Five years

Our fifth anniversary in this house came and went last month with little notice, but it coincided with my observation that all the work we'd been doing, one project at a time as we could afford it, had come together into a whole I was proud of. The work on the property will never end -- I can list another dozen projects off the top of my head -- but it has reached a point where I drive into the driveway and truly like what I see.

I haven't kept as good a pictoral record of the projects as I wish I had. I have some of the projects -- like the building of the dry lot -- well recorded, but others are just memories. I did, however, take pictures right before we moved in -- July 7, 2004. I thought it would be fun to take pictures now, a bit over five years later, from all the same spots and compare them. Keep in mind, by the way, that the dogs and vehicles, and horses in the original pictures belonged to the previous owner.

Just to get us grounded, here is our house. This was actually taken five years ago, but this was a better picture of the house, and there's not been much change to the house itself.

This first picture below is a little cabin (the original homestead) north of our house. Our house (in the picture above) faces west (technically NW). In the first set of pictures below, I stood at the left corner of the front porch in the picture above.

In the picture I took five years ago, the snowball bush on the right side of the photo is fairly small.

This is the same picture today. The snowball bush is HUGE!! You can't really see beyond it...

So I sneaked around and shot a picture. We had to tear the cabin down, unfortunately. We lost the cabin, but we pushed the woods back and gained some open space.

This shot is taken from the same position at the corner of the house, but it's a slight pan to the left. When we moved in, there was a small paddock here.

Today, the paddock is gone. We've cleaned the brush out of that area, and it's open space. The fence you see is the fence around our house. It's to keep the dogs in. :-)

Still panning to the left, this was a view along the fenceline of the paddock. There was/is a small riding ring beyond.

I think I got roughly the same shot. We took out the paddock fence and cleared out some brush, and, again, what you're seeing is the fence around our house. You can see a bit of white fencing on the left side of the photo right above the top board of the brown fence. That's the riding ring.

Panning left again and looking down the driveway to the front of the property. On the left is the little riding arena. That shed with the bright blue tarps is an old hay shed. (Wish I owned a trailer like that!)

Not sure the updated view is much improved!We're in the process of demolishing the decks, so that's what that trailer stacked with wood is. Since their horse trailer is gone, you can see the barn. The riding arena is behind my car. The hay barn lost part of its roof to a tree and the rest to snow. We've got it stripped down, so at least it's less of an eyesore.

Here's a somewhat better view of the riding ring. This is the pic from 2004:

Here's the pic from today. Grass has grown over the gravel, but it's still a pea gravel base. No mud, good drainage. I don't recommend falling on it though.

Here's a series of pictures I took today that I don't have equivalents of from 2004. First, here's a better view of the former hay barn.

If we'd panned left from there in 2004, you'd have seen very thick woods, brush, and blackberries. We cleaned it out recently.

And panning further left, you can see part of the barn and the edge of the dry lot we built for the horses.

Okay, so standing in the driveway near the hay barn, here's the house in 2004.

And here's the same shot in 2009:

Okay for the next series of pictures, I stood at the back of the barn. On the way there, I took this picture today. I don't have an equivalent from 2004. There used to be a big bush here and a bunch of brush beyond. That junk there is on its way to the hay barn.

For this picture, I stood at the back of the barn, turned to my left and took a shot of the house. See all that brush and stuff on the right? Directly behind that post is a tree. You'll see it in the next picture.

Here's the close to the same shot today. Not exactly the same. It's hard to see in this picture, but we're in the process of completely removing those decks onthe side of the house. They were rotting, but more to the point, we're having leakage in the basement, and the contractor needs to remove the decks to work on the foundation.

In 2004, when you looked straight off the back of the barn, you saw brush on the left and their nice timothy pasture on the right. That tree I pointed out above is just out of site to the left in this picture.

Again, it's not exactly the same shot, but here's generally what that looks like now. The tree on the right in both pictures is the same tree. The tree on the left in this picture is the one I mentioned was just out of sight in the above pic. The wooden thing you can see down the gravel road is one of our three manure bins.

Another pan to the right gave us this view in 2004:

Today the stumps are gone, the pasture is gone, and we have a gravel dry lot that keep the horses mud-free in the winter. Praise the Lord!!!

Still panning to the right, this is a mostly southern view of the area behind the barn. In 2004 it was a timothy pasture:

In 2009, it's just dry lot. And Blue, who ventured into the sun to see what I was doing.

Guin got jealous and demanded equal time:

This 2004 picture was taken in front of the house, looking sort of southeast down the side of it.

Today's version gives you a better view of the demotion of the deck. There are outbuildings in the first picture that we also demolished, and you can see the length of the dog fence and on the right, beyond the fence, the manure bins. Those two silver gates go into the aisle that connects the pastures and the dry lot.

I ran back to the NW corner of the house (where I took the pictures of the cabin), peered around the side of the house, and took a picture looking east. This is 2004. I remember this day -- I was so impressed that Jenny was mowing that huge yard with a push mower in the summer heat.

Here's the same shot today. We didn't change the siding. In the first picture I got the chimney in view, and I didn't in this picture.

In this and the next several pictures, I stood at the SE corner of the house -- kitty corner from where I stood for that initial set of pictures. In this picture I'm looking south. On the right side of the picture (behind the tree) is the edge of the timothy pasture behind the barn. That structure in the back is an old barn.

Now here's that same shot today. Old barn is gone. On the other side of the fence in front is the aisle that connects the dry lot (out of sight but on the right side of the photo) with the pastures. The area where the old barn used to stand, in the center of this picture, has been cleaned out -- sort of -- and is now called "pasture zero." The left side of this picture is the beginning of pasture 1.

Panning to the left, this is a dilapidated out building we tore down pretty quickly. That tree on the right, half covering the building is the tree on the right in the picture below it -- we just trimmed it.

Better view of pasture 1 now.

Panning left, this was the sacrifice lot in 2004.

Today is the back part of the dog yard and, beyond that, pasture 1.

Panning further left, we see more of their sacrifice lot. In the back there, you can see the big pasture beyond it.

In 2009, this is mostly a view of pasture 2. If you look back far enough in the center of the photo, you can see the fence that separates pasture 1 from pasture 3. I don't have pictures of pastures 3 and 4, because they're not really visible from the house.

Still panning left. More of the 2004 sacrifice lot.

In 2009 it's dog yard in front and pasture 2 beyond.

Yes, still panning left. Don't judge me. It takes a while to do 180 degrees. Still the sacrifice lot, but now we're seeing the brush and woods toward the north side of the house.

Same picture, 2009. We've pushed the woods/brush back, so we have more space back there, both in the dog yard and beyond.

This is pretty much the same shot, except I positioned myself near the corner of the pasture where the previous owners were growing timothy. I took the previous set of pictures standing on the deck there next to that little bush.

The same shot today is a little busier. Of course, it doesn't help that Blue wouldn't get his horse butt out of the way. That's Pflouff at the gate.

2004 again. Same location, but I turned left and took a picture facing due north. The barn is out of frame to the left.

Sorry, but Guin wouldn't move. Here's essentially the same picture today.

In 2004, I turned 180 degrees and took a shot of that old barn on the property:

Today, the barn is gone, and all you see is pasture zero and, beyond it, pasture 1.

Here's the barn in 2004 from that same spot:

And here it is today at nearly the same spot. The actual spot was in pasture zero, and I didn't want to fuss with the fence.

Last picture from 2004. This is taken from the same spot looking directly south. It was a tiny, tiny fenced area on the southern edge of the property. It attached to the old barn and was probably a small paddock for one horse. By the time we moved in, it was overgrown with blackberries and stinging nettles.

Today this area is pasture zero. You can see our neighbor's house in the background.

No pictures of the inside of the house because we haven't done anything to the inside of the house!! I hope someday that will become a priority. Now that the horses and dogs are comfy, it's more likely that it will.

Monday, August 3, 2009