Sunday, November 13, 2011

Changes in attitudes

Remember how I used to rant about all terrain vehicles?

We own one now. And that very grown up looking young man, and one very capable driver, is my son Vinny. Now 5'11 or so.

It was an evolution in attitude. I used to be a Thoreau-driven, Luddite kind of person. But when you have 40 acres, and the acreage tends to get grown up in brush if you ignore it, and trees fall across established trails, it's hard to maintain the land without horsepower. Or gasoline power. And given that snow falls in the winter, and we have a very long driveway, and it's hard to do with a city-dweller snowblower...well, enough excuses. And Vinny doesn't need excuses. At 14, he's ready to ride!

The best thing is, we will use it to plow my new garden spot. After a lot of frustration, and deliberation, I have decided to move my garden out to the old horse pasture in the front part of our land.

I was getting tired of grasses and other weeds constantly getting into my raised beds. Which weren't really raised beds, considering I tilled down below the boards every spring, and pulled up new rocks all the time. Many of the beds were rotten and needed replacing. Added to that is the fact that some aspens are growing just south of the garden, and will shade it in the near future. The old horse pasture has less rocks, and has been enriched by manure for a while. I plan to do a more "traditional" garden, plowing up an area instead of maintaining individual beds.

Besides, the kids needed additional space in the outfield of our backyard baseball field.

Vinny and I saw this porcupine while he was taking me on a 4 wheeler tour. Not the best picture, but it was fun to see after a bumpy ride across the swamp on the old railroad grade.

This has been a very mild November thus far. We had a couple of inches of snow the other day but it has disappeared, and the pond has frozen over and thawed, and Sally can still go for a swim. She is beginning to dislike going out in the deep water; I imagine when the water is in the 30's, even a Labrador will give it a second thought.


Susan said...

Love the photo of could be his senior photo!

Four-wheelers can be used responsibly and in good stewardship of the land, which is what your family will do. I doubt you'll be wearing a "Muddin' Mama" t-shirt anytime soon! Susan

Muffy's Marks said...

You will love the ATV. I use mine all the time, I love going to the pond, the dam, or just going berry picking. A word of caution, if you ride in the winter, stay on the packed trailed. If you get off into the deep snow, you are done. The traction isn't made for snow. Just a word from one 'who has been there'

Pablo said...

Consider it no more than a tool and you can still maintain your original land ethic. After all, Thoreau sold pencils, which were a technological innovation of his era.

So can you put attachments on the back of it that are powered by the ATV's engine? I've thought of getting one (with what money?) for my woods to get around and to mow with if I could attach a functional brush hog on the back.

Floridacracker said...

I love toys.
Especially when they can be work-justified!
That's how I got my motorcycle.
Just be careful, Vinny.

Deb said...

Susan- "Muddin' Mama"- I like it! :)

Muffy's Marks- Thanks for the advice. Seems like nothing is a match for deep snow.

Pablo- I don't know about powered attachments; I'll have to look into that. A brush hog would be very nice around here.

FC- It was the work-justification that finally got me to give in to The Hermit on this one. Yes, safety is priority #1.