This is not the greatest photo, but it is the only one I had that gives an idea of what Ryan's place looks like. The photo is taken from about the top of his driveway looking down the center of his property. The dark 'line' in the grass straight up from Ryan and Leah is the pond; way to the right, trees and gullies border the pasture land; to the left is a neighbor's field (he grows corn or soybeans each year.) The white 'spot' at the treeline at the top left of the photo is the hay stack (down there is also the food plot for deer and also where all of the fruit trees are.) So, there is a bit of an explanation of the "lay of the land"!
We were pleasantly surprised to see a small flock of Blue-Winged Teal on Ryan's pond! They did not stick around long, though.
Ryan and Leah walking along the dam (I tried to take a photo of one of the many big bullfrogs that were around the pond, but they never let me get close enough.)
After walking around the pond, we headed over to the woods and took a look at one of the gullies that Ryan is working on filling up with hay bales . . . it is big! But he has made a lot of progress in filling it up and stopping more erosion from taking place. Once we started walking through the field again, I was startled by seeing this right in front of me . . .
I did not exactly scream, but I was startled! I do not mind snakes too much (especially non-poisonous ones), but they always give me such a start when first happening upon them. Once getting over the initial surprise, though, I had fun photographing it and getting closer and closer until finally I got too close and frightened it away. I was once again startled, though, as it was not one snake, but two. I was not expecting to see two snakes suddenly dart off! They headed in opposite directions, and one came just a little too close to me for comfort. Snakes are fascinating and are often beneficial creatures, but I appreciate if they keep their distance!
While at Ryan's, we had the opportunity to see an abundance of varied plant life. I especially enjoyed all of the flowers blooming in the woods. Once getting home, Leah and I had fun trying to figure out what they all were. This one is called Wild Sweet William . . .
The Sweet William seemed to be the most common flower that we saw. The delicate blue flowers were so pretty especially when backed by the green undergrowth of the 'forest' floor. The below flower, though, was my favorite, and it is
A farmer putting out hay for his cattle . . . Ryan made the comment that he would not mind owning that tractor. :)
One thing that I love about this time of year is seeing all the little calves in the pastures . . . this Black Angus cow and calf we enjoyed seeing!
We were all a bit sad when we reached the end of the little country highway that we were on as it was then time to turn onto the 'regular' roads to finish the drive home. Once arriving home, Leah and I quickly put supper together and got it in the oven before heading out with Ryan to do the evening chores. The majority of the remainder of the evening was spent gathered around the dining room table simply enjoying each other's company as we visited together. How very thankful I am for my dear family . . . and how thankful I am for evenings like this. Relaxing. Enjoyable. Fun. Uplifting. But most of all, is the building and strengthening of relationships between us through these special times.