Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As I Walked Out

'As I walked Out One Evening' is the title and the first line of a W.H. Auden poem, and 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' is the title of Laurie Lee's second autobiographical work. I love the idea of 'walking out,' and I did so myself this morning. It wasn't evening, and it certainly wasn't midsummer, but a mid-morning in March in northern New England has its own special appeal for those of us who love it here.

My choice of footwear today determined that my walking would be on our road and the main road.

Another day I'll trek up the hill but it is still too wet and muddy for regular shoes yet.

This little William Baffin rose will be gorgeous before you know it just like the big one by the gate.

The process of heating with wood is ongoing, always a provider of physical fitness as well as cozy warmth.

These are definitely not flowers, but they are popping up out of the lawn. They are molehills.

I'm kind of fond of the chickadee in flight - probably as close as I'll get to an 'artsy' photo.

I walked a couple miles thinking it was time I posted about the neighborhood. It began with a few farms, and amazingly there is still a lot of open land. The people who bought the divided farms have a fair bit of land so there aren't a lot of houses. There's a long tradition of children building on the family land when they grow up. The woman from whom we bought our house had grown up here. Her adult house was just down the road from her family farm. The son in the family across the road has recently built on his family land. And the latest addition to this tradition is (drum roll please) our daughter! She and her boyfriend want to build on this land in the lower south pasture. The animals haven't grazed down there for a few years, and most recently it has been used as a logging yard. The wood you see was cut during last year's logging operation, which Tom fully intends to write about in his farm and weather journal.

Now I'm down on the main road. Our neighbors celebrate the seasons in a lovely, whimsical way. The Christmas display is magical, and the Hallowe'en and Easter ones are just plain fun.

This is what the weather and the traffic do to the road.

The logging yard on another neighbor's property. Yes, we are officially in mud season now.

The new home of our neighbor's son and his family. He has a child who is the same age he was when we first moved here. Ah, time.

The former home of the late woman who sold us our house.

The oldest house and original farm on the road, along with ours which is off the main road. There was a young man on a ladder scraping paint, and I'm wondering what the new color will be.

Crow in flight, one of the signs of spring around here.

About half a mile from our house is the home of our 'blueberry man'! An older lady, and Tom and I buy so many blueberries from him that he took down his 'blueberries for sale' sign, and he just calls us when he has a crop to sell. We have enough for blueberries on yogurt every single morning, with some left over for desserts. Heaven.

Tumbledown stone walls are everywhere. They were all cleared from the area fields. Someday I'll show you our cellar foundation stones.

Always one of my favorite views. It reminds me of an English lane.

Patching some of the winter road damage.

On my way back home again.

The spring and summer arrangements of porch, terrace, and patio. Let the warm weather begin!


  1. Thank you for the guided tour around your home. It must be wonderful to have so much open space. Our English lanes may look pretty but they are not very convenient when you are in a hurry and the milk tankers and tractors are about!

  2. We are turning into the most magical colors of that Spring Green and white and pale pink blossoms on the trees!
    The red buds are glorious in their deeper reddish purple. Spring will come to the north. Wendell Berry in Hannah Coulter wrote:

    "You think winter will never end, and
    then , when you don't expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light. Uner the bare trees the wildflowers bloom so thick you can't walk without stepping on them. The pastures turn green and the leaves come."


  3. What a nice tour and no need to keep hands and feet inside the bus! _Love_ that sheep - sort of a bloggish version of a Wal-Mart greeter.

  4. A lovely afternoon walk....
    Thank you I feel invigorated :)
    You really are out in the country !
    Love the photos.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed my walk with you Nan. What joy you must feel that your daughter and SIL might build near you. I can see the grands scampering across the field to see Grandma now.

  6. What a lovely 'flavour' of your area, Nan. The 'frost heave' reminds me very strongly of our visit to your region in 1996. We'd never seen that much damage caused by winter weather.

  7. Thank you for letting me come along on your walk. It made me homesick a bit for New Hampshire, especially the stones from the wall. I love those stone walls...

  8. Hi Nan -- I grew up in upstate NY, just south of the Canadian border in Franklin County, and your photos remind me so much of home. You should do another series of photos once spring has really sprung!

  9. This is a wonderful Blog. Thank you for sharing a piece of your world with me. I like the photos of ' these are defiantly not flowers!" VERY FUNNY... we have horse close by the garden so I know what you are talking about. I am in the U.S.A. - Stop by my garden sometime if you have the time.

  10. Maureen, there is a lot of space, and I love it.

    Bonnie, it must be just lovely. That is the best WB passage. He is so good.

    KSV, I'm laughing as I write. Thanks.

    Thank you Jo. I think of Tenn. as pretty rural but then again there is Memphis and Nashville. :<)

    Lisa, that is a wonderful image that comes to my mind sometimes, too. fingers crossed.

    Cath, it isn't as bad here as in cities which have lots of potholes. It's funny to be driving behind someone and see them move over to one side, and of course I do too to avoid the frost heave.

    Clair, I love stone walls, too. It is one of the things that made me love this place when we first saw it.

    Hip Chick, thank you.

    Karen, good idea!

    Bren, after reading your comment, I went right back to the entry and noted that they were molehills!! Sorry for the confusion. :<)

  11. Someone once commented how much they enjoyed one of my local walk picture stories. I now understand why. It was great walking along with you and experiencing your environment. There is something about tumbled down walls that is really special, isn't there.

  12. Thanks so much for taking us around and just enjoying your surroundings. This was so much fun. You're so lucky you live in the country.

  13. Scriptor S. and Kay, thank you both for walking along with me! I've done lots of strolls around my own land, and I thought it might be fun to go a bit further afield into the neighborhood.

  14. That was such a good walk, Nan, thank you. It's so exciting to be in New Hampshire at the flick of a switch, or the pressing of a key.
    How lovely that your daughter wants to build on the land. You must be thrilled about that.


  15. Carole, it was nice having you along. :<) And yes, we are thrilled beyond words about the building plans.

  16. For a person stuck in the house[not walking yet because of a broken leg], this virtual walking tour was very interesting and fun!
    Thanks for sharing it.

  17. I would SO love to walk with you; this is a great look at the " 'hood" though, thank you for sharing. I hope you'll go back when it's green and take the same pictures! And like Claire, I love those stone walls.

    We're beginning to get green here in Virginia. 'Early Chartreuse'. Bradford pears have shed blossoms, leaves are appearing. The dogwood and redbud begging for just a couple of warm days so they can strut their stuff.

    It's wonderful that your daughter and future son-in-law will be nearby! You know, you're going to have to keep blogging and blogging and blogging...we'll want to follow all the adventures of Hill Farm for-eveah!

  18. Mindy, what a nice, nice comment. If you ever want to email, my address is in my profile info. i'd love to hear from you.

  19. Nan, this was the loveliest post! It was such a pleasure to walk along with you and see what you see every day.

  20. What a lovely post, Nan! I love being able to picture your property and neighborhood.

    That's wonderful news about your daughter and boyfriend building nearby! It will be so fun to follow the planning on your blog!

  21. Thank you, Heather and Alison for your nice notes. It was a fun walk to take.

  22. This is such a wonderful post. It is lovely to see your neighborhood through your eyes.

  23. Tara, what a very nice thing to say. Thank you.


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