Field Trip to the Last Standing Beech Tree

I took a field trip this week to capture the fog and rain at Ely Lake Primitive Campground.

I walked the North Loop to the Beech Trail, a trail I have been walking now for fourteen years. I’ve walked that trail to visit and to document the last standing Beech tree.

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I call it The Grandfather Tree.

For me that tree is a metaphor for life and what we humans are doing to our environment…

I enjoy the quiet, the wildness and the peace I find there. Our Labrador Sassy loves to run and swim there. Ely Lake is magical place that I hope will be protected in the future from fracking.

Small House Homesteader, Donna

It’s Hard to Homestead When You are Old

Homesteading takes dedication, commitment and a deep desire for a life that is meaningful. Homesteading  is more about personal satisfaction than status or fun and games. It’s about taking nothing and making something out of it.

People sometimes ask me for advice on getting started as a homesteader. I tell them this, do what I say… not what I did – homestead when you are young. I know this first hand. Homesteading is hard work, day after day!

Donna & Gene at Chop House

Celebrating with a rare dinner out for our anniversary.

My husband and I started this adventure just 14 years ago when he was 50 and I was 45. Today we are 63 and 69. It takes a lot of hard, daily, physical work to homestead and long tiring workdays. Even when one is healthy and in good shape, it’s darn hard to be a homesteader at this age.

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This is my meadow habitat I created for the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.

So why are we living this way? It’s a way to live more frugally and a way to contribute meaningfully towards conserving the limited resources of our Earth. It’s a way to live that allows us to work with our hands and to spend long hours out-of-doors.

And, it’s one way to leave the world a better place than when we found it. In spite of its many challenges, hard choices and sore muscles, I can’t imagine living any other way.

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Our crabapple tree surrounded by the sidewalk I designed. The bench tops have a mosaic design that I made. This is where we sit, together, almost everyday for a quick break and a cold drink.

Why? We homestead because…

  • We care about the Earth and want to preserve and protect our land.
  • I want to leave this property, our community in better shape then when we came here.
  • We want to have control over the food we eat.
  • We want to take charge of our health.
  • We want to show our granddaughter where food really comes from.
  • We choose to build living soil and habitat for all the creatures of the Earth.
  • We want to live a simpler lifestyle in a rural place with a slower pace of life.
  • We are independent thinkers who love the Earth and its soil and want to take care of it.
  • We chose to do the daily work of “living with a purpose.”
  • Standing at hydragneas and looing to deck
  • The back of our house and the row of native oak hydrangeas I planted under our dining room window.

It’s a physically and emotionally satisfying lifestyle choice. That pretty much sums it up for us.

Donna at the Small House Homestead