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Friday, April 23, 2010

Heart of Dixie to the North Country

    Well I have taken quite a break from this blog and thought it was about time to catch it up.  One reason is that where we have been WiFi has not always been available and after trying several McDonald's with no luck I just decided not to fight it. Another reason is a thought I had after reading our friend, Low Impacts blog. He does not update often because he wants to put some quality in his writing instead of just the everyday mundane things that we all seem to report on while updating our blogs. I think I agree  with him. Sometimes I was just throwing up pictures and a few quick words to show where in the world Chaco and Toesox were at the time, not stopping to think that someone may have to actually read this stuff. I know it has not been too interesting. The thing is that we have been moving so fast and so far that I could not even begin  to put down some of  fantastic places and things we have seen. Heck I could fill pages just on what we saw in California and Colorado! So where do I begin? Right now we are at the Obrien Farm in Michigan's U. P. (upper peninsular) The farm is the home of Sheila's sister Ulonda and her husband Harvey. It is located near the town of Kinross and only about a 30 minute drive from the Canadian border. It is a beautiful place and I think Harvey and Ulonda owns about 140 acres of woodlands, pasture and tilled fields. They also have a section of woods tapped for making their own maple syrup with plastic lines running from tree to tree and back to the sugarshack automatically collecting the sap for the process of making maple syrup. I would guess that they have over 100 trees tapped and a complex system of boilers and filters and other stainless steel equipment for making the syrup that they sell to people from all over the country. Tonight Sheila and I took a walk though their woods and pastures and took some pictures of the farm. While we walked through one field we saw wild turkeys picking their way through the emerging new grass looking for something to eat. As the sun was setting they spotted us and quickly sprinted over the next field of bare new plowed earth kicking up clouds of dust behind them. What a great end to a day, to see that! As we walked the sandy road that led back to the house we saw it was covered in fresh deer and turkey tracks. Harvey and Ulonda are very lucky to live in a place like this. This year they are adding their own bee hives to their farm in hopes of helping with the pollenation of crops and to make their own honey products. Here are some pictures of the farm I took as we follow Toesox on her daily chores, after all this is strictly a "work for stay" farm!

OK Harvey, which one of these implements do I get to pull behind the tractor today?

I really am an excellent driver, what time does Jepardy come on in the U.P.??

Harvey, what do you mean, "something that fits my skill  level first"?

Londa...I chopped all that wood for Harvey, now you want me to water the greenhouse and pull pigweed before dinner!??

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