Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Backyard Update

I stopped and talked to my neighbor yesterday and decided to ask him if he knew at all about the history of our woods. To my delight, he supplied me with a bit of the information I was looking for - it seems our backyard was formerly part of a very large apple orchard! The original farmhouse (which is at the northeast end of our dirt road) dates back to the mid to late 1800s and all of the property around us used to farmed by the family. In fact, our neighbor said that up until the last ten years or so, some of the old apple trees were still struggling to grow in the woods. I hiked through the woods with this new information and couldn't find any fruit trees at all, but that's not surprising since they would be over a hundred years old!

A bit of the puzzle is put into place!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Delightful discovery

Last spring as I was walking through the woods behind our house, I noticed some newly sprouted plants poking through the leaf liter that looked suspiciously like daylilies. Always a sucker for free flowers, I quickly got a spade and a bucket and set forth on digging them up and replanting them in various places around our yard. I didn't have any idea what kind of dayliliy that were or if they were even truly daylilies at all (since they never bloomed in the shade of the dense trees), but I figured I'd take the risk and put them in. Lo and behold, I have been rewarded with a delightful discovery! The flowers on the daylilies are the standard orange color, but it's petals are uniquely triple layered! The blooms are delicate and beautiful to look at!

My discovery really makes me wonder what sort of history these flowers have. I am fairly certain these are not native to the woods and were indeed planted by someone at sometime. If the gardener did not just simply discard them into the woods, was there a garden there at some point that has since become swallowed up by the trees? Whose were the hands that broke the soil and tucked the bulbs into their soil beds? Was it a young mother, a elderly grandmother, a hard-working farmer, an inquisitive child? What did our property look like at the time the flowers were planted (and how long ago was it)? Was there another house here at one time that has long since disappeared?

Ahhhh . . . how I would love to know the history hidden within our own backyard. It is so amazing to have a physical reminder of the fact that although time marches on, a bit of our legacy can be left behind even when we are unaware . . .

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why a blog?

Well, here I am with yet another form of electronic communication . . . why do I give myself another reason to be distracted from everything else that keeps me busy?!? Although I'm not really sure about that answer, I am really excited to have a blog. I got the idea to start one because my friend, Francis (, has one and I've found out how fun it is to check her blog every few days to catch up on the latest news. Also, I've heard that blogging is a great way to painlessly document the daily details of our family. Since I'm a family historian through and through, this idea appeals to me immensely.

I'm not sure how faithful I will be at maintaining my blog, but I'll try to at least update it once a week (maybe more?). I want to have the opportunity to share with friends and family through the blog, but I have committed that it will not be continued if it begins to distract from my family time, my business (, or my house-keeping. When I tell the boys, "just one more minute" or put editing pictures on the back-burner or lose a child within the piles of dirty laundry because I'm busy blogging, I know I will have to be more disiplined with my electronic commitments. But, until then, here goes nothing . . .