Discovering New Lands


This is the Bee Field. (I wrote about it in Pasture Tour–Other Fields.)

I call it the Bee Field because next to it is an area where I intend to set my hives. For some reason, there are fence posts here, but no fencing.

I may go ahead and add fencing wire to the posts, though I’m not sure it’s really necessary. The main field here is fenced, with a gate, and runs along the road.

It’s across the road from the house.

I have 21 acres across the road. I’ve only been here for four months, and it was winter with a lot of other things going, so this has been a mostly unexplored area other than checking out the lower field and walking the fenceline to see what repairs were needed. From my very cursory inspection, I didn’t think there was much useable land going up the hill.

But then I hadn’t been up the hill!

This weekend, my neighbor Jim took me up the hill on his four-wheeler. He and his family own the bordering property at the back of the Bee field. Jim has lived out here all his life and knows the land the way only someone who was a boy here, exploring the way a boy does, knows the land. He has also seen numerous owners of my farm come and go in that time, and he knows a lot about my farm. He’s been very helpful in helping me understand the property lines all the way around, where I border two other property owners plus his family.

He stopped over this weekend when the superboys got their truck stuck in front of the barn yard where they were loading fence wire. After he pulled them out with my tractor, he said, “You need to see what’s up your hill across the road.”

I said, “I didn’t think there was anything up my hill across the road.”

He said, “I’ll show you.”

And, wow, I was amazed. There are two levels going up the hill, and it reminded me a little bit of Stringtown Rising, only I don’t have to try to put a house up here.

There are 21 acres over here, and on each of the levels going up (middle and upper) there are wide bands of reasonably level land that could be cleared for pasture. (And some of it is cleared already.) Here is the middle level above the big lower field. It’s not cleared, but could be cleared with a dozer fairly easily as most of the larger trees were timbered in the not too distant past. That’s the four-wheeler in the first picture–there are good trails through here.

There are also quite a few locust trees in here, which make good fence posts.

Up at the top level on the next plateau, the land is easier to see as there are gas wells up here and access is kept cleared by the gas company.

I don’t know that I need/want more pasture at this time (or ever) because what I have already is more than sufficient, but it was very interesting to discover what is there and to realize that there is useable land. (And I would need to check in with the gas company and make sure I was providing appropriate access if I ever did want to fence it. Not an issue for now since I don’t foresee fencing it in the near future at least.) Jim pointed out my property line all the way around, which was also good information to have. I will be marking a nature trail here. When you get to the top, there are gorgeous rock formations and overlooks.

In this photo below, you can see my farm from my ridge across the road.

Where the arrow points to the cattle farm, that is a large cattle farm that runs all the way to a road on the other side, hundreds of acres. The cleared edge of that ridge is actually a ridge over from my farm, though that is hard to tell from the photo. My farm runs up to the ridge to some huge rock formations over there, then drops back down and up to another (higher) ridge, which is the cleared ridge you can see partially in this photo. From down below, you can’t see that ridge at all, so this was an interesting view for me and gave me a better perspective of the layout of my farm than you can get from standing on the ground below.

The rock overlooks are awesome. This is Jim standing on one of them. You can walk right out onto the rocks here.

I walked out there and it made me feel queasy.

I still have more unexplored areas on the bulk of my farm that is on the house-side of the road. Now that it’s spring, I’ll be doing a lot more exploring!


  1. bonita says:

    That overlook/outcrop is what I think of when I think of WV. Flat land hardly ever comes to mind. Land is nice to have even if you don’t use it all the time. After all, they’re not making any more of it! You’re either gonna learn to ride Patriot or you’ll have to get a 4-wheeler…sometime

  2. GaPeach says:

    I am surprised that you don’t have a lake on the property. Here in my neck of the woods that would be one of the things on my list to do… dig out a lake. You have running water from a creek it wouldn’t take much and you could stock it with fish too. That would provide water for the animals too.

  3. CATRAY44 says:

    You could put one of these up there and house paying guest or use if for a quiet place to write…. :snuggle: What an amazing piece of land you own, Suzanne!

  4. josie9395s says:

    Just imagine all of the ramps and other goodies that are lurking out there. :eating:

  5. ladyroxanne says:

    Wow, that is amazing you had all that up there and didn’t even know it! So beautiful!

  6. Ms.Becky says:

    I wouldn’t have thought anything could be more beautiful than your land/farm at Stringtown Rising, but looking at your current land, I’m realizing that’s not true. The rock outcroppings, the woods, pastures, it’s amazing how beautiful it is. Especially this time of year. Have you found any ramps yet? You are so blessed. :hug:

  7. Leah's Mom says:

    Sighhhhh I’ve always wanted to live on land like that. Having ALWAYS lived in Indiana (flat, flat, and more flat with occasional areas of rolling hils mostly near river valleys), I’m jealous!

  8. holstein woman says:

    Suzanne, that is beautiful land, what a BLESSING for you!

  9. ferngrower says:

    My dad inherited an old farm a few years ago that had been in his family for decades. He cleaned it up and rented out areas for other farmers to grow beans on. He sold the thin wood to the railroad who uses the sticks to put the ties together. It was a creative way to make money. Lynda

  10. brookdale says:

    It is so beautiful there! What are the gorgeous pink bushes in the woods?
    Love all the big rocks covered with lichens.
    Lucky you, Suzanne!

  11. CarrieJ says:

    When you start generating income, you should buy a couple of 4 wheelers so you can take people coming to your workshops on a tour. 🙂

  12. MMHoney says:

    What a nice discovery. I would suggest you designate this land for projects that will not be moved year after year.
    1. Your bee hives with land to plant clover, etc for the bees to
    2. Your ramps. blackberries. etc.
    3. Establish a nature trail for guest hikers.
    The joy is that it will require little maintenance and up-keep. Save the locust posts. They are to die for. Don’t let them get away from you, The very best fence post available..

  13. beforethedawn says:

    That is an awesome discovery, no wonder he wanted to show you!

  14. JeannieB says:

    How about some RV hookups for guests??

  15. Eva says:

    Very nice. Regarding beekeeping…we are going into our third season with bees. The only nugget of advice that I’ve learned is that the hives should be where it’s easy for you to check on them…we put ours in the meadow behind our house which is about ..two football field lengths from the house. We did this for a variety of what we thought were good reasons. However, I recall an old beekeeper saying…the most important thing you can do with your bees is to check on them. We were so focused on their being in a quiet, safe spot that we did not listen. The new hives we’re adding are near the house and I’m not one bit worried about them being close to us. I was so silly about my bees…I used to sing to them and then learned they were deaf. They are wonderful additions to our life. Not pets exactly, but it’s very nice to see them buzzing about on the flowers.

  16. Utahnana says:

    I so miss living in the South. I was raised in Texas and Tennessee. But our jobs are here in Utah. I could live in the South again with no regrets. I would NOT miss the mountains or the snow!!! Everything is so beautiful back there and so green. But as God says, “Bloom where you are planted.” Or somebody said it, not sure exactly who:) I love this site:)

  17. doubletroublegen says:

    Please say you have all those mineral rights! :snoopy:

  18. Debbie in PA says:

    What beautiful land. Did any of the previous owners use this piece of land for any specific purpose? BTW, is that a “chicken in the road” that i see in one of the pictures? :chicken: LOL!

  19. sunhurteyes says:

    Great piece of property…especially the rock formations and the overlooks.

  20. rileysmom says:

    Oh, what a beautiful rock outcropping! And lovely redbuds……okay, I do miss those from the South!
    Looks like a nice peaceful spot to “just be!”

  21. Leck Kill Farm says:

    I thought the same thing about little cabins AND the mineral rights. Even bare sites with fire rings, a cleared spot for a tent and a picnic table might be very appealling to workshop guests.

    I love those rocks and would put in a little picnic area for my guests at that spot.

    My one and only trip to WV was when I first noticed red buds. I now have four and they sing “spring” to me.

  22. LK says:

    You make me sad 😥 for me, but happy for you! :sun:

    Yes, as some have already said…I would put my cabins here. It is very similar to the place that I would have put cabins had we been able to get the land that we’d been dreaming about for oh so many years. It sold to someone who just wanted a cheap place to put a house…they don’t see the beauty and potential that we saw. They put their house in a very odd spot to boot. 😥 😥 I try not to think about it too much anymore, but the dream of what we’d do still lingers on…

    You have trees, features, places overlooking lower areas, and a bit of distance between your place and it…so there is a measure of privacy which is so appealing to those wanting to stay in cabins. Just don’t put them too close together to maintain that privacy and make sure that there are trees/shrubs to act as a barrier. Give those cabins little open porches too.

    We were going to do this and in winter, have our team of sled dogs (don’t have a place, but are currently working towards a team anyway) cart them up in winter, and we would deliver certain things up to the cabins (supplies, picnic lunches, etc.) by dogsled as well. In summer, we considered taking them up either by wheeled dogsled or horse-drawn wagon. I don’t know…could you work on giving them some sort of hayride up to the top if you did this? You already have a wide trail ready for that.

    People would pay good money should you do cabin rentals (or a B&B idea) throughout the year. It could make you a decent income too.

    We would have had a fire pit on an outcropping that would have had a 180* view of a historic river valley and trails for walking and horses. We still would like to do all of this somewhere one day…just waiting for another place that has such beautiful appeal to dream about again and actually BUY this time. :yes: I just hope we can find a more perfect place. Hard to think that there could be such a thing around here, but we are still hoping. My take on this piece is…don’t waste it…use it to its fullest potential! LOVE it for its beauty! Give it high honors. :hug:

  23. shirley T says:

    Be very careful when you go hiking,”them thar hills are full of copperheads” Please don’t go hiking alone. I grew up in WVA with mountains just like those~~~ I saw lots of copperheads~ I managed to step over them and go on~~ It’s a wonder I survived.

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