Monday, January 18, 2010

Fog on the Mountain; Snow Finally Melts

We spent the long King-Day weekend enjoying slightly warmer temperatures, even with the two days of rain (but I am NOT complaining as it helped get the snow to melt faster and clear the drive up to the house enough to safely navigate up and down). We listened to music on, watched deer and a strange animal that resembled a cat that we only got a glimpse of in the distance... We took a hike during one of the breaks in the rain and found the creek brimming over with water thanks to the snow melt/rain combo...

Zoe found a pile of snow that had not melted down yet and dove right in. She seems to not tire of having it around, but I find snow, like fish and house-guests, stink after about three days.

We hiked down Claytor and found it to be a muddy mess, and both dogs loved every inch of it. I think I actually got a better workout due to the fact that there was at least a pound of the stuff stuck to my hiking shoes. Regardless of the mud, I still love all the wet, as it is raising the water table, clearing out the streams and preparing what looks to be a fantastic spring!

The old Claytor School House (from what I understand, one of the only schools for Black Children in Floyd built well before desegregation) is continuing its sad, slow demise. The weather here takes its toll quickly, and I wonder when it will finally collapse and be taken over by the forest. It will be sad to see it go, as I imagine it was very cute when it was healthy. It brings to mind the quote I heard from a farmer when asked what was the easiest was to bring down a building: "Cut a hole in the roof and just wait a bit".

Having the snow almost cleared and the weeds and brush trampled down from around the black-smith shop in the bottom fields made me daydream of what we could make of the old thing. It needs a LOT of work, but it is still solid and has a new roof, so I think maybe it can be saved and turned into something wonderful... but what, I do not know yet.

The deer (I think at least seven came by yesterday) come right up to the house, probably because they love to munch on the few landscape plantings we have. I go between thinking of them as lovely additions to the pastoral scene that is Floyd, to hating them as long-legged county-rats. I am trying to decide what to put in the garden this summer, while Oscar is deciding how to fence it in to keep the deer out. I think we will have to create a "Stalag-13" style enclosure to be sure that we reap what we sow...

Zoe enjoyed watching the critters outside with me... from a safe distance, of course!

Floyd is known for its thick fog, and I love how it makes everything look soft and mysterious. Not the best driving conditions, but if you have nowhere to go, it is nice to sit back with a cup of coffee and watch it roll over the mountain.

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