Ankin Prood

A homestead that chose us

Spring 2015

There’s one thing in life you can always count on around here come March…spring WILL eventually blossom.  It’s really taken awhile for the warmth of the sun to help things grow.  We’re so far behind, compared to other years.  Sadly, we won’t have nesting geese this year–an old grouch of a goose scared off all of the young couples looking for a home to raise their young.

Our lenten roses are noticeably more prolific this year.  Three years ago, I planted what looked like sticks in the ground.  We would have more flowers, but a late snow zapped some of the blooms.

More pictures to come,  but this is all I have for now.  DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0026 DSC_0027 DSC_0029 DSC_0030

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Green Thumb or luck?

This year, it’s all about the garden here at Ankin Prood.

In the late winter, I sketch out my plan in my mind.  Usually on one of the last snowy days in February, I venture out in desperation, dreaming of the sun drenched days of summer and buy my seeds and starter greenhouse kit.  It’s hard to resist planting anything, so I’ll take out my seed packets and look at them and replan my garden half a dozen times.

Finally in early spring, Anna and I start our little seeds in tiny peat pots (this year we only started tomatoes, peppers, dill and basil inside–everything else we sowed directly into the ground), place them in a sunny window and make sure they’re watered and warm.

In early May, we spend a few quick hours planting our garden.  In addition to tomatoes and peppers, we’ve grown bush beans, zuchinni, cucumbers and an heirloom pumpkin.  To be honest, I’m shocked at how easy it is to grown your own vegetables.  You do have to be vigilant at the beginning–picking weeds, watering, whispering words of love and adoration to your seedlings, but once the plants sprout, nature takes its course and you have to do very little.  I don’t know, maybe we’re just lucky–but for two years, we’ve had a successful garden and it’s been relatively simple.  And I just love everything about gardening…I love picking weeds, watering, harvesting–I love it all.   I wish I had discovered the satisfaction earlier in life.  Here are some pics:

Grape tomatoes

Grape tomatoes

This is chamomile which can be used for tea which settles nerves.

This is chamomile which can be used for tea which settles nerves.

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Another view

Another view

Here's the lush garden.

Here’s the lush garden.

It's almost ready...

It’s almost ready…

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Our pumpkin vine has taken over the garden.  It's hard to believe that one seed will produce so much.  This is called a Jarrahdale pumpkin.   I've never eaten it (although you can), but use it for fall decorating.

Our pumpkin vine has taken over the garden. It’s hard to believe that one seed will produce so much. This is called a Jarrahdale pumpkin. I’ve never eaten it (although you can), but use it for fall decorating.

People say that this is a weed, but I just love the delicate nature of Queen Anne's Lace.

People say that this is a weed, but I just love the delicate nature of Queen Anne’s Lace.

My herbs--we use these daily.  Sometimes I just grab a handful of whatever is prettiest and throw it in my salad.

My herbs–we use these daily. Sometimes I just grab a handful of whatever is prettiest and throw it in my salad.

It's my first year growing zinnias.  I'll do it again--it's super easy and I love the bursts of color.

It’s my first year growing zinnias. I’ll do it again–it’s super easy and I love the bursts of color.

Sunday at Ankin Prood

In the span of three days, we’ve gone from Spring to full blown, drag out summer around here.  I hate it.  Where are my breezy 60 degree days?  Today, the high was 80–and with that, it seems like every pollen bearing tree, bush or flower has bloomed.  Take a look at the haze on our pond:

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In the meantime, Mama Goose has decided to sit on her eggs.  It took her about 5 days to lay them all of them.  She’d lay and egg, sit for a while and then get up to eat or swim.  Papa Goose wasn’t too happy with her choices–he’d honk, shake his head at her, peck at her and chase her around.  I guess he didn’t trust her mothering instinct.  Silly goose!  She’s finally settled down for the long haul–it’ll be around 28 days until her babies hatch.  Do you know why she won’t sit on the eggs until they’re all layed?  So that they all hatch at the same time.

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There she is, peeking around the tree.  She made her nest in the same exact spot as last year.

Here are a few more photos of a gorgeous (but hot) Sunday at Ankin Prood:

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Spring has Sprung

Little by little, Lady Spring has emerged–there’s signs of new life.  God’s promise…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Good riddance!

ImageImageOld Man Winter has been hard on Ankin Prood.  We’re in the process of cleaning things up.  I feel like I get a handle on things  and then another storm–rain, wind or snow–comes along and we’re back at square one again.  There’s nothing like fighting against Mother Nature.  Sigh.  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Some scanty history on Ankin Prood

I’ve done a little digging around and amazingly came across these documents on Ankin Prood.  When we bought our house, we were told it was circa 1732, but I can’t find any written evidence of that.  But, we did trace the deed back to 1780 and to the Bond family. This paperwork dates to 1976 by the Maryland Historical Society.  Take a look:Image

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Winter’s first gift

Winter has blown her frosty breath on us at Ankin Prood.  The weathermen say another 5 inches is on its way.  It’s amazing how the snow pushes a mute button on the noise from humans–well, except for the giddy giggles of a 10 year old.  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Changing seasons at Ankin Prood

It’s amazing how things change around here on a daily basis.  Everything is so quiet and still and yet it’s not–things are constantly growing, dying, moving, falling.  I’ll let the pictures tell you the story…

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Next Door Neighbors and another baby

So, I was all ready to do a post on how our neighbors are so quiet and peaceful–after all, every single one of them is dead.  You see, we live right next to a Quaker Meeting House and cemetery.  We’ve had many questions about this–Doesn’t this freak you out? Have you ever seen anything paranormal?  Don’t you get scared when you’re alone?  The answer is an emphatic “No!” to all of these inquiries.  In fact, one of my favorite views is from up in the bedroom, looking down on the graveyard in the early morning light, fog draped in low paintbrush strokes over the headstones.

After living in a town home for 10 years, silent neighbors is a welcomed change.

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As I was putting away some garden tools, absorbed in my thoughts of how to word  my post, thinking about how I could write something philosophical about living next to a whole field of dead bodies, something amazing happened.

I startled a deer and as it ran off, an explosion of feathers erupted from the side of the pond.  Apparently, Harry Blue is a Harriet, and Harriet has a baby.  I had to google what baby herons looked like–for some reason, I never imagined how tiny they could be.  Didn’t they come out of the egg with long legs and long necks already?  Silly me.

How can I be scared of a graveyard when I know that God has blessed this place so much.  All of this talk of birth and death gets me wondering, too, about how many babies were born in this house and how many people died here.  If only the walls could talk…

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My very own crock pot

I’ve had my eye on this beauty for the longest time.  Waiting.  Giving quiet hints to my mom that if she ever tired of it, I would gladly take it off her hands.  She joked and said, “You’re counting down the days until I die, aren’t you?  Have you made a mental shopping list of all the things you want from the house?”

Anyone who knows my mom would totally understand the humor in this accusatory comment.  She’s one of the most generous people I know–generous with her time, care, love and things.  I know that she didn’t really believe what she said.  More importantly, I know that she knows that no such thought has ever crossed my mind, ever.

Mostly, the reason why I love this giant old crock is that it holds one warm, golden memory from my childhood.   This crock was always by the door.  It contained our winter hats and mittens when we lived in Maine.  Our dog, a rascally golden retriever/irish setter, DSC_0018would steal our mittens and leave them littered across the floor until my dad fashioned a wooden lid for the top.  I can still hear the heavy clunk the lid made when we’d set it back on top.

Now this crock is at my house.  I don’t know what I’ll put in it.  Nothing yet;  right now it holds that memory and that’s enough.