Neglected Farm Topics

I realized today that I have been neglecting writing about a large portion of our farm on this blog.  And that is the plants and animals that have not been cultivated by us.  For those that have not visited us here, I attached the satellite photo above.  The clump of trees in the upper right corner are ours.  There is mostly alders, but there are maples, firs, cottonwood, cedar, hemlock, spruce, and willows.  We also have brush in there, mostly berries (black, salmon, thimble, elder, huckle).  There are also a couple of clearings with junco (we call swamp) grass and teasel.  This wooded area does not provide us with much income, but it does give us privacy and does support wildlife.  We also get our firewood from downed trees, which is what Tom was working on today.

There are also quite a few plants around our house that were planted by the previous owners.  The more interesting trees are the Norway Spruce, the Chain of Gold Trees, the Silver Leafed Maple, Pacific Yew and Bristle Coned Pines.  There are also planted Rhododendrons, Laurels,  and Lilac.  In the orchard they had planted fruit trees, mostly Asian Pears but also cherries, Golden Egg plum and assorted apple trees.  They also planted hazelnut trees and blueberries.  Someone had planted English Ivy and Morning Glory too.  Morning Glory is now the bane of my existence, and one of my big projects of the day was pulling the stuff off the bushes and trees of the front yard.  Here’s my pile.

And we have wildlife here too.  There have been coyotes, cougar, deer, raccoon, possum, and beaver.  They do not visit much any more thanks to our dogs.  We also have a variety of rodents.  There are many birds here including songbirds, robins, herons, waterfowl, raptors of all kinds, ravens, crows, starlings, and woodpeckers.  We have a lot of frogs in our ditches (which the herons like), and we occasionally see a toad.

So while I was cursing the morning glory today, I did take time to appreciate the variety of life we have living on our little farm.  I focus so much on the trees, berries, garden plants and domestic animals of the farm, I tend to overlook the others.

ADDENDUM:  As many people do, I overlooked some of the most important residents and visitors to our farm, the insects.  Without the pollinators, especially the bees, we would be nowhere.  And we have beautiful dragon flies, moths and butterflies here.  We have flies of all kinds (but no more biting flies since the cows went into the freezer) and beetles galore.  We have spiders of all shapes and sizes.  We do not have very many mosquitoes (in part thanks to the barn swallows that I also forgot to mention).  And, in the non-insect category, I forgot to mention our garter snakes that patrol the garden and eat the slugs (that I also failed to mention).  So here’s to the hard living small creatures of our farm!!!

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