It's a four hour trip from Atlanta, and we got a late start, heading out about 2 pm. Visibility was dimming by the time we got off the freeway, and the last hour which is normally very impressive was hard to see.
I stopped to get a newspaper for tinder at the gas station in Sunbright. The guy who runs it told me they just had 4 inches of rain, and last night around 9 it started to snow. I didn't see snow anywhere, so I was skeptical. But when we pulled up onto the property there it was:
The girls immediately started pelting each other with snowballs. My friend Seth and I got the bedding ready in the trucks - futons, sleeping bags, and wool blankets - and started a fire. None of the wood around was really usable after days of rain. But I had newspaper, he had shims, and I had some lumber cutoffs in the shed. It took a while to get it going, but eventually it was a good hot fire. The fireplace is really comfortable:
We set boards down to sit on over the snow [it was covered in snow the first night].
A full moon rose over the trees, as the clouds thinned and disappeared. We had a few beers and talked. What I thought would be a miserable arrival, in the dark, and snow and cold, was actually a great time.
But the night was incredibly cold. We had frost on the inside of the windows. We didn't sleep that well. A neighbor dropped by and said it got down to 17 degrees.
The snow started melting fast, so I went around and took photos. Here's the barn:
Hasn't changed a bit, other than the wood's faded. That's the swimming pool inside. The driveway has now become a permanent feature of the landscape, like it was always there.
Looking down towards it from the swales:
Here's the garden and compost bin:
Here looking towards the gazebo:
The peach trees are huge, and loaded with buds:
The roof for the gazebo's been destroyed. It never had a good design in the first place. Rain always pooled and sagged the fabric, and poured through the grommets. I tried to tie it down once and the grommet just ripped out. The weight of snow has now torn it to shreds:
Here are more shots of the shortlived snow:
Here's a couple shots of what's left of the garden:
I find a few deflated cantelopes. And the three-year old mint that we've had in a little black pot in an apartment, year after year, is actually putting out fresh shoots! It is invicible.
The thyme we planted in a ring around the persimmon has also done very well. They've gone from six tiny plants in a tray to miniature bushes. And they keep the grass back - it's an excellent permaculture technique:
I've only got three and a half more months to get through. I'm going to try building furniture, and birdhouses, and keep uploading books on other blogs. We've also got a large order of fruiting trees and shrubs to prepare for Hidden Springs Nursery in Cookeville, Tennessee. We want to get the order in and paid for by the end of January, so we can count on getting the rest of our planting done in the spring. We'll be getting plums, and apples, autumn olives, currents and gooseberry, a local fig, maybe pawpaw, jujube dates - whatever they have.