needs to be that large, but it did come in handy. Our current renter didn't do a good job of mowing around it so it made my dad nervous that he would have fires there. He imagined the fire moving to the overgrown grass and into his woods. So in the end the pit was filled in and now looks like this.

Side of an ice house - I just found it interesting

Roof of the ice house

The renter is a bit of an outdoorsman/hunter, He just got a 10 point buck with a bow and was out duck hunting when we first got there. He's got about 6 boats and they all having a different purpose (duck hunting, boundary waters, river boat, fishing boat...). I had no idea that you needed so many different boats. #citygirl

On the back 40

When the wood guy showed up we hopped into the old beat up Jeep and drove through the woods so he could see what we might have for him. Since the loggers have also been in the woods some of our trails were extra cleaned out, but some were still quite overgrown. The loggers were also working on the back 40 so they hadn't cleared trails off yet. We had to back up when our path was blocked with downed trees so I didn't get to see one of my favorite parts of the farm. The farm has 140 acres and about 5 miles worth of trails running through it's woods.

After the wood guy left I convinced my dad to check out the area where the loggers have piled all the wood they have right now. A truck was there picking up a load to haul off. This logging company has had a few issues while working including two pretty big injuries and a big steel machine catching on fire. At least one of the injured needed to be flown out from our property so it's been a little crazy. Just hoping they finish up the rest of their work without anymore issues.

A lot of the poplar trees had that little flower like design in them. Makes me wonder why that is.

I wandered off on my own for a bit taking pictures, but didn't want to go too far as I was sure my dad had some real work he wanted us to do today.

My dad also rents out some of the land to be farmed. The guy has yet to harvest which was fine by me so I could get these pictures.

When I got back to the yard I found my dad talking with the renter who had returned from duck hunting so I carried on with my picture taking.

We brought the weed whacker to clean up areas like this, but the darn thing wouldn't start. I think I should plan a weekend in the spring to have my siblings out for a 100% day. We used to have these at my dad's house once a year. We would all gather and take care of a number of projects that he needed help with including a deep clean of his house. It was a great way to help my dad, and to connect as a family. It seems the farm could use this greatly.

Renter's duck hunting paraphernalia

Still standing

Cockle burr invasion

One of our other tasks for the day was to get this re-bar (and some other metal items) out of the woods so my dad could take them to the scrap yard. These are more remnants of my brother - things he left out here with the intention of using one day. 

A tree grew through this one so he had to saw it for us to move the re-bar.

I love moss. I think it's pretty and magical and makes me
feel like I am living in an old English village.

It was an easy farm day. I spent most of my time taking pictures, but did do a little work. My dad mentioned to the wood guy that he's thought about selling it, but was quite attached to it, so it gives me hope that he won't sell it anytime soon. When I got home, Jesse surprised me stating that maybe one day we would build a house out there. Part of me would love to live out there and the other part worries that I would be bored out of my mind.

Plus, I find the city comforting. Years ago, I would stay at the farm by myself and get so freaked out because I thought if I was attacked no one would be able to hear my screams. I know it may sound irrational, but that's what I felt. Now, I sort of get excited by the thought of having some beautiful space to photograph without house wires and houses on top of each other and such. For now, I am happy in my slightly outside the city home knowing that I have this place as a get away if I need it.

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