On Tuesday we took an hour off from working in the house and went exploring on the property.
Jim drove the truck along the edge of the cornfield, where we left it to walk along Spruce Pine Creek.
The slanting winter sun cast long shadows across the water.
The creek has a gravel bottom.
Walking in a westerly direction.
There is a tangle of brush along the bank and above the water.
Jim is contemplating how he can use the tractor and 'bush hog' in the spring to clear the area.
Fungi on a broken tree stump.
Back at the farmhouse we replenished the fire in the big stove, then set out again, into the woods beyond the carriage barn. I have found the spiky seed balls from a sweet gum tree just past the first gate. The battered sweet gum tree near the side porch of the Gradyville house was a favorite--I'm glad there is one near our new house.
The creek winds through a long draw with hillsides rearing steeply on either side. There is a logging operation in progress on an adjoining property beyond the high ridge visible at the left side of the photo. As we walked up the stream bank we could hear the whine of chainsaws and the occasional crack and crash of a falling tree.
This little doorway at the base of a tree reminded me of the animal houses in 'Wind in the Willows' or perhaps a home for one of Winne-the Pooh's many friends.
When we turned back toward the house the sun was already disappearing behind the ridge.
Here on the eastern edge of the time zone, the daylight is waning by 3 P. M.
At the gate, the transplanted barn cats were waiting for us.
Jim decided to follow a track that slants around the hill; one of these days I will explore that route.
For the moment I was happy to go inside, pull the red kettle to the hottest place on the range top and make a mug of tea.