Monday, April 4, 2011

Country Life = Lonesome Pine

I call this tree  “Lonesome Pine.”  It sits just outside my back yard four miles north of Millry, AL.  My mother used to sit in her kitchen, look out the back door and say, “Just look at that perfect specimen of a Southern Pine tree, just standing there by its Lonesome!”

Therefore, after I inherited the house and barn after her death, I call my place “Lonesome Pine Farm.”  I don’t do much farming in my retirement, but my brother, Joe and I lease out our pastures and the barn.  This keeps cattle on the place that I love to watch from time to time during most any day.  At times, I get out and walk amongst them just to watch them graze in the pastures and kinda look out for the owner’s condition of his cattle.  He runs from 15 to 30 head of cattle and calves on the approximately 70 acres of pasture land.

I used to keep from 12 to 25 head of cattle on the place prior to getting out of the cattle business.  The prices for hay, fertilizer, feed and help was costing me more than I was getting out of them at the stockyards.  Also, that tied us down, especially during the winter feeding time each year. 

Another thing that I have discontinued is trying to have a vegetable garden.  The old garden spot is almost completely in sand bed.  This required quite a bit of work, fertilizer, seed and water, water, water.  We have been having extremely dry summers of late and just not worth the effort trying to grow a few vegetables.  It is much more economical to go to the “you pick” farms and buy what vegetables I need for the freezer.

I try to keep the yards and shrubbery trimmed and pruned to keep it as one of the most beautiful sites in this area.  I enjoy getting out on my riding mower and cut the approximately 2.5 acres every week or so during the growing season.  Last year, the weather was so dry that I didn’t even have to cut it for almost three months.  So my cutting time was cut short during that season. 

So, Country Living has its ups and downs, but you never have a time when there is not anything that needs some attention, yet usually not so much that it gets to be periods of hard work.  I love the peace and quiet, the views down across he pastures, watching the changes of seasons in the Spring and Autumn and all the anticipation of harvesting pecans from some of my 23 trees and the sweet, juicy scuppernongs in late August and early September.  I’m kinda like the Blue Bell Ice Cream people say, “I eat all the scuppernongs I can, then give some away!”

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