We have had a series of light snows on the farm, which means there have been more opportunities to take some pictures of the farm when the 'sins' of our human existence can be covered by white powder. That actually got me to thinking - which is a dangerous pastime.
The area surrounding the old barn draws my attention frequently when I am out with the camera. There are several reasons for that, I am sure. After all, it is/was a pretty big building. It does standout and provide contrast to other things around it. There is still some beauty and grace evident there as well. And, of course, there are many memories - some of them ours, and some that belong to others who were at this farm before us.
Barns like this are a symbol of a time and a place that some still remember and many (even if they have never experienced a barn on a working farm) still glorify with a rich tapestry of stories. One of the stories this barn tells is one of regret. I regret that we could not find a way to restore and maintain this building. But, the reality is this. It was too big and too far gone when we moved here. The price was simply going to be too high and we had choices to make. So, I regret, but I don't regret our choices.
And now, with the largest part of the building down, we begin looking at how we we salvage the space. As I do that, I recognize all of the wildness that has crept in over the past several years as we have taken our focus elsewhere on the farm. There are numerous 'scrub' trees that have taken hold. It's almost a wild place.
And that wasn't exactly intentional.
If you take a look to the South of the barn and out towards the road, you can see some "intentional." We inherited two mature ash trees with the farm. We were aware fairly early on that they would likely succumb, some day, to the Emerald Ash Borer. So, we added some other trees to that area. Some were evergreens - to catch some of the road dust. We also decided to leave the ash trees up for now, even though it is unlikely they will recover after this past season.
We are seeing some rewards. The woodpeckers have never been happier on our farm. They love the ash trees and they love the brush by the barn, flying from one to the other. We even have a Red-Bellied Woodpecker pair that has decided to over-Winter at the Genuine Faux Farm. That would be a first for us.
The Cardinals, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Juncos and Nuthatches appear to like the area around the barn as well. We did not actually intend for the barn area to become what it is now. But, the unintentionally created wildlife preserve does not displease us as much as you might think.
Yes. I would like to salvage some wood and clean the area up a bit. Yes. I would like to have a newer building to house some of our equipment. And... yes. I like having an area that is inviting to these birds and other interesting critters.
So, before you criticize our seeming lack of initiative with respect to the barn, maybe you should consider that the unintentional may have a value you don't see right away - and maybe we have discovered it? Either way, we welcome these Winter birds and we enjoy hearing them chirp and seeing them flit from branch to branch.
Hey little birds. Glad you like it.