At the Farm

By June 4, 2011 Gardening No Comments

Fireflies in the forest

When my plane touched down after midnight in Ottawa, the air was muggy and hot. The first hot humid day they’d had this year. My parents picked me up in their RV as they’d just come back from touring Prince Edward Island. My dad drove us back to the farm and we arrived around four in the morning after seeing numerous raccoons and other creatures by the road. We pulled up the dirt road off a dirt road and down the long driveway to the old farmhouse and when I climbed out of the RV, the first thing I saw in the darkness was fireflies. I’ve never seen fireflies! What magic those little beetles are!

The farmhouse and an old heirloom apple tree

View of the farm and "hills" from the first hay field

The next day was beautiful and sunny and my old friend the wind kept the humidity and the mosquitoes away. My parents had a couple appointments in town so I spent the morning wandering around the farm –through the fields and to the edges of the old growth forests. It is gorgeous here. The farm is on top of a mountain with rolling mountains all around, but to this BC girl they are more akin to short rolling hills covered in hardwood trees.  My parents have 83 acres which consist of three large hay fields, a large grassy area by the old farmhouse, with the original heritage barn and other outbuildings, and about 40 acres of untouched forest in the back. The land is peppered with heirloom apple trees and old farm machinery – some meant to be hooked up to horses, and some to ancient tractors. I didn’t see the deer or black bears during my wanderings through wood and field, but I did see monarch butterflies, tons of dragonflies, a dead cicada, many small birds, and some wild turkeys.

The original heritage barn

Rusted farm equipment

The farm had been in the same family since the earth was first broken. The driveway, which is long enough to be considered a road, was named after them. They were the local barn builders in the area and many of the barns built by that family are still standing on other farms, although many have fallen apart from disuse. My parents are the first outside of that family to own the farm. It’s the way it is in rural Ontario. When the old folks pass on, their city-dwelling children and grandchildren want nothing to do with the family farm and sell it off.

My parents turned it back into a working farm again, renovated the farmhouse, and fixed up the original outbuildings with a little help from the Foxfire books I gifted my dad for his 50th birthday years back. They had cattle, pigs, and chickens, but after my father’s car accident he wasn’t able to take care of them without causing himself great pain, so now they will only keep a couple animals on a seasonal basis for meat. He still takes good care of his hay fields though and makes sure to tap his sugar maples every winter to make maple syrup from scratch over a fire outdoors.

TC and Ellie ahead of me on the path through the hay fields

The forest at the end of the fields

As my parents just got back from travelling like I have been, we’ve just been relaxing at the farm. Me and mom have been out in the vegetable garden, and my father has been mowing the grass grown tall while he was away hiding snakes and mice. We’ve been taking turns cooking delicious homemade meals for each other and rewatching Bones from the beginning in the evenings while my mom knits. It feels so good to spend time with my parents in their own domain and to feel so much love from people I love so much in return.

It’s also been good to see my childhood cat TC. He’s an old old man now, but still just as beautiful and just as mischievous and food-stealing. He remembers me well and keeps sitting on my lap, sleeping on my bed, and going for walks with me. I love that old cat. Tomorrow we’re off to Ottawa for my Poppa’s 81st birthday. He just got out of the hospital last week in a feat of lucky timing on his part. I’m looking forward to seeing my grandparents as well as all of my many aunts, uncles, and cousins. My grandparents are about to become great grandparents for the second time! The big family keeps getting bigger.

My childhood cat TC (aka Telegraph Creek where he was found)

The Foxfire series - droolworthy lost pioneer skills

I’ll be getting up to more mischief while I’m here and I’ll blog about it as I do. My parents finally have high speed internet since a cellphone tower was built a year ago so I can blog during my visit now that I don’t have to deal with pesky dial-up.

A lucky horsehoe

Join the discussion No Comments

  • Looks like you’re having a great time! ^_^

    P.s, my order of Raven Smoke and Medea’s Salve came it and both are absolutely awesome!

  • This is absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing. You can feel the love eminating from the photos. I am a Traditional Witch myself, Saxon by heritage and follow much of the old norse teachinings. Kitty is so beautiful, I have two myself. I live in Florida, but am from Kentucky/Indiana so I miss the mountains and know much of the old hill Craft and lived a lot of the FireFox books ways. Well, again thanks so much for taking us on your walks and trip. Blessing & Love.


  • Elizabeth K says:

    It all sounds just lovely! Enjoy yourself and your time with your parents and your old kitty.

  • hadaig says:

    “It’s the way it is in rural Ontario. When the old folks pass on, their city-dwelling children and grandchildren want nothing to do with the family farm and sell it off.”

    It seems to be the trend in rural Vermont (USA), also.

  • Valerianna says:

    Beautiful place! And a great old cat! Have a great visit with family….

  • sunny says:

    when I read your post I started to cry a little bit. My parents passed away when I was 5 and I was raised by my grandmother. When reading I could almost feel and see the exsperience.
    Thank you for sharing – I work hard now so that someday I could live that easy life.
    I would love to own a farm someday – or a little plot of land. Enjoy your peace.

  • Kim says:

    My Aunt Toni and my Dad were just talking about the Foxfire books yesterday. I love fireflies and used to see them outside every summer but haven’t seen them in years.

  • Pyemusing says:

    A beautiful place-your pleasure at being home shines through.
    Thanks for sharing it with us lot!
    Hope the rest of your stay is everything you need and more.

  • Alicia says:

    Fireflies are very magical; they are the “heralds” of summer in Connecticut. I am glad to hear your Poppa is out of the hospital. Have a great time with your family. Many blessings to you and yours!

    P.S. The land surrounding the farm is beautiful.

  • Laurel says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL farm! I am glad that your parents have it as a farm once again. TC is a real cutie and those Firefox books sound right up my alley.

    Enjoy your stay and I hope you get to spend plenty of time with your folks and other kin.

  • Ember says:

    WOW!!! thanks for sharing the images. I especially loved the one of the fireflies. I’ve not seen that before. The images are amazing and made my day. Enjoy your adventure. 😀

  • James Wilson says:

    Wonderful post. I know that’s not a bear leading TC down the path but he sure looks like one! We have a lot of fireflies down here in SC and you can the rare phenomena of synchronous flashing out at Congaree National Park.

  • Anon says:

    How long are you going to be in Ottawa?

  • nikiahseeds says:

    Sarah, your family home and surroundings look stunning! I am overcome with longing now for home in Ont too!
    Have a beautiful time!

  • Thank you everyone for your well wishes! Mom and I are off to the Byward Market today!