Saturday, January 21, 2006
I talk about my place a lot, "here's a dead tree, here's my pond, here's a tree with under..." . You get the picture.
Or do you?
I was sitting here feeling useless, because yesterday's surgery on my right shoulder came with instructions not to lift anything.
EVERYTHING I do around here involves lifting...feed bags, remodeling, planting, taking out the trash, chainsawing, machete swinging, moving the chicken tractor, ...not to mention lifting weights which I actually enjoy. Arghhhh!
So, I was sitting here grumbling to myself when it occured to me that a map of this place might be a helpful post.
On the map above, all of the neighboring land is composed of large tracts of similar oak forest with a little pasture thrown in behind us. The effect is that we live in a much larger forest than we own. Nice.
The map is not to scale ( the barn is only 12 x 16...not bigger than our house) and as soon as I scanned it I realized I had left off a few things.
Here's some info about what you see on the map:
Fish Pond: Long and skinny and at the front of the property. Invisible from the road in the summer, slightly visible through winter's bare trees up front. The swamp at the south end is willow and cypress.
Frog Pond: My buddy Billy dug this for me. It's probably 10 feet in diameter and fishless on purpose...it's for the amphibians.
Driveway: Not labeled, but you knew. It is just a sand track, bumpy and ever changing.
House: Small by current standards, cozy by mine. It's got a porch that wraps around 1/2 of it and is sided with western red cedar...which needs restaining currently. It is invisible from the road and all adjoining property. Privacy. There's a molded concrete stone walkway leading out from the front door.
Well: 42 feet deep 4 inch well under a large pump house I built.
Garden/Pig/Chickens: This runs north-south with the FFA pigs living at the south end, then garden beds, blueberry patch, and stationary chickens. Other chickens live in the moveable chicken tractor.
Barn: We built this as soon as we got here. It was a plan from Popular Mechanics and is 12 x 16 feet on a concrete slab. It has a loft for storage above and is a crowded wood shop below. This is where I carve.
Fishing/Boat Gear Shed: This is a tall, skinny shed I built just for water gear...fishing, boating, surfboards, dive masks, life jackets.
Range: I called the sheriff, "Johnny, can I legally build a shooting range on my 10 acres?" The answer, yes. So I started digging. Visitors laughed and then asked incredulously, " You dug that by hand?" The range is excavated so the shooter is below grade and the excavated dirt is piled as a safe backstop. I shoot lead free ammo when possible and dig out the real lead after shooting traditional stuff. This is easier than it sounds because my bullets all go into a very small group.
Planted Pines: These were planted in the midst of Florida's worst drought in decades...remember the fires of '98? Those that survived that tough year are growing nicely now. Best dog Ranger is buried there.
Low Spot: This corner slopes and will hold water after tropical storms, etc. I want to get Billy and his backhoe in there to scrape out a little pond for the critters to use.
Palm/Oak Forest: There is an abundance of sabal palm here and the effect is very old Florida tropical. I love walking through there.
I am currently doing controlled grass burns in the area near the pigs where it says "OPEN". I have some photos of that for another post.
I left off my recirculating aquaculture tank which is a 750 gallon circular tank behind the fishing gear shed. It is currently inactive, but I hope to do some replumbing and start raising fish again. I raised Tilapia a few years ago.
There it is folks, FC's homestead.
Posted by R.Powers at 11:13 AM