ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Look At My New Back Yard

Updated on June 7, 2015
The cats enjoying the view
The cats enjoying the view | Source
Letter from John Norman Maclean
Letter from John Norman Maclean | Source
My "A River Runs Through It" picture
My "A River Runs Through It" picture | Source

A knock on our front door leads to...

"Well hello there! Glad you found the place. Yes, it sounds more difficult to find than it really is, I know. Well, knock the dirt off of your feet and step inside. Here, I'll take your coat and hang it in the closet. You will stay for a while, won't you? Good, good! Well step right up and take a gander at my favorite room in the house, our library. My wife calls it the living room but as you can see, I have built in bookshelves! I can finally display al of my books at once! Children's book, westerns, action, thriller, murder mysteries, historical, classic you name it I probably have it. Oh, you noticed my painting on that wall already, eh? Yes, I love that painting. I call it my River Runs Through It painting. See the man with his fly rod wading in the river? Always imagined that to be me. Someday, maybe... And just below it you'll see that I have a letter from the son of the author of A River Runs Through It. The author was Norman Maclean and his son is John Norman Maclean. I sent an email to him one day telling him how much I enjoyed his late father's works and he sent me an actual letter! When I researched John a bit more I found he was one of the Kissinger group that traveled to China back in the day and he is a well known author himself. So now I have a collection of father and son books that I enjoy greatly. They are just over here."

And over there...

"Through that doorway is our dining room. No, I don't understand people who put carpet in a dining room either. Always feel like a spill is about to happen and then what? Around the corner lies the kitchen, big and roomy like my wife likes. We love the retro appliances, even those duel avocado green built in ovens. Down that hallway lie the bedrooms and bathrooms, nothing much else to see there. But here is her favorite room in the house, this comfy living area. Has a fireplace as you can see, and it butts up against the kitchen so as we cook we are still connected to the living area so no one is isolated from visiting. We think that's kind of nice, don't you?"

But on to what I brought you here for, our back yard. Right through these big, heavy sliding doors onto the sun porch/cat room. The cats just love this room! Careful, don't step on their toys, okay? Look at all of the windows, will you? And you'll notice the bird feeders we have placed along the outside of the sunroom so the cats can enjoy a little company. There are birds here all day long! Yes, I built that little "catwalk" along that wall of windows so the cats can climb up and around the room, peering at the birds from their level if they so choose. I think they enjoy that, myself."

Tulip Tree
Tulip Tree | Source
Strawberries
Strawberries | Source
Apple Tree
Apple Tree | Source

Look at those trees!

"Take a look at those trees, will you? That one there is a Tulip Tree. I've always wanted one of those; they have some of the most beautiful flowers in the Spring. And there, that one is an apple tree, as is the one on that corner of the yard. Not too sure what type of apple; I'm not very good at identifying the different kinds of apples. Over there is a Maple tree, and if I am not mistaken, the one in the southeast corner there is a Willow Oak. At least, that's what I believe it to be based on the leaves."

"Oops! Watch your step there! Those are strawberry plants growing in the yard. I guess someone had a strawberry bed here at one time and they just pop up and grow without me doing a single thing other than not mow over them. My daughter can't wait for them to get to the right eatin' size! And over here you'll notice my garden. Yes, that is a strange layout for the fence, isn't it? Seems like that part of the yard should be the neighbor's land but I am assured it belongs with this yard. Anyway, it is some ten feet wide and nearly a hundred feet long so I can grow a decent amount of crops in there for the family. Because we moved in here just last month it is a little late to go whole hog on a garden this year, so I am settling for a handful of tomato plants, a couple of jalapeno plants so I can make some homemade salsa, and of course cucumber plants: some for salads, more for pickles. Why, do you know this ground is so fertile that I planted the pickling cucumber seeds on a Sunday afternoon and by the next Wednesday I had seedlings! I swear! Even by starting late I look to have some pickles by mid next month."

"Thirsty? Me too. What say we make our way back to the sunroom and have a seat and have a glass of tea? Sound good? Then we can watch the birds as they feed. You'll be amazed by the variety we have."

Purple Finch
Purple Finch | Source
Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker | Source
Grackle
Grackle | Source
Black Capped Chickadee
Black Capped Chickadee | Source

Seated in the sunroom

"That tea okay for you? Not too sweet, is it? Would you like a slice of lemon to accent the flavor? Okay, I'll be happy to get that for you."

"Well, just sit a spell and tell me about how things have been going for you lately. I feel as though I have been dominating the conversation so far. How's you family? Wife and children doing okay you say? Good, good. Oh look there! Sorry, but I just wanted you to see that little bird flying in. See how it uses the trees to work its way in to the feeders? That one lives in the yard next door and flies to the Tulip tree first to see if the coast is clear. There is a gang of Grackles that try to dominate the feeders and they tend to make the other birds a little wary. Here it comes. That is a Downy Woodpecker. Listen closely and you'll hear his song. There it is! Isn't he a pretty little thing? Here comes another bird. I believe that is a Black Capped Chickadee. See how he flits from limb to limb before coming to feed? The Chickadee and Downy Woodpecker get along just fine together. And they do well with the Purple Finch also. He should be along any minute now."

"Uh oh, they see or hear something we can't. See how they went on alert just now? Something's coming that they don't like at all. There they go! And here it comes! It's one of those dratted Grackles. They are bullies, and drive the others off but there's not a lot we can do about it. If we put the food out they find it. And here are their partners in crime, Blue Jays and Starlings. Seems like the Grackles and Jays eat the food and knock a lot onto the ground where the Starlings eat the leftovers. Mourning Doves sometime feed on the ground like that also. Shoo! Get outta here you bullies!"

"If you look closely, you'll see some Robins hopping along over in the corner where that mole tunnels along searching for worms and such. Robins follow along and when a worm tries to escape the mole by going above ground the Robin snatches it up. See that? He got one just then. I can't get rid of the moles, the ground is just so fertile and there are so many worms burrowing around in it. Did you know, when I put up that ornamental wrought iron fence over there I did not even need to use a post driver to put the anchors in the ground? I just leaned on them and they went straight in, no rocks or hard ground at all. I do believe this is the best dirt I have ever seen."

We'll be having dinner soon

"Well, can you smell those ribs in the oven? They've been going for several hours now, should be ready shortly. Would you like to stay for dinner? St Louis style ribs slow cooked for hours, fresh corn on the cob, Mustard 'tater salad, a special kind of baked beans I found that actually has pulled pork in them, and of course all the tea you can drink. Got plenty of food, plenty of napkins and plenty of room so you have to stay. Throw it all together with some good friends and that makes for a wonderful evening. In the meantime, how about playing a little backgammon with me? Or maybe some card games like Spades or Pitch? Makes the time fly by, for sure!"

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Sir! I am enjoying the moment and hope you are as well! Be safe Sir!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      When you are happy, we are happy! Enjoy every moment! ;-)

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Thanks Cheyenne and Larry. The backyard is about 100' x 100' so nice and roomy without being overwhelming. Plenty of room for the trees, some garden, our little pool and the trampoline. Cheyenne, gotta warn you back: placed 2nd at college in a backgammon tournament once. Guy who beat me was my best friend and it took him double sixes on the final roll to get me! Lots of fun! Take care you two.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Beautiful place. I got a bit of space, but I don't believe I have quite as much as you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Your property sounds absolutely beautiful, Mike! You have a ton of space and lots of wildlife to keep you (and the cats) entertained.

      I'll gladly play a game or three of backgammon with you. I have to warn you, tho - I'm pretty good!

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Bill, you are welcome anytime. Just bring Bev and come on over!

      Stay safe my friend, and blessings returned to you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'd say you've got a slice of heaven there, Mike. Thanks for giving us the tour. It looks like a place I could be very comfortable in.

      blessings always

      bill

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)