As 2012 closes, I want to thank each of you for following along with me at Long Ridge Farm. Your presence is felt and enjoyed and it makes the travel all the lighter!
I wish you good health, prosperity and a large dose of peace in the coming year, however you may seek and find it. Cheers!
The hour draws closer to the most magical night of the year.
Past the solstice now, a minute more light and a bit
higher in the sky, the sun mellows us.
Snow is coming tonight, the best of gifts
on this coming silent night.
Our tree is trimmed simply this year as if to make
a promise for a simpler year to come. This was not
a year I will soon forget.
Lots of loss and heart wrenching days.
There is a gift in that though.
Steering my life ship
away from the hidden ocean ledges
along the shoreline, further into calmer waters,
I hope to sail there more often.
The ornaments are few but reminders of loved ones.
Above is one made by our dear friend, Katie,
frames of our farm, sheep and dogs.
One special friend is truly suffering having lost her
love. Nothing to do but ride out the storm.
Christmas and the light of it’s force will
kiss her gently.
The pups got an early chew today to work
off the boredom of waiting while I finished all the
Now we celebrate the reason for this special time.
Music, conversation, friendship, wood fires,
phone calls to those not near,
a Christmas pageant nearby in the twinkling evening.
I wish each of you the gift of love.
It is all we need.
Merry Christmas, Happy holidays!
Autumn as been short and lackluster in my corner of the world.
I suspect the too dry summer stressed the trees and when the time
came to say goodbye to their canopies, it was without a fight.
The leaves have drifted down, mostly yellow, ever as lovely,
on the forest walks,
giving way to my favorite view.
I can see the flock in the near field now from the house.
And they can see the lights of home come nightfall.
Weather reports portend the end of the growing season
tomorrow night with a killing frost. I am behind on that count.
It can’t be! I looked at the thermometer in the kitchen window
tonight. It reads 34. Too close for discomfort.
Luna and I swung about the gardens to cover anything
I am not ready to part with yet.
The indigo won.
It will have a few days relief after
tomorrow night and we have work left to do
my indigo and I.
First a few greens…(mind your manners Griffin!))
Lucy says yum yum…
Peach thinks mmm mmm good…
Della smiles a yes!
then a side dish, stalks of fresh brussel sprouts…
brussels on grass, delightful….
this morning Luna helped me create some paper art with a punch and found one on her nose!
May your Thanksgiving be filled with gratitude, thankfulness and love.
Jack and I took a trip North to Millinocket, Maine last week to get in a few days of snowmobiling.
The road trip took 7 hours one way and as we approached our hotel, the full moon was eclipsing. It was so beautiful and the snowbanks were 10 feet high! In fact we could barely see out our first floor window!
The first day we rode north to Mt. Katahdin and Baxter State Park. In the 1920’s a lumberman, Burton Howe of Patten, Maine led an expedition of politicians, including Senator Baxter, up Mt. Katahdin. Baxter later bought Mt. Katahdin and the surrounding land and donated it to the state for a park. It is vast and wild and breathtaking. Below is a train with logs headed to the mill. Millinocket has two large mills that many of the residents work or hope to work in one day. Presently there are about 200 employees due to retire and the waiting list to replace them is full.
About 20 minutes outside town the trail opened up, a roadway to Baxter State Park and the mountain heaved into view.
We came to this incredible boulder that has been painted and maintained by a group of people for years.
It was a perfect day…15-20 degrees, sunny and no one on the trails. We continued North and stopped at Lunksoos Camps http://www.lunksooscamps.com/ .There are a number of these camps in the wilds; open for hunters and fishermen and in the winter many will be open for lunches and a warm-up. This was a pretty nice camp, well maintained and the owner, Lee Bertsch, very accommodating. We sat at his table in the main lodge and talked for a half hour or more about everything from hunting to the economy to politics! But we had a lot more riding to do and sights to see.
We rode further North to Patten, ME, got gas, ate our trail lunch and headed back to Millinocket. By 3PM it started to chill down and I could feel it. The wind picked up and at 10 degrees, with a wind speed temp of 45 below it was a bit nippy! We got back to town at 5PM, regrouped and then went out to dinner at a fabulous place, River Driver’s Restaurant http://www.neoc.com/. Definitely make it a destination if ever in that area, IF you like fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Next morning starts the real fun…we rode west from Millinocket to Pittston Farm for an overnight. These are the best rides as we pack just what we need in saddlebags for the time away and hit the trail. And as a loyal fiber gal, you can see I packed some knitting along with extra hand warmers and other essentials. This is one of 8 pouches that I filled to the gills!
We always stop along the trip and take a break and here I jumped off the trail to see how deep the snow was! It actually was way deeper than this, I didn’t press my luck. We saw lots of deer and usually they yard up for the winter as the snow is just too deep. They and all wildlife use the trails as access trails to find food. The trails really are a benefit for the animals. We saw lots of moose tracks but no moose. We also saw snowshoe hares cross the trail, in their winter white camouflage fur.
We arrived at Pittson Farm http://www.pittstonfarm.com/ around 4PM, about 125 mile trip from Millinocket. Pittston Farm has their own trail system and groomers and the riding is some of the finest around; smooth and easy. This is a view of the main house and one barn. There are multiple lodging options and the stay includes 3 square meals and hospitality plus. Pittston Farm was originally a logging base camp where the horses used for all the logging expeditions were boarded in the summer months. There is another barn we’ll visit next which boarded 350 draft horses in it’s day! And with that many horses to feed you can see why the fields were utilized completely!
This is a view from the porch of the main house which is a dining area, looking toward the horse barn and a part of the field area. It truly is a working marvel and for anyone who loves a farm it is quite a treat. The place is run completely on generator, there is no cell service except the main house phone which is a satellite phone, that doesn’t always work, but they do have satellite TV in all the rooms. The weather can be quite intense there which makes it all the more exciting to come home to. The kitchen is always open, and it’s a big kitchen, with coolers full of desserts and drinks and sandwich makings…you NEVER go hungry at Pittston Farm! The dining room is always buzzing with the owners Bob and Jen and their family along the help plus visitors such as us, just there to enjoy. You’re apt to hear a good joke or a story any time you are in the dining room. While I ate dinner I watched the family bring in 50# bags of potatoes….I counted 20 bags! They told be they go through 350# of potaoes a week! And they are Maine potatoes, not Idaho, yea!
The living room in the main house is home to the owners collection of various wildlife mounts. This is a bobcat…looks real alright.