Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cedrona Farm--My Little Piece of Puget Sound Paradise

Living in the Pacific Northwest requires a special breed of person to appreciate the beauty and tolerate the crappy weather 8-10 months of the year. Not that it’s cold or snowy, but it’s nine to ten months of gray to the point where you believe you’ll never see sun again in your lifetime. This past weather has proven especially trying, even for those of us who are native northwesterners like me. Despite the rain and perennial gray, I’d never want to live anywhere else.

The short bridle path through the woods on my property which opens into the horse arena
 Laura’s post about her beautiful little piece of heaven got me thinking about my own little paradise. About 18 years ago, my first husband and I decided to move back to where he grew up, a little town off of Highway 101 heading up the Olympic Peninsula. We started looking for property and found a three-acre plot in a newly developed area. All of the lots on this hill were at least 2 acres, and the property hadn’t been clearcut, so the trees were still standing. We purchased a lot that was partially on the hill but had a flat spot at the top in case I ever wanted to build a horse arena. When we had the land cleared, we also had it leveled and cleared for a future horse arena. The property borders commercial timberland so you can ride all day on the logging roads and trails around here.

My horse arena and horse barn
A few years later, we built our dream house. A year after that, we designed and had built a small horse barn on the property. The barn was a compromise because my former husband wanted a place to store his ski boat out of the rain, and I wanted a horse barn. Two-thirds of our barn was for horses and one-third had an area large enough for a ski boat. My horse barn and pasture even have views of a saltwater inlet and the Olympic Mountains.
My overgrown horse pasture

Over the years, I’ve kept one to two horses on the property, but after my divorce I started boarding my mare for the social aspect as well as being near my trainer.

For the past five years, my barn has been nothing more than a storage area. My small pasture has become overgrown and one of my stalls and paddocks has become a dog kennel. Over the 16-plus years I’ve lived here, the woods have started to move back in and take over. I’ve been battling it back, but at times I feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle. This summer my goal is to reclaim my overgrown pasture and repair perimeter fencing. I’m going to post some before pictures. Hopefully, by the end of the summer, you’ll get to see some after pictures.
The backside of our house

I love this property and feel especially fortune I was able to hang onto it after my divorce. My new husband loves the place as much as I do. He’s been primarily responsible for the flowers you seen in the pictures, as I don’t have a green thumb at all. Someday soon, I’ll have horses here again, and I’m looking forward to the day. It’s a great horse property and a shame that no horses live here.

But they will someday soon. Hopefully sooner. Then I'll have an entirely new set of challenges and joys to blog about. :)


Funder said...

What a stunningly beautiful place you have! I don't think I could live in the PNW - I crave sunny days too much - but I love seeing pictures of it. :)

Linda Benson said...

Gosh, Jami, I so relate. This weekend it finally dried up enough to walk some of the trails out back. Since last summer when I was on them the last time, most are totally overgrown, with grass, ferns, blackberries and young alder and fir trees. The lushness of the forest around us is indeed beautiful, but if you don't keep after it, it reverts to an impassable jungle-like thickness in practically no time. And we can sit in the back yard and watch our grass grow - or it seems that way. Enjoy summer, Jami - we have to make the most of our sunny days while we can, right?

Shanster said...

Wow - it's so LUSH! Being in dry, dry, dry Colorado you forget how green and lush it is other places... and I think I have it bad with the weeds. grin. Lovely place! Thanks for sharing!!

Laura Crum said...

I loved the photos--its so fun to see other people's horse properties and yours is lovely. But yeah, like Funder, I would need more sun. Just the morning fog we get here by the Monterey Bay in the summer can get me down sometimes. And we have had so much rain here this spring that our woods are pretty jungley, too, as you could see in my trail ride photos on the last post. And its supposed to rain again tomorrow (!) This is totally unheard of around here, where it almost never rains in the summer. So we're getting a PNW type experience this year.

Chelsie said...

It looks gorgeous there. We haven't had a decent rain in a while. In fact our horse fields barely have any grass in them now.

Francesca Prescott said...

Jami, your property has such a lovely romantic and peaceful atmosphere. I love all the ferns, and your house is so pretty. Is this where you set The Dance? Or was it in the San Juan islands? When I remember reading your book this was the sort of setting I imagined, especially the arena among the woods!

Anonymous said...

Great post and photos, Jami. I love how nature takes over any unclaimed spot here in VA as well. You didn't mention any critters--do you have as many deer, raccoons and possum as we have?

Alison said...

Wow, love the photos, Jami, especially since I've never been to the NW. We have lush vegetation here in Virginia, but nothing like you have. Where we live is another fun difference that we writers bring to the blog!

Jami Davenport said...

Thanks everyone for the ocmments. Francesca, The Dance was set in the San Juans.

We do have other critters. In fact, we love to watch the different birds that come to the bird feeders (so does our cat). We also have a black bear that lives in the woods nearby, and all the other various animals, including the rose-eating deer. :)