Sunday, November 14, 2010

the yard

Way back in July, when we were driving around with our Realtor, scoping out possible homes for our family, we drove up to the home that we would ultimately purchase. And as soon as we pulled in to the driveway, before we even stepped foot in the front door, I had a feeling that this house was the one. All because of the yard.


Our yard is amazing. Our yard is what makes me able to tolerate the outdated kitchen and bathrooms and orange shag carpet. Our yard is what restores me to my senses after a long-day.


Our yard is what makes us so glad to be here. (Notice, Charlie tried to rake the leaves once. He spent four hours and two hours later, you'd never even know he did anything. He hasn't bothered, since.)


Our yard is a children's paradise.


Our back yard slopes down to an an ephemeral creek, which the children will spend hours upon hours playing in, on and around.


Even though it was the heat of summer when we first came to visit this home, I could imagine that our children would be outside sledding down the awesome hill with the first snow.



We're situated on just over an acre of land, and for scale, here's a picture of our play structure in our backyard in California.


And here's our play structure in our backyard, here. I'm thinking of installing a zip line between the house and the big oak tree at the bottom, so if I need to talk to the children, I can just grab hold of the line and zip down there. I always wanted one of those as a kid. I will HAVE one as an adult.


While it's nice to have some elbow room, what we especially appreciate is that our lot backs up to conservation land, so the acreage behind our home will never be developed.


One day last week, we took off, as a family, for a nature hike. Our goal was to track the land back as far as we could go. After "hiking" approximately three miles, the children had reached their maximum hiking capacity. As we walked home, we noticed these stands scattered throughout the forest. There was one less than 10 feet from our property line. We thought that perhaps they were for bird watching?


Our neighbors clued us in that a few years ago, the deer population was so out of control, the County was driving around offering hunting licenses to whomever wanted one. It seems those stands aren't for bird watching. They are for deer hunting.


Considering we've got deer IN OUR BACK YARD, notice the six point buck walking past our swing set ...


Charlie and I have decided that unless our children are wearing bright orange flak jackets with flashing beacons on their heads, they're not allowed outside anymore.


  1. LOL, looks like where we live in Haymarket/Leesburg in VA. Tree stands are taken awfully seriously around those parts...

  2. Your block is so beautiful, I would love to experience a true Autumn (Fall).

    Queensland, Australia is tropical green all year.

    If those stands were near me I would have a permanent weatherproof sign made for each and every one notifying that there are young children in the area.

  3. HA! You'll buy the orange vests. Did I not tell you that having yard was so freaking awesome???? I am so glad you went with the land. You will never regret the old house. Okay. You will, but just go outside. That's what I do. Course my land won't have any snow and it will be sunny 360 days a year, but still.

  4. haaaaaaaaa wow that is a seriously gorgeous yard. (treeeeeeeeeeeeeees) And the deer hunting - wowsers. I'd be buying flak jackets too.

  5. I love your yard. It reminds me of the yard we had in MD. We backed up to state park and it was great but they to opened it up to hunting so no playing in the woods during those few hunting days. The deer are so nice to watch in your yard but at some point you will start to have a love/hate relationship with them. If you want to plant a garden be ready to build a fort to keep them out. Also good luck with planting flowers. I could stand at my kitchen window with flowers planted right under the window and the deer would dine with me yelling at them and spraying water at them. I thought I would be fine since we had dogs that would be all over our yard and the deer would pick up their scent and stay out of our yard. LOL Yea the dogs and deer became close friends


  6. When I lived in the country, I even put bright orange sweatshirts on the dogs! Think the cheapest way to be hunting season safe is by getting oversized sweatshirts that fit over jackets. Plus side, you'll be able to find them pretty easily! I'd also put a note on the stand closest to your property line warning them the house has been purchased by someone with three active children... extra safety, and it wouldn't surprise me if they moved it a little farther away.

  7. I totally understand! Our yard was one of the main reasons that I agreed to let go of our first home to move here. It was more modern with the perfect, though tiny, yard. I wanted the kids to have somewhere to grow up. I can remember standing at the window looking out at the back yard a few mornings after we moved here and thinking that we now had a "place"...not just a house.
    Your yard...and the entire beautiful. You and your children are very lucky.
    I would be the same as you during hunting season. A fence across the back might the solution!!

  8. Yep...during deer season, especially the first and last weekend when every hunter is keyed up, it is good to wear bright colors, stay close to the house, and keep roaming pets nearby.

  9. Ahahah! Having grown up in New England I was trained to wear only fluorescent colors in the fall when outside. Now I live right outside NYC and I still have this undeniable urge to wear neon orange when I run in the woods even though I'm fairly sure they don't let people shoot things in this high population density area. I think the New Yorkers are starting to wonder about me. :P

  10. What a lovely yard! It looks like it is nice and shady, too, which hopefully means you won't have to mow as much in the summer haha.

  11. Love your yard!
    Be sure to Post NO HUNTING signs along the edge of your property.

    Maybe really annoy the hunters by hanging wind chimes from the trees along the edge of your property during hunting season? Then they'll know they're too close to a residential area. ;)