Moving to the Country

29 Sep

For some time now, I’ve wanted to live in the country. Walks in my suburban neighbourhood with its manicured lawns left me stressed. Hikes in the amazing Santa Clara County parks—which I was so grateful to have nearby—were never long enough. Our backyard was the saving grace; the vegetable garden, fruit trees, hummingbirds, and fence lizards brought a glimmer of the wonder and calm I always feel in the country. But when the big move finally happened, the question loomed: would I actually LIKE living in the country? Well, we’re only three weeks in—shorter than some vacations—and winter has yet to arrive, with its ice and snow and bluster, but so far: YES.

This was our first morning on the island. Those are swans out there–gorgeous creatures I once thought of as the stuff of fairy tales.

I rarely go out without a camera or a sketchbook (or both), and although I’m not creating spectacular landscape or wildlife images, I think I’m starting to capture what it feels like to be here.

On wet mornings you suddenly notice spider webs everywhere!

We’ve been meeting the neighbours, and have been welcomed with flowers, vegetables, honey, fresh fish, and many kind words.

I’ve always loved farm country. It’s very different from wilderness, but I find a sense of peace here, and I enjoy the interaction between humans and the land; the barns, tractors, hay bales, fences, etc. frequently feature in my photographs and drawings.

When we first started coming here 25 years ago, there were dairy farms everywhere. There are still a few, but now you’re more likely to see beef cattle or fields of soybeans like this one.
Why do I find hay bales so attractive? Maybe it’s the appeal of a graphical element in a natural setting.
These calves are shy, but very curious. As long as I didn’t move, they came closer and closer.
Cheeky Mama, on the other hand, wanted a closeup!

I’m starting to learn the rhythms and patterns of the lake and the animals. We’ve been watching geese fly back and forth over the water, in increasingly large and noisy flocks; I guess they will be leaving soon. We see osprey flying overhead, herons standing in the shallows, and once watched an eagle fly low over the water. The Caspian terns soar in circles, their heads pointed down; suddenly they dive and reappear with fish in their beaks. I have a lot to learn about bird photography (and some gear to acquire) so you’ll be waiting a while for any good closeups!

The terns always seem to come out of their dives facing into the wind, which means they’re facing away from me when they come up with a fish.
Flocks of geese seem to be practicing for the migration.
The foxes are somewhat elusive and very skittish (as wildlife should be). This picture was taken through our living room window. I guess the house makes a good blind.
This fox watched me as I sat in the car. I didn’t have time to watch and wait; as soon as I made a move, it ran off.

And we’ve had some pretty spectacular sunsets, always a lovely way to end the day.

Living in the country? So far, so good.

12 thoughts on “Moving to the Country

  1. Glad to see you are enjoying your new home. Love the pictures and watercolours! And as always, your writing is engrossing and very descriptive. Thank you for sharing! Say hello to Marc.

  2. Welcome to Ontario! You must be happy to be closer to Debbie. Some day, when this craziness is over (or diminished), I’ll have to come visit…

  3. Wow!
    You are making me want to return to my youth on a farm where, as a young person I did not appreciate the life it offered! I longed for friends to be close by, instead of a mile hike across the fields to the nearest person! No wonder all of us grew up walking everywhere fast!
    So glad you are settling in and meeting people.

  4. Exquisite photos! I savoured every one of them.
    The other day Ruby asked me if I missed my condo – I’ve been away from “home” for over six months now. I replied that I didn’t really miss any of the places I have lived at. Then I thought for a minute and then came up with ” but I really miss Vermont!”
    I can totally relate.
    Keep on enjoying – in good health!

  5. Thank you for sharing your transcontinental journey in words and photos! I felt like I’d been there. Your new view amazes. Congratulations in this new chapter of your life

  6. Sarah and I are so pleased that you have made it to our corner of the Thousand Islands and have rejoined your sister after such a long absence apart. Your photography is amazing and captures the spirit of the island. Hope to see you and Debbie soon.

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