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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Quoth the magpie, “Nevermore…”

photo by Deb Johnson, at the Ladder Ranch

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Nature and Wildlife

 

Fall: Come and gone

Fall:  Come and gone

This has been a weird weather year..  We had a hard cold winter, followed by a cold wet killer spring.  The summer was brief and rainy.  We started haying three weeks late, but then had an Indian Summer which allowed us to finish the haying–three weeks later than usual.  In the midst of all this, we have been moving.

When my Dad died last Christmas, we decided to do a few minor upgrades to his house.  That house is the home that my grandparents built in 1916 or so.  The “Big House” and the horse barn were built by a couple of Swedish brothers. who built several of the beautiful old ranch homes in our valley.  We also decided to shore up the crumbling foundation of the historic horse barn, and of the even older cow barn, which was on the headquarters when my grandfather, George Salisbury and his bride Emma, bought it from Oscar Beeler in the early 1900’s.

Our plan was for us to finish the remodeling and move into the big house in early summer, and for our daughter Meghan, her husband Brian, and their four kids to move into our house, across the driveway, affording them more room.  We are not done yet.  Our minor remodel has turned into gutting most of the interior walls and replacing the heating, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as the insulation.  We installed drains so the basement wouldn’t flood annually, or when we left the lawn sprinklers too close to the house.  In the meantime, the nicely finished downstairs at our old house flooded up to the flooring.  We could not figure out why since it hadn’t happened in previous wet springs.  In early October, it was still flooding, so we bit the bullet, dug out the foundation and replaced the French drains.  After much backhoeing, we discovered that a NEW spring had sprung just uphill from the house.  I pointed out that the homesteaders often built their homes atop springs so they would have inside water.  Now we have diverted the spring water, gutted the downstairs, and replaced the drainage system.

Oh, and we had to replace the septic tank at the cookhouse after it collapsed from the weight of saturated soil.  I relate all this as my excuse as to why I haven’t posted much lately.  And of course, all the usual ranch work has gone on.  Now I seem to notice that the trees, which were nicely green six weeks ago, and lovely shades of yellow and orange just three weeks ago, are bare.  Summer, we hardly knew ye!

Dunkin with lamb buddies, Home Ranch

Sheep crossing the Battle Creek bridge, Home Ranch

Maeve, Suzie and puppies

Willow with wasp nest

Squaw Mountain with branches

The new spring above the foundation

Gutting the basement

Replacement heifers, Sheep Mountain pasture

Maeve, Seamus & Siobhan with Aveena, Beeler Draw

Tiarnan & McCoy: plotting the future

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Musings

 

Squaw Mountain from below

October 1, 2011

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Nature and Wildlife