Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Farm Yard Connection

One of the really cool things we get to do when we visit Emily's parents is go out to their farm in Deary, Idaho, where Emily spent her first several years.

Art and Toni grew up and met in Utah, and Art went to law school in Washington DC. He was working for the Department of Justice in the early '70s, before accepting a professorship at the University of Idaho law school. They bought this farm when they moved, and over the years they've bought surrounding properties when they had the chance. It's a pretty huge place, and really beautiful.

There's a big view down the valley to Potato Hill.

The house is a very modest, typical early 20th-century farmhouse. For a long time Art and Toni have thought about moving it back toward the forest, and now that they are both retired, they're doing it. These dudes jacked the house up on supports, moved it back, dug and poured a basement, and lowered the house onto it. It's cool because now it's nearer to the forest.

Across the road from the farmhouse, Art and Toni have this little cabin. It used to be a pig barn and then some smelly hippies made it into a house in the early '70s.

It was sort of falling into the woods but along with the house-moving project, they're also propping the cabin up. It's really fun to stay there, I'm glad they're fixing it.

There are two ponds, and they each have their own little eco-system.

There are frogs all over the place.

Art found a praying mantis in the grass.

This gigantic ladybug landed on me.

We found these jawbones from a deer. There was a moose in the area recently and there are skunks and the occasional bear in the orchard.

I spotted this underground yellow jacket nest.

These dragonflies were doing it. Emily says they do it all the time.

It's sort of hard to see from the photo, but an old tree fell down, and coyotes have dragged a bunch of stuff up next to it and made a big den here in the forest. There's a big pile of pinecones they've brought over for reserves, to eat the pine nuts once they're ready. The top of the log is super smooth from where the coyotes have lied down over and over and smoothed it out.

I like going out to the farm and seeing where Emily is from. (Here she is with her dad, who as far as I can tell knows just about everything you'd ever need to know about the woods or the land or surviving out there on your own.) Emily and I are both kind of half-city, half-country people, and I like having that balance. (Well, maybe it's more like 3/4 city.)

We stayed out at the farm until the full moon came up. And it was good.

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