Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Leaves are Falling...

Wow! The mighty Mississippi sure looks pretty from our east deck! Just kidding. Yes, this is the mighty Mississippi, but it's looking pretty from Hanging Rock at Effigy Mounds National Monument just north of McGregor, Iowa. We took the opportunity on a particularly lovely autumn day to hike the 7 mile round trip to Hanging Rock to take in this spectacular view. We're looking south toward McGregor, and, to the far left, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. This area of northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, southwest Wisconsin, and southeast Minnesota, is known as the "driftless" region, because glaciers got lazy and neglected to drift into this area. Lucky for us, as it's left some spectacular scenery! We love to take day trips to this part of the state, and say "Iowa sure is flat." We hope we've been able to dispel that myth with this blog!

This view really is from the east deck, looking south. The H windows on the dining porch are taking in a cool easterly wind, and reflecting on the bluff in the distance. Note the denuded field mid-frame--those were the soybeans. The yellowish stuff just this side of the trees is a field of beans planted late due to, you guessed it--flooding. There's a creek inside those trees, which ran quite high this spring and early summer, delaying planting in the bottomland. The line between beans and no beans is the southern boundary of our property. We've been taking a lot of pictures lately, as the color pallette is at its most varied at this time of year. The green strip of grass-looking stuff extending into the bean field is one of our "waterways", so planted to reduce erosion of the scant topsoil remaining on Yum Yum Farm. Future posts will expand on conservation and restoration measures we're taking to keep our dirt healthy. Strange hobby, isn't it?

The wood stove is back in action after a warm weather hiatus. This particular appliance is our best friend during that part of the year when the mercury disappears from the thermometer. This is our first opportunity on the blog to show this part of the room in action! Note the limestone hearth, cut from the quarry depicted in Grant Wood's "Stone City Iowa". Damn, this thing was heavy! We are especially enamored with the striations in the limestone, which we didn't realize would be so prominent. The floor is really developing a warm patina. Or maybe the stove is making me think everything has a warm patina. Whatever the case may be, this gives a good sense of what makes the Yum Yum Farm house a cozy place to be when winter's winds are howlin'.