see the magic

It was very wet earlier this Fall season, and colors appeared in unusual places...

It didn't take long to notice mushrooms of all sizes, shapes and colors popping up everywhere. I don't know much about mushrooms, other then some provide health benefits, others are poisonous, and that Shiitake are my absolute favorite!! Maybe if I knew more about them I would be comfortable picking/eating them from the wild.  Do any of you go mushroom picking?

We saw a variety, in different stages of growth...
perhaps an early stage of the above
however, these stems are really thick
this one was really thick, and very large
a smaller version of the mushroom above
the tops are kinda powdery
not sure if someone was hungry, or the cap just broke
mushrooms were peeking out of everywhere

I have found a half a dozen or so of these large hawk feathers in the woods. Finding feathers is fun!

Not sure what large bird dropped the feather below? The majority of it is speckled. I tried to ID it with an online feather identifier, but it didn't give me any clues. 

Our land is mostly flat, with some topographical changes. It didn't take long for Brad to be all but out of sight, after hiking up a small but steep hill in the grassy area. 

We have quite a few oak trees, competing for light with the pines. With a little help from us, we hope to see more growth in years to come. They aren't the most colorful tree in the Fall. There are a few red oaks mixed in another area, those are much more colorful. Eventually, I would like to plant more color.

I was happy to discover we have milkweed, that means we should have flutterbys (aka butterflies) to enjoy. Hoping to see monarchs next year, especially since their numbers are dwindling.
I thought those were seeds on top
One of the many things we could use on our never ending wish list, is one of these handy dandy utility vehicles. This one is not ours. We took it to set up some trail cameras...notice we are wearing tshirts in November. Crazy, huh?! 

who is that dork waving to the trail cam?
Do you see what I see?

This guy is somewhat of a local celebrity, and frequents our land. He is off limits, and no one we know will shoot him. He was roaming around, while we were working across the field. See time stamp. Not sure how we missed him. Brad saw him in person last week and said he is really bright white. 

We split most of our our free time between the land and the horses. We have enjoyed such an incredibly nice unseasonably warm Fall! We rode outside three times this week!! It gets dark early, with the sun so low it creates looong shadows...

Koda keeps trying to figure out
why that black horse is riding so closely 
No coats
and Nemo is back to himself!!
Some days are just magical...


working on the land

We've had a busy Fall trying to get things done so we can move forward with our land plans. Building is like a puzzle. You have to have certain pieces in the right order/place, before you can proceed. We finalized our house plans, to work on these things...

trees had to be removed
the house site was cleared
our son & Brad plotted the house
I supervised ;)
after a lot of measuring,
house stake markers are in place
The general building site was also officially surveyed.

soil had to be perk tested
our son smoothed out the building site,
now only key stakes remain

driveway view from the road
before it was put in
the clouds are magnificent
our trucks are parked at the house site
we put in some long days,
it's a labor of love
Brad coordinates the behind the scene needed paperwork. We finalized our barn plans & met several times with the company rep. The goal is to build the shell this winter for storage. Our horses will not move to the land until we do.

Last weekend we rented equipment so the three of us could clean the strip opposite our house site. They clear cut trees before we bought the land, it was a mess. It is an ideal area to run the necessary electrical, and have the box out of view. Brad was in a mini excavator, our son & I each ran a bobcat. I am slowly getting better at running them. At some point we switched, the grappler bucket is harder to coordinate then it looks.

my view from the bobcat
I was happy to have a door between me
and the loads that were dropped into my bucket
my job was hauling to this pile
We are going to have fun with this huge bonfire pile! Everyone who see's it wants to be invited lol. There is so much more work that needs to be done, but for now we are caught up and moving ahead as planned!!


we have a driveway

A few days ago I got a phone call from my hubby, he mentioned our soon to be neighbor told him "oh, by the way, they put your driveway in yesterday" Say whaaat?? We are at the land multiple times a week, but this caught us by surprise. My phone conversation with Brad had at least three "we have a driveway" and one "Aurora, we HAVE a driveway"...who would have thought a driveway would be that special!!! 

The neighbors who sold us the land have been so nice. We've been using their driveway since April. The part closest to the road runs parallel to ours. Earlier this Fall, Brad and I cleared an opening between the trees. He used his alignment equipment from work at a distance. I lined up and set the driveway stakes. I wonder what files are being replaced in my head as I learn how to do all this new stuff?? Ha ha! 

Most of the driveway stakes have bright orange painted tops. We answered many times over "those are the stakes for our driveway". We have friends, relatives and co-workers randomly driving out to look for our land. We hear about it when they can't find it, or want to know what the long row of orange stakes are for. Who knew we were so interesting?! Funny how curious people are. 

Brad was out of town the day we got the driveway news. He drove to our land early that evening on his way home to check it out. Almost every conversation for the rest of the night ended with "I can't believe we have a driveway". It is so cute how excited he is, like a kid in a candy store. Of course we knew the driveway was going in, but it wasn't suppose to happen for another week-ish. 

Somehow it makes the dream more real.