Of Water, Trees, and Tractors


It’s been dry here. Any rain in the past few weeks has been random–and light.

I have two creeks on my farm. One of the creeks starts on my farm, way back behind the second upper pasture, from springs in a huge cliff. This is the creek that is seen in most of my photos because it’s the creek that runs through the upper pastures, the sheep field, down along the driveway and through the back barnyard, and on into the cow field. The other creek runs through the field on the other side of the road, then goes under the road to join up with the creek that starts on my farm. Where the two creeks join is in the cow field, which keeps the cows in good water because the creek that comes from the other side of the road is a larger creek with more water. I’m not sure where that creek starts, but not on this farm.

The creek on this side of the road, the one that starts on my farm, doesn’t have much backup of water coming at it since this is its inception, so I’ve found it dries up quickly if there’s no rain. I do, however, have dozens (who knows how many) natural springs on my farm. West Virginia is the land of water–it’s out there, if you can bend it to your will. Finding springs isn’t difficult. Just go out on a dry day and find water where it shouldn’t be. The bottom of hillsides, rocks, those are good places to look. It’s the bending it to my will part that is the problem.

Adam and Robbie have been out here on several different random days helping me around the farm. When I say I have “hired men” I feel like my great-grandmother, but it’s a good feeling to know I have general farm help to call upon when I need it. They will move cows, move horses, put up hay, build a milking parlor, re-coat the barn roof, dig up old stumps, fix fences, make a creep feeder, show me where the mulberry, sassafras, and pawpaw trees are, put a cart together, haul hay, let me out of the milking parlor when I lock myself in, and make me laugh–a lot. I’m glad I found them. (Thanks, SarahGrace!) They’re generous with their time and their knowledge, and they even teach me how to do things for myself, which is only marginally dangerous to their job since they do many things I won’t ever do. When they’re coming, I start making a list. Sometimes they do things that aren’t even on my list. If they see a thing needs done, they do it.

The other day they were here doing some other things for me and asked for the tractor key. I was busy doing something else and gave it to them without asking why. They came back to the house later and Adam said, “We dug out a pool for you by one of your springs so you have water in your upper pasture now.”

It didn’t take long for the spring to start filling the pool with water. They got Patriot and the donkeys and we walked them back to the upper pasture, where there is still plenty of grass, and now plenty of water, too.

Adam took them down to the pool to show them where the water was. Patriot had an exuberant splash-attack in the pool as soon as he laid eyes on it.

Water = happy horse.

As we walked back, Adam pointed out all the pawpaw, sassafras, and mulberry trees in the upper pasture.

Several mulberry trees. TONS of pawpaw trees. And the sassafras trees are thick, too. Robbie said, “That’s why they call it Sassyfras Farm.” He always calls it Sassyfras Farm. He cracks me up.

I’ve also started tractor lessons. Here’s Adam, showing me how to drive the tractor. (Kelly Walker was still here the day he gave me my first tractor lesson and she took the following photos.)

I’m hauling hay in a truck, riding a horse, and driving a tractor! Somebody pinch me, I think I’m a farmer!


  1. liz2 says:

    What a week you’ve had–hauling hay, riding horses, driving your tractor & hosting a party on the farm! You’re making progress by leaps & bounds. Patriot looks so sleek & happy. Looks like he loves his very own splash pool.

  2. beforethedawn says:

    Look at you on your tractor! You go girl!

    A pool for Patriot, I didn’t know a horse could enjoy water so much. Great video of him!

    One of my favorite things to do as a kid was pick berries from our mulberry tree. I ate every single one I picked. :hungry:

  3. Old Geezer says:

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him splash around in it like a toddler in a baby pool — unless he wants to.”

    — Some Old Geezer tellin’ tales

  4. bonita says:

    Lordy, Patriot seems to be having fun. Have you noticed he is right-hoof dominant? Watch him splash..it’s different depending on which hoof he’s splashing!

  5. Rose H says:

    You did all that and I’m smiling from ear to ear! 😀

  6. twiggityNDgoats says:

    I’m so glad to see you on the tractor. Soon you’ll be digging watering holes too.

  7. caprilis says:

    You GO Farmer Sue!! I can tell you from personal experience, that when you become confident on that tractor you will have a feeling of power like you won’t believe!

  8. SarahGrace says:

    Yay! You’re welcome! I start to miss them when I haven’t seen them for a few days. I always learn something new. This past Christmas a friend gave me “A Box of Laughter”. It’s simply a box that when opened a laugh bursts out. I think they should have used Robbie’s laugh. He really does have a great laugh. The guys were here yesterday putting on my porch roof and they also started on the siding of the cabin. They should be back today, well unless the “picture lady” calls them again. 8) The next time you come by, Serenity Farm will look quite different!
    So I take it that you don’t need any of my sassyfras trees now that you know where yours are at? Good job on getting on that tractor! :shimmy: :shimmy:

  9. kdubbs says:

    You go, Suzanne. We knew you could do it.

  10. BuckeyeGirl says:

    :moo: Yep, you’re a farmer!

  11. wildcat says:

    Well look at you, driving the tractor! Way to go! Now there’s no stopping you. :happyflower:

  12. Rainn says:

    :cowsleep: You are a woman farmer–we hear you roar!!! Love it!! The first picture is wonderful -but Patroit splashing is the best! Looks like what we all are feeling-so glad he is happy and free from hurt ever again!~~Rain

  13. MrsB says:

    Learning to use the tractor is the most important thing you will learn to do – it will help you for YEARS to come. Congrats!

  14. Darlene says:

    Don’t know if this would be of interest to you but it is very easy to train your horses to come to you when you call them. My dad showed me how when I was young. Have a small bucket of oats (or whatever) and call their name as you walk out to them. Let them have a taste and walk with them back to the barn. Each time you get them spread the space they have to walk to get their taste of oats. Before long they don’t have to see you, just hear you calling their name and will come all the way to you. This was always fun for me watching the other kids walk to the end of the pasture for their horses as mine walked to me. You are going to love horseriding :snoopy:

  15. marrypoppinz says:

    I have just one question: Do you drink Sassafras tea????

  16. CarrieJ says:

    Awesome! You have come so far since you moved here…it’s been amazing to watch.

  17. Miss Judy says:

    Ha! I read the post about the horse trainer first…you did find a tractor trainer! I knew you’d get around to it sooner or later.

  18. Jen says:

    Please post some pics of your sassafras & pawpaw trees. I haven’t seen a pawpaw tree for years. Trees are such a treasure. I have mulberry trees & try to take advantage of them as much as I can.

  19. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Patriot looks SO happy! And congratulations on your tractor (and horse) training.

    Look how far you’ve come, woman! :snoopy:

  20. perry says:

    I love the photos and the video. However, I am curious, Why is Patriot splashing like that? Is she trying to find the source of the water or what? Having never been around horses except when I was taking barrel riding in college (don’t even ask why) I have no idea why they do what they do.

  21. yvonnem says:

    :shimmy: I knew you could drive that tractor as soon as you started loving driving the truck!

    Truly enjoyed this post…your “hired help” are great guys and you’re lucky to have found them. :shimmy:

  22. CATRAY44 says:

    Patriot must think he is in heaven!

Add Your Thoughts