"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

October 18, 2011

Harvest Home

"She recalled the free, pleasant life of her home, 
where she was allowed to do everything, 
and where nothing ever happened to her."

~ E.M. Forster, A Room With a View

I have been on an E.M. Forster kick lately, with a reread of A Room With A View––and next up will be Howard's End, a favorite novel I have not read since my friend Edie gave me a copy when we first became friends. [Oh how I value dear friends and treasured books!] While reading on our trip, I wrote down the above quote from a description of Lucy Honeychurch who, on holiday in Florence, has received a packet of letters from her family at their country home in England. Naturally, she is reflective as she pauses to read the news.

I enjoy travelling without a Baedecker or guide and prefer to roam around with little or no information except the destination. But most of the time I prefer to be at home and sometimes it is hard to get me out of it. There is that acute feeling of home that arises when we travel or get away from it––and that pulls us back, too. Such a powerful, primal feeling that there really is no other like it. And yet we also have the capacity for want of flight.

Temple feeding our calves yesterday–we were all outside on a glorious Sunday.

The last three days have been about reconnecting again at our farm after our needed travel whirlwind of 8-days away. It has been good to have a bit of a pause before school resumes tomorrow, to do some fall cleanup, and to get ready for our daughter's visit in a few days!

The view from my east porch––and pantry window.

I've also been puttering: my favorite pastime. It's not always immediately productive but eventually a "little here and a little there" does make a big difference. Put it this way, I'm a nest featherer and only a janitor under great duress or deadline. But I can rearrange shelves or decor endlessly––and pantries, of course (more about those soon).

At Bear Wallow, where we literally were in and out of the gift shop in ten minutes,
I was delighted to run into my friend Teresa whom I hadn't seen in a while.
On the way to Bear Wallow Farm to get a few more  pumpkins––
they're just over on the next ridge.

Our resident mockingbird in the rhododendron.
I will also say, in an odd juxtaposition to the spring when our daughter last visited, that one of our crabapples is blooming again and our mockingbird, who made himself quite at home in April and May (singing all night at the cottage for our daughter!), has also returned. I've often compared the "loss" of my daughter to that of Persephone [and another blog reference to autumn and fall cleaning/puttering here]. As always, I find symbolism and meaning in most everything.

The boys helped me move pumpkins and stuff to decorate.
Henry bushhogged the knob pasture while Eli and I did some outdoor decorating.
Some recent antique linen finds from our trip: line-drying in the autumn sun.

And speaking of feathering, I almost forgot that my twenty-five Speckled Sussex chicks are due to arrive early this morning. [My remaining mixed bunch of 11 hens is molting again and now 2 and a half.] Shelley will be calling, bright and early, from the Nancy post office. Time to get out the heat lamp for them, too, as autumn weather is most certainly here and frost is not far behind. And we'll have lots of eggs in the spring.

Just imagine: crabapple blossoms in October! Does this mean I'll get crabapples in February?

The last of the coleus, cut before inevitable frost.
I also potted up various summer plants for indoors,
such as a giant bush basil. We'll see how they fare.

You come back when you're ready! 



  1. I LOVED your comment: " I'm a nest featherer and only a janitor under great duress or deadline." I feel the same way!

    Great post.

  2. Joberta, the only thing I like to clean are dishes (not pots and pans), old linens, silver, and laundry. Ok, and closet shelves. I would have made an excellent scullery maid, I suppose!

    Otherwise, I HATE HOUSEWORK!

    We are definitely birds of a feather, you and I.

  3. Your farm is beautiful! I love your fall decorations...pumpkins, gourds, indian corn are so cozy feeling to me. My favorite season.

    Hope your chicks are doing well!


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