July 18, 2011 – Damage in the Neighborhood

Now that we’ve had a chance to get our feet back under ourselves, we’ve toured the damage to our neighbors.

destroyed barn

This is the barn, or what’s left of it, of a farm pretty much due west of us.

barn storm damage

Another view.

marshall county storm damage

This is the barn at the farm directly north of us, about 1/4 mile.

haverhill grain elevator, haverhill coop

These are a couple of the brand new 300,000 bushel grain bins at the elevator in Haverhill, about 4 miles east of us.

Here are some of the old bins from the same place. I’m feeling very fortunate that due to the vagaries of the wind and landscape, all of our buildings survived. I’m also feeling good that all the new roofs I put on the outbuildings remain intact, at least for winds from the NW.

one year ago…”At the Waterfall”

July 17, 2011 – Birch Hill Farm

One of the part-time workers at the lodge has one of the few farms in the Ely area (after all, farming a few miles from Canada where it gets to -50 in the winters and the soil is rock, isn’t necessarily known as prime farming ground!).

This is Roger and Jordyn, in front of their chicken coop.  The day we visited, a couple of coyote pups raided the coop.

Here we look at the fence around the beehives.  I don’t think that this kind of fence does a very good job of keeping the bees in!  Of course, this fence is to keep Winnie-the-Pooh and all his bear friends away from an easy meal of honey.

A man after my own heart, this salvaged tank is what Rog uses to heat his house, workshop, and coop, if necessary.  It can hold a 7 foot stick of lumber.  He also makes his own bio-diesel for his tractors.

Here we look at part of the gardens.  Roger explained how the farm is able to produce.  You can see part of a hill behind the shed.  He said that many years ago, a previous owner clear cut a field, and then spent about two years dozing sand from the glacial remains over the lowland that he had cleared.  As a result, there is a great open hayfield to our right out of the photo. All told, they have more than 100 acres.

Birch Hill Farm has a great location, a great summer market and would be a wonderful place to have a small sustainable farm.  It looks like a great place to live and raise a family.  Thanks to Roger and Jordyn for taking time to show us around.

one year ago…”On the Big Water”

July 15, 2011 – Dock Life

A large part of our life on vacation revolves around sitting on the dock.

Emma and Kate greet canoers on their journey.

It’s pretty much a law of the universe that the smallest person gets thrown off the dock.

Dock jumping hardly ever goes out of style.

Neighbors one cabin down fish near sunset.

Our travel compatriots relax on the dock – our cabin is straight up behind the dock.

A view of the dock facing out to the lake.

one year ago…”BWCA Day 1″

July 12, 2011 – Fishing Waters

One of the things I most look forward to is fishing in beautiful surroundings.

boy with northern pike

Here Martin shows off a baby northern pike he let go.

smallmouth bass

The nicest fish of a pretty lousy fishing week – the biggest of three smallmouth bass caught right together in some swift water – this one was 19 inches and was released.

Me in my natural habitat – on an island in a channel, baiting up.

Lake One Rapids

The rapids entering into Lake One from Lake Two.

Rapids to Confusion Lake

The head of the rapids from Lake One, heading to Confusion Lake.  I could spend a lot of time wandering down this river to the next lake!

one year ago…”The Resort”

July 11, 2011 – Maizy’s Storm Report

Oh boy, will my owners be surprised when they return from vacation in about a week!

marshall county storm damage

First, they’ll have a hard time even getting in the driveway.

They’ll know from a mile or two away that the profile of their farm has changed – at least six of the white pines and spruces along the road had their tops snapped off and tossed into the gardens.

Another big spruce down by the propane tank.

Another top of a tree up by the propane tank.

The first few tops blown into the bottom garden and crushing a bean trellis.

More tops tossed in the middle garden.

Some more in the top garden.

Some more in the perennial flower garden.

I was afraid my doghouse would blow away, so I sought shelter under this car.  My chain got caught under the tire, but in a panic, I was able to slip out of my collar and run away!

The place for relaxing on the patio is not so much now.

This stock tank received another top of a tree – guess it might be a used as a raised bed container now!

Wasn’t I cool to get my own picture in this one!  I don’t think this tree understands that windbreak doesn’t mean to break in the wind!

The turbine was spared, just the top of this tree on some guy wires.

The area in the chicken yard is a mangled mess.

Two peach trees down here.

A big apple tree down here.  I can’t count very well, but counted three peach trees, an apple, a cherry, and a plum tree down.  They won’t be very happy about this.  Only five days until they come home!

one year ago…”End of the Road”

July 10, 2010 – Loon Baby on the Lake

We’ve finally arrived at the cabin a few miles south of the Canadian Border. Right across from our cabin is a small island. This year there is a nesting loon pair on the island.

baby loon on back, lake one loon

The sight of a baby loon on a parent’s back to protect it from being eaten by large fish, is one of the neatest views in nature. We’re here for a week to soak up the water, woods, and cool weather.

one year ago…”Goat Milk Cheese (Chevre)”

July 6, 2011 – Linda’s Visit to White House With Bonus Obama Visit!

Pretty good day, as those things go. Linda and the other rural America “Champions of Change” first toured the White House. As no cameras were allowed, use your imagination!

She was able to get this photo outside the White House.

From the photostream of the event:

Linda Barnes, Farmer and Educator, Marshalltown Community College (MCC), IA, at the White House Rural Champions of Change meeting at the White House, in Washington, DC, on July 6, 2011. She was asked to participate along with President Barack Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes and rural communities leaders from across the country for the White House Rural Champions of Change event to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth. Linda Barnes is a professor of biology at the Marshalltown Community College and also an organic farmer. She founded the Sustainable and Entrepreneurial Agriculture Program at MCC which is the first associate degree program in sustainable agriculture in the Midwest. The program focuses on improving attitudes related to sustainable agriculture due to their practical, hand-on focus and local connections. I believe there is a significant component of this program that is geared towards immigrant communities in the area. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Linda briefly spoke to the President, no doubt the part of their conversation that delved into the preferred s’more marshmallow roasting habits of the Obama family, probably did more to make her visit more memorable than a barrage of policy questions!

one year ago…”Hauling Garlic”

July 5, 2011 – Linda Visits Claire in DC

Linda was able to drop in and see Claire (and actually have a sleepover at Claire’s place one night while she was there).

mother and daughter at USDA

Mother and Daughter in front of USDA building, Claire’s work station for the summer.

intern at work

After all the photos of her out and about town, there’s at least one of her at work!

founding farmers

Claire picked out this place for them to dine.  This acclaimed restaurant is owned by the North Dakota Farmer’s Union! Great food and atmosphere.

mother and daughter at capitol

At the Capitol at dusk.

one year ago…”Hauling Lumber”