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Friday, March 6, 2015

Swofford Pond, Elk in my Yard and Cool Old Barns!

 I promised to go fishing with my husband if he'd work on a certain project at home.  He worked, I went fishing!  (Well, he went fishing, too....)

This is taken not far from one end of Swofford Pond.  We are in a little aluminum boat (maybe 12' or 15' long - I can't remember) with a battery powered motor, so it is nice and quiet.  We trolled along, fishing for trout.  The weather was stunning, about 53* and mostly clear skies for most of the day.
 Swofford Pond covers about 215 acres and is open to fishing year-round.  Rainbow trout, catfish, large mouth bass and other fish reside in its depths.

You'll just have to take my word for it because we didn't catch a thing.  We didn't even get a nibble.  Rumor had it that the water was still too cool for fish to be biting.  Didn't matter to me, we had a lovely time just admiring the ducks, bald eagle and lovely scenery.
 After we got the boat loaded, we decided to see where the road went.  This is a picture of Riffe Lake which is a reservoir formed by the Mossyrock Dam.  Riffe (pronounced rife) Lake covers over 11,000 acres and when the water is very, very low late in the summer, you can see remains of a town called Kosmos that was destroyed and flooded when the dam was built.  Driveways, tile, roadways and broken bridges appear when the water is low enough.
 This is a picture of Swofford Pond which, if you could see the whole picture, is just to the left of the above picture - joined to Riffe Lake by a channel or small barrier dam.
 Above the pond is a little historic cemetery, established in the late 1800s.  My picture makes it look like the cemetery is on the shore of the lake, but actually it sits high on a  hill above it.

There were headstones of veterans from the Spanish-American War, Korean War, WWI and WWII among those buried there.
 On our way home we passed some very scenic old barns and I couldn't resist a few pictures.  Forgive me for blurs, etc. as I took them either through or out of the truck window as we crawled past.
 This one was enormous!
 This little abandoned house caught my eye.  The white tree blooming on the right is a plum.  Plums are blooming everywhere in our rural areas right now.
 This one was fun - I missed getting a picture as we drove by, so I just swung around and snapped.  Neatly framed for me!
 This old truck was serving as yard art.

We ended our lovely day by stopping for dinner at Spiffy's Restaurant.  All that fresh air helps work up an appetite so I ordered the special for the day - Prime Rib.  It was lovely, served with au jus & horseradish, baked potato with butter & sour cream, grilled asparagus, selection of breads and a pass through the salad bar.  Delicious.
 This is the early morning view from my kitchen window.  Hmm.  Those cattle look suspiciously like.....elk.
 This little bunch has been showing up each morning to eat all the grass in our pasture.  For a few days, it was 4 cows and a spike bull.  This morning they had brought along a couple of friends and we had an extra spike bull and another cow.  One young cow was on the yard side of the fence, so I stepped out and suggested kindly that she get her carcass back in the field.  She kindly hopped back in and they continued to graze.
There will be plenty of fence repairs to make.  Elk are not great respecters of fences, I'm afraid.  Eventually the elk will move up higher and leave our pasture to grow.   Hopefully.

My last blog showed how wet & muddy it had been.  Now we've had a couple weeks of dry, warm weather and have been working madly on outdoor projects.  By the time I come in at dinner time, I can hardly make myself put dinner together.  Today I worked at getting my greenhouse ready for starting my garden veggies, cleaned my rabbitry and made a picnic lunch for the family (hamburgers on buns, potato salad, potato chips, Snickerdoodles and coffee).  I should be spending some time working on primitives for my Ebay and Etsy stores, and I've got a quilt that NEEDS to be finished so it can go to its new owner but the sunshine calls to me each day and I've got to answer!  Good thing the nice weather doesn't last forever or I'd never get anything done INSIDE the house! 

There's an old saying that goes something like "If, when trouble comes, we ask why me, shouldn't we make the same query about good things, too?"  I love this farm so much!  I thank God each day for allowing me to live in this place for this time and I often wonder....Why me? 


  1. Your elk are beautiful, Hilly. Your bulls don't have as many wives as our's do. hahaha

    When I looked up Mossyrock Dam, the information says nothing about a village being flooded in the building of the Dam. Was it occupied at the time of the legislation making the dam, and did people have to move?

    We are having plesent weather this week also so I will spend a little time in my greenhouse preparing for the season to come.

  2. If you look up the town of Kosmos Washington, you can read some nostalgic stories of a logging boom town destroyed by the need for power....electric power. You will recognize it by the town name "Kosmos", the dam is Mossyrock Dam (tallest in our state) and the reservoir named "Riffe Lake".

  3. An enjoyable blogpost. I am so pleased that you also like old farm buildings Hilly. Last June I wandered round an abandoned wooden farmstead just north of Ellensburg. From my perspective it was beautiful and filled with the echoes of its former residents. So I encourage you to take more photos of old barns and old farms before they disappear. The meal at Spiffy's sounded divine!

  4. What a beautiful area you live in! I don't think I would like elk in my garden, however. We do have deer running across the roads and the occasional wild turkey, but that's about it for North Georgia, if you don't count raccoons and 'possums!

  5. Oh, and bears. I forgot about bears.