Posts Tagged ‘wildflowers’

Iris cristata

We got back from the Farm late last Saturday night, escaping the onslaught of rain heading up from the South that turned Derby Day into a mudfest.   Of the eight days there, four were entirely rain-free, which is as good as it gets, though we made good use of our time, rain or shine.

My primary project this trip was restoring (sanding, grinding rust, and painting) the 19 corral panels I’d hauled down from the pastures in February and stacked in the shop.   They’d been out in the weather for years, and were rusting in many spots and badly in need of a good coat of Rustoleum paint.  I regret not taking before and after pictures, as the transformation was amazing, and made me feel good about spending the time and effort to do the job right.

I didn’t get them all done, just 7 of the 19, but I’m all set up now with my grinder and sawhorses and techniques, so everytime we visit I’ll try and knock a couple out, so that when I’m finally ready to set up the round pen/handling pen, they’ll be ready too.  What a lot of work it was!  I started by washing them down with a sandpaper sponge to get as much dirt, rust and oxidized paint off as possible, then took the grinder to every last little rust spot, then applied a coat of primer to the bare metal exposed by the grinding, then a lovely green coat of Rustoleum.  Laid horizontal on sawhorses at waist level, the panels were easy to work on, but the enamel paint had to dry overnight or all day in between coats, which was the bottleneck of the whole process.

So I was grateful to get done what I did, and most of it was inside shop work while the rain came down, a very good use of time.

We had a couple of sunny days following the rain, which allowed me to finish pulling fence posts up on the pastures, removing the last of the ill-placed and unused lanes and gates that surrounded the Big Pond.  We never could figure out why the old man had set everything up so close to the pond, the ground was mucky in spots and not even close to level.  I’ll find a better place for a handling pen and loading chute as the design of things unfolds, and yes, it’ll be a lot of work to set it all back up again, but I’d rather do that than keep using a setup that makes no sense and doesn’t work well.

I spent a day fixing and cleaning house and shop gutters, right before the big deluge came, before we left.  Good work to get done before loads of rain arrived.  And we found someone to mow the grass, which is a blog post all in itself, about meeting neighbors and being embraced by the local community.

A good visit, all in all.  My camera came out only once, I regret, to take pictures of wildflowers in late-April bloom.  I think I got lazy about photojournalizing my work projects, which I’m kicking myself for, but the work got done, whether you have pictures of it or not. 

The wildflowers were astonishingly beautiful.  More photos to follow.


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Spring Green

Oh what a difference a month makes.  The trees are finally wearing their fresh new leaf outfits, unblemished yet by insects or dust, and the view heading up the hill past the garden/barn spot is now an emerald rhapsody of dappled greens kept sparkling like jewels by the steady spring rains.  I am curious to know what wildflowers have bloomed and gone by the time we get there in late May. 

There’ll be time enough in the near future, I know, to explore for myself the myriad inhabitants of Kentucky forest, creek and meadow as each season takes center stage; for now I must content myself with doing homework, learning what I can from books and the internet to identify grasses, trees, weeds and flowers I am as yet unfamiliar with. 

My native landscaping knowledge was of High Country western flora – Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona.  As a twenty-something citizen naturalist I knew every shrub, tree and flower around the northern Rocky Mountain region by their proper latin names and common tags as well; now I am an illiterate pre-schooler as I walk through my fields and forest, yet to learn the alphabet, much less read the book of diversity that surrounds me.  It will come, though, in time, that familiarity.

Two weeks from now I’ll be in this picture, clad in muddy work boots and  jeans, doing farm work in the warm May sun.  Two years from now will be the last Spring on the farm I’ll have to miss in its entirety, the last time I’ll ever have to wonder what mystery wildflowers spring to life on the forest floor in the month of May in south-central Kentucky.  Time enough, ’till then, to read and learn.  The flowers and the jeweled leaves will wait for me.

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