One of my readers had asked if I could put up a panoramic view of my place so that ya'll could see the location of all these things I write about. I tried and tried to photograph the place from one or even two different locations that would give a good view of everything and have determined that it's about impossible. This shot was the best I could come up with and I've put it up many times before. At any rate, you can see the location of the garden in relation to the house and all. And to any new readers, if the house looks odd, like it's not finished, well, it's not. Ha! It's a long way off in some respects actually. There is a whole 'nuther half that should be on there. The house will eventually be a true Southern dogtrot, but that's another post.
If you look to the very far right you can see just the edge of the chicken coop. It shares a fence with the garden. This is to save material and allow the chickens into the garden at times.
Now, out of the frame and to the far left is where my metal shop and tractor shed will go. It will be hid from the house by woods. My land continues on down the valley in this direction until you come to a subdivision. If you keep walking through the woods to the right, past the chicken coop, you pass the pump house and eventually come to the spring where I get my water. Behind me, the driveway runs alongside a bubbly, clear creek as it makes it's way to the main road.
Many people have commented on the wonderful spirit that resides in this valley and it does have a very serene but lively feeling. There is something very comforting about this place to most people. I placed the house mainly by intuition, as the land was so overgrown you couldn't really see much, but it seems my intuition was correct. The following quote explains what I mean:
The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui has defined where to locate buildings in order to create a secure sense of place. They call this location the ‘belly of the dragon’. In an ideal world, this place is midway up the north slope of a hill overlooking water at the bottom of a valley. Here you have access to the sun. You are high enough to avoid flooding and pooling cool air and low enough to avoid the winds that blow over the top of the hill. You have a view for protection against invasion and yet reasonable access to water.
Locating a place in ‘the belly of the dragon’ will naturally attract people and give them a sense of security. Protection from the wind; exposure to the sun; a place to sit and get a view; and proximity to water appeal to us on a primordial level. It creates a space where events can take place - where life can take place. Buildings designed with this in mind offer their inhabitants an intangible quality that adds to their comfort.
The house is not completely midway up the foothill but it is elevated enough to fit the description I believe. I hope to clear a little bit more land in front of the house in order to make the creek a bit more accessible also.
Now, many people would scoff at such a philosophy and I have had some people come here that were very uncomfortable. In fact, some almost refuse to come back. And no, I didn't throw rocks at them or anything. Might have crossed my mind....However, those people are ones that I believe have willingly sacrificed their connection to the earth and live life mainly for the material gain. That philosophy does not fly here. I would not be so silly as to think that this location protects me from all storms though. However, the vast majority of bad weather approaches from over the foothill behind me, so it does offer some break from the strong winds.
The land is also inundated with wonderful beneficial creatures such as the dragonflies I have named the valley after. Or snake doctors as the old people here used to call them. They are great. I love to watch them darting around, scooping up all the nasty bugs. Sometimes they will let me pick them up and get a closer look. They turn their big eyes towards me and nod. I try to encourage them with decorative likenesses. It seems to work. I have counted about 6 different types of dragonflies I think.
The plants here are also special. I find new flowers ever year and many medicinal types. I have also found about 5 or 6 different types of ferns. It seems that every type of my favorite creature or plants grow here. Many times I have thought that I wished this or that grew here only to find it's wild version the next spring. Often right outside my door. I often get a good look at the hawks and barred owls that live along the creek. I saw the owl just the other day on my morning walk and kicked myself for not having my camera. He sat up on a limb and we just stared at each other for a while. I waved to him and he cocked his head to the side as if to say, why would you do that?.
So, this is my land. I will try to get some more photos soon.