It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Back Forty

My world, the Vick family's world, is God's and to Him we give thanks for the privilege of living in such an amazing place. But my family's world is also Dale's world, the one he put together on a hundred acre farm nestled at the base of Mount Rainier's foothills, once a homestead with a rich and lively history.
I would love for you to come along with us and see Dale's favorite spot on his farm, the back forty. (Dale is our landlord who died last October while hunting in Montana, we miss him greatly as he was not only our landlord but a great friend and an elder in our lives, complete with constant entertainment!)
The tour started a couple of weeks back and you can catch up at The Farm Tour Begins and South Pastures, Indian Plum and Sheep, I'll start putting a link to them on my side board so that you can go catch up any ol' time. So we off then? Grab your boots and your umbrella this time because:
It's Sunday, a beautiful rainy Easter Sunday, very typical of our Pacific Northwest.

Dale's family is holding a lovely tribute to Dale to put his ashes to rest in his favorite place on the farm, at the foot of a cross he built for his church, a reminder of the cross Dale loved, clung to and encouraged others to see too.

The family kindly invited us to come and share this moment with them, and we are happy to join them.

Turning around and looking off to the right hand side is the far southwest corner of the farm, these are more ponds in the series that make up the head waters of Horn Creek. Pretty much from the pond on the right it begins to flow steadily growing until it flows into the Nisqually River. Dale improved and sculpted these ponds for the benefit of the land and to train his field trial dogs.

This is the view of the southeast corner and takes in more of the ponds in the distance. The white just inside the tree line is our nearest neighbor to the back side of our place. The road that goes off center-left is just above the hill that we sled down in the winter when we are lucky enough to have some snow fall. If it was another type of day in the PNW you would be able to see our mountain to the left of center.

The back forty piece and the ponds were improved after we had been renting here for several years, the amount of wild life back here has greatly increased in this area since then. Dale was a great appreciator and steward of God's provision, he took care of what he did and also one of his good friends is a wetlands biologist who helped him with this project.
Now it is a hay field that feeds our sheep and horses during the winter, and feeds and houses wildlife all year 'round.
Mister Redwinged Blackbird is busy courting his Missus, if it wasn't raining so hard we could spend more time getting a good shot of him flashing his epaulets at her. But I'm getting soaked and so is my camera. How about you, are you wet enough yet?

A favorite area of my world, this rock, is a good resting spot and a great place to be still and listen to God's voice.
It landmarks a place where God had me come once a long while back in the middle of an ordinary afternoon so he could really get my ear, my head and my heart, that I might be prepared for what I would have to endure the next day and weeks and months to come. Now it will always be a special spot for me.
A close look to the left and just below the rock at the ponds and I see mind's eye pictures of hot sunny days and my girls coming out here for a swim.
The ponds by the house have too much silt and muck in the bottom, you have to be really hot and really desperate to go in them, or in need of a quick tan, but these stay fairly clear, clear enough for hard working farm girls.
I love these old cottonwood, cedar and Doug firs, they perfume the hot summer air and house more entertaining wildlife than I could have imagined. We used to hold capture the flag nights out here with some young folk and when you are out here late at night the air is full of screech owls and the chatter from nocturnal animals.
And bats, bats by the hundreds out here .
The multitudes of wildlife finds refuge and nesting places in the trees and shrubs along the margins and in the riparian, so they can take full advantage of the open meadow and ponds that teem with supplies.
Soaked aren't you? We'll head back to the house and pass by the woods and the pond that I'll take you to next week.
This is part of the largest upper pond just before the beaver dams.
Right through those trees right there is the a beautiful little wooded area that sticks out into the big pond. Just on the other side of that are the beaver dams.

A little farther to the left (north) and we can see one of the channels that the beavers pull limbs and small trees through to their dam and dens on the other side. I hope we have a drier day when I take you over there.
There is so much to see and it is hard when the rain is soaking the camera and us!

There is a big wide world out there. And my trusty tour assistant, third daughter Elisabet, and I would love to have you go and see some more of it at That's_My_World!
But come back and see us during the week for some adventures, blooms, cake, and more at Vicktory Farm and Gardens that sits in the middle of this beautiful hundred acre farm of Dale's or next Monday afternoon come back for more tour of the farm where my daughters have all had the immense privilege of growing up.
But for now it is Monday and I have to don my rain gear, rubber pants, and get some work done and stop messing with gaps in this post. Dear Reader, have a productive day, one in which you sing praises to our Creator and our Saviour all day long just for who He is and that He alone is worthy of all our praise. I know I will be trying to do the same. 'Til next time, may God bless and keep you that you may do His work.


Photo Cache said...

Looks like a beautiful quiet place; Sorry to hear about your landlord's death.

Hoped you had a wonderful Easter.

Photo Cache said...

oops my entry is here:

Susie said...

I loved this post Lanny! I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to be raised in an area like this.

I have had a productive day. Since I had to work Sat. I was off today. I finally got some veggies planted. And yes I was singing hymns to God. It was one of those perfect mornings where all was quite except for the little birds singing and the wind blowing a bit. No other noise at all. I truly enjoyed myself even if my back is aching a little right now. It was worth it.

Me and my puppies said...

Your rock does look like a good resting place, with a beautiful view.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy your tours Lanny. I first "got to know of" Dale thru Kathy's blog. I know you all lost a dear friend. From this Ga girls' eyes, I love the trees on your property. They seem so majestic. I also love the rock. We all need a safe place like that to really "hear" sometimes. Hope you and yours have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...

the land is beautiful and it's good that it is being kept in its natural state as much as possible. thank you for the tour of your world...enjoyed it very much.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Can I move there? Got room for one more!? [lol] That was so beautiful. I would even be willing to put up with the constant rain to live on 100 acres. [sigh] Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Sorry to hear about your landlord passing. I can see why he loved that place, it is just gorgeous! That rock looks like such a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the nature all around. I am a bit jealous of those clear ponds, our farm ponds are muddy and full of algae, nothing anybody would want to swim in...except the dogs, they never minded.

KathyB. said...

Beautiful, just beautiful! We live in Paradise on earth, you have a bit more of it at your place!

We miss Dale too....

aurinkoinen blogi =) said...

is wet! beautiful photos! nice week!

Arija said...

A very beautiful farm Small, but with so many lovely spots in it. A very nice place to rest in.

Tarolino said...

This is kind a tribute to a dear friend. Very nice that you should commemorate him this way.
It's always nice to hear about people appreciating nature and doing things as not to spoil it but preserve it for future generations. It's so important to take care of the wildlife left in this world.
You have such wonderful space around you to enjoy.

fishing guy said...

Lanny: A beautiful trip through the back forty, that is beautiful country. I'm sure Dale is in a better place.

Anonymous said...

How nice to be able to live in such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing and that is a great tribute to Dale.

Anonymous said...

So peaceful, tranquil. You have captured those amazing surroundings beautifully - thank you for taking the time to upload the photos to share with us.

CJ xx

Tipper said...

Lanny-you live in such a beautiful place-every photo is like a postcard. Dale sounds like he was true treasure.

Daisy said...

Lanny, once again, I really enjoyed the tour. My favorite was the big rock. That looks like just the kind of place I would like to sit and think and pray and contemplate too. Hope you have a nice weekend.

A. Joy said...

Loved the tour, loved the ceremony for Dale - so fitting for him - loved the photo of lovely Bet and I think of all of the rainy days she liked to head out to perform a funeral for an animal that had just passed away because a funeral should always be had when it's raining.