We were touring the skeletal remains of corn fields in search of Sandhill Cranes, but we did not hear any bugle calls or see large birds in flight. It seemed the winter visitors had already migrated to their next residence.

Occasionally a fleck of ice would mix with the drizzle hitting the windshield of the blue Ford truck as my brother and I drove the back roads listening to the radio and looking for any amusement we could find. The last Saturday of January in Barren County, Kentucky was wet, gray and uninspiring.

We ended up at Redbud. This farm has not been in cultivation in over a decade. Dad had put it into a Federal program that supported seeding the fields in native grasses. When the program ended Dad left it wild other than cutting pathways around the farm so he can drive around on his side by side. His friends think that he is nuts for letting a good farm go to waste, but the whole family enjoys the natural state of this farm that butts up to Mammoth Cave National Park. Spring through fall we watch the progression of wild flowers and the walnut tress that are rapidly taking over the back corner. My father spent his career working in and raising his three children in National Parks. We have fun in touring amongst the Cone Flowers, Passion Flowers, wild bees and butterflies.

On this winter day my brother and I were on foot. The only color in the dormant field came from Coralberry which is a winter food source for birds. Seemingly fossilized relics of Queen Anne’s Lace, Milkweed and thistles were ghosts of the abundance of September. Our excitement was seeing a white-tailed buck as he headed toward the trees. My perpetually happy blue heeler pup was racing unseen opponents up and down the pathway. I think she was winning.

For the siblings it was a lonely togetherness with each of us in silence with our own thoughts. Occasionally one of us would point out something or ask a question, but it was a quiet walk. As we reached the back property line with the Park, the drizzle became rain. It was that kind of day.

14 thoughts on “Redbud

  1. Ladysag77 says:

    What a loving tribute to your environment, your father and your family Sarah. How blessed you all are to have had a natural life and upbringing around such beautiful grounds. Thank you for sharing a peek inside your world. Winter holds it’s own mysterious wonder and magic at time when nature is dead, nothing is stirring or blooming and still 🤍❄😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Debbie says:

    I haven’t read your blog long enough to know whether you’ve already done this, but I hope you’ll make a return trip to the farm in Spring or Summer so you can share its beauty then! Sometimes a gray day gives us sufficient reason to be quiet and contemplative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Yes!!! I’m not sure if I’ve blogged it, but maybe I’ll collect some photos from last summer and do a post. Once spring gets here, I will document the growth. It is a private wonderland that I visit with my dad as often as I can. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Rodgers says:

    What a wonderful, quiet walk, even if you missed the sandhill cranes. I’m so glad your father planted native grasses and then left it wild, another nature sanctuary the world could use more of. I drove across Kentucky in September 2018 after attending a wedding in Louisville and then driving to visit my aunt and cousin in West Virginia. It was a very scenic state — the only time I’ve ever been there. Thanks so much for sharing these photos and taking us along on this peaceful, contemplative walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your walk. It soothes my soul to see quiet scenes like the ones in your photos. I’ve been home for so long it’s easy to forget there are many paths out there yet to be explored.


  5. shoreacres says:

    What a beautiful spot, and what a wonderful walk. I had a place much like that, although smaller. It was a little vacant field about a half hour down the road, and it was filled with wildflowers every season. Last year, it sold. It was mowed down, fenced, and is posted now. Just like that — gone.
    Hang on to this treasure that you have. All of us need to know it’s out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      YES! The farm will pass to my brother. We intend to keep it and hope to acquire more land around it. It is in the “back en of no where” so development should stay limited. I hope to create a sanctuary for wild bees there.

      Liked by 1 person

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