Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday, March 1 - Is winter over now?

Our house in Alum Springs taken on 19 February, 3 days after we finally moved in. This is looking from the northwest corner of our lot toward the southeast. The hill in the background is a "Knob", like the ones that surrounded our other house in Butchertown. Here we're just north of the knobs, actually in what is called the "Outer Bluegrass" region. We have had snow several times, at most 2 inches, and it's all gone now. As I write this, it's sunny again -- for the first time since this photo was taken -- and Barry and I will be working outside in the garden and the shed later. The daffodils are budded, the dogwoods and bradford pear trees are ready to burst out, and with the exception of a few chilly days next week, it looks like Spring will finally arive in the Bluegrass.

The front of the house. We have a 4-car carport that will help shield the vehicles from rain, but when it snows and the wind is from the west, my truck is totally white on the driver's side! The barn in the back isn't ours, but we can look at it regularly, and notice the horses and cows that gather around it. The May Cemetery is just to the right of the barn. Barry and I are working feverishly to trace the ancestry of everyone who is buried there. I'm in contact with a guy in Texas who is descended from a Revolutionary War veteran, Humphrey May, who is buried there. Together, we hope to appropriately mark Hump's grave for Memorial Day!

This view is taken just over our east property line. It shows the Salt River, and the gravel path is Old Salt River Road, once one of the major thoroughfares in this part of the county. It was probably put through about 1790, when the area was settled. Interestingly, much of the land had already been cleared -- Native Americans used to fell trees and burn the fields regularly to keep a good grazing area for the tens of thousands of buffalo that used to roam central Kentucky. By the way, we learned the other day that Danville has the largest cattle stockyards east of the Mississippi River! Indeed, we see far more beef cattle than horses here.

This is the Salt River. It actually rises about half a mile south of here, and eventually becomes one of the major rivers in Kentucky. The field in the picture is usually filled with beef cattle. It makes us kind of nervous eating hamburgers while watching "dinner" in the field.

Early settlers used to boil down the river water to produce salt, an absolute essential in the days before freezing. People would travel miles just to get salt, and this river apparently produced a fairly good amount of the mineral, hence the name.

On a totally different note, I'm flying back to Maine to sell my house in Waterville. It will only be a fly-in-fly-out trip from Lexington to Manchester NH for 4 days while I settle with the realtor in Waterville. Hopefully I'll get to see a few relatives and friends while there, and I can almost taste the Pad Thai at Ming Lee's already! And I will have Moxie while there. Can't get it here! Can't get decent Chinese food here either, though the steaks are fabulous (and I wasn't that much of a meat eater until I moved here).

As I'm writing this, you folks in Waterville are supposed to get 12-18 inches, and the snowbanks are dwarfing Katahdin as I understand it. Looks like we moved to Kentucky just in time -- missing the snowiest winter in Maine and moving into the hottest and driest summer in Kentucky -- both record-breaking events! University of Kentucky football had a great season (unusual), UK basketball has had a poor season (unusual) and UK baseball is off to a good start (also, unusual), and the February outbreak of tornadoes was also record-breaking. We've apparently upset the order of things here! Can we look forward to a frost in July then?

More later, with more pictures to post as I can get them up. The birds are getting used to us, though there are many fewer of them than in Butchertown, and we haven't seen the variety we had there. Barry's anxiously awaiting the first robin. That will be a day to celebrate!

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