21 January 2009

the lay of the land

Nancy Bond asked whether the current image in the header is our house. It certainly is, taken from between the house and barn, with the garage and chicken coop in the center there, the little prayer shack in the distance, and the long and steep slope between the garage and the prayer shack. Beyond the prayer shack is an old apple orchard. Our birdfeeder is under the crabapple tree on the far left. I like to watch the birds at it from the kitchen, where our computer is set up.

I went onto Live Search Maps and did a search for our address and then chose “Bird’s eye” as my view, and this is what I got:

The green rectangle is the approximate boundary of our property. We have stone walls on the south and west, and an American wire fence on the north, beyond the barn. I’ve marked the house, garage, and barn, so that you can see how they relate to each other.

This aerial view requires a little explanation. Directly to the west of the house is a steep, woody slope that extends pretty much to our property line. And to the north of the barn is a thicket of old growth that we will someday clear out. So what we’re actually working with is the area directly around the house and to the south of the barn (where B’s vegetable garden is; you can see the square-foot boxes faintly below the white metal roof).

More than half of our 6.5 acres is woods.

I think it all looks very tidy, but I know it’s not! We have lots to do!

Directly across the road to the east is the meandering Black Creek. We don’t have any water on our property, but in the summer if we listen hard we can hear the creek burbling along. We don’t bother keeping a birdbath, because all of our birds have the real thing across the road. In the spring and fall the Black Creek sometimes floods the field across from our driveway.

This aerial view is deceptive, because it looks as if the property is broad and flat, when in fact the driveway is all downhill to the road and the hill to the west of the house is steep. The only truly flat expanse is between the house and barn.

The view to the east across the road is gentle; fields of corn with the Hebron hills beyond. Very cozy. Not at all grand. In fact, the whole place is pretty sweet and easy, except in the winter, when we have to take a running start to more or less slingshot the car to the top of the driveway. But we’ve gotten very old hat about that.

So that’s Pleasant Hill, so named one summer weekend when B and I were headed up the driveway:

J: So pretty, so gentle, so nice.
B: This is a pleasant little hill, isn’t it?
J: Eureka!


  1. Looks like you have a lot of land to work with...it's wonderful, to me, at least:) I gather you like it too...but feel you have a bit of gardening work ahead of you. It sounds like it will require some hard work--but that's the fun of it all, right? I love the country feel that your photo brings me. Having the red barn really adds to the ambiance! Take care;)

  2. Thank you for visiting me over at Green Desert and my, what a beautiful place you live at. I will certainly be back to visit you again. :)


  3. I love it! The name of your gardens/estate whatever you want to call it. I am thinking it is a play because I gather you have a steeeep hill. Good exercise but maybe the mountain sheep find it more pleasant?:) I think it lovely. We travel thru the finger lakes region of NY and I can honestly say my husband and I fell in love with the area. Lots of hills there. You did an excellent job outlining your property too. I like that Google map thing. I also found a local resource which has property line boundaries already input. It is thru the local college but I think most towns have it thru their assessment website or county website? Not sure for NY if you ever wanted to check it out. Geez, I am a bit of a talker. I actually got you confused with another J on my blog-so glad you have an avatar. Have the greatest day-looks to be warm. I will be interested to follow you a long on your trip.

  4. I would love a wonderful farm like that! We aren't allowed to have animals here unless it's a cat or dog, but I'd love to have chickens and some cattle especially. The woods we live in are nice, but I sure wish it wasn't so shady here.

    Thanks for your visit to my blog earlier, it was very nice to meet you.

  5. What a beautiful spot you have. It is such a lovely setting, with the woods and the meandering creek. It was fun to see the arial view.

  6. Hi, Jan! Thanks for stopping by. Occasionally I think we have more than we can handle, but 99% of the time I love it all. We love our red barn; it's quite a landmark for us.

    Mo, thanks for the visit. I haven't been posting too much about, er, gardens lately, but I'll be getting back to that as I start planning this year's work! I love your blog! I'll be back to visit again as well!

    Hi, Tina! Thanks for your comment! I need to look into the property line resource you're talking about. Ours is pretty easy to figure out, because of the fences and walls. Plus, our property ends where the meadows of the next person begin. We're VERY woody. Hope to see you around again. I love your golden!

    Cinj, we know someone who just got rid of his cows because they were just too much work. At some point we would love to have some chickens. We have a lot of sun; sometimes I think I'd like more shade! Which just goes to show that the grass is always greener (or shadier) . . .

    Hello, Philip! Thanks for the visit. It's amazing what you can see with the live map search. I've also used Google maps (http://www.google.com/maps) and looked at places using "Street view," which is kind of freaky. The street-level view of my parents' house, for example, shows my dad outside trimming the bushes. Very odd.