Friday, February 01, 2008

It's Off To Work We Go

The first blog I ever read with any regularity was Nancy's, and you might say she inspired me to start my own. She has also inspired me to show you my "commute" to work, much as she did.

Commuting has changed considerably, since my life has done such a 180 degree turn and launched me into farming full time...it's gone from an hour to just over ten minutes. Perhaps not much to see in 8 or so miles, but here we go...

Much of the drive is framed by the low mountains of the Taconics, nestled between the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, and the Adirondacks of New York. We are literally at the joining of the three states. It's that dismal time of the year for scenery, and this was taken just hours before an ice storm hit...the grey is both permeating and foreboding.

Half of the commute we travel alongside either the Little Hoosic River, or the main Hoosic River.


And if you blink when you pass through this intersection in the heart of Hoosick, NY you would miss the Moose Store, where they have EVERYTHING moose. It is a relatively new enterprise, designed to capture the tourist crowd as they zip past from New Jersey (mostly) on their way to Vermont (to ski, I suppose) but I think it's survival will actually depend on the favor of the locals. And so far, the upscale, opportunistic owner from a Saratoga bedroom community doesn't "get" that. He refuses to feature local farmers, producers or artists unless they present their product slathered in moose labels or kitchy moose-themed marketing. Yeah, good luck with that, bub. Seemingly better are the Mennonite artisans who have opened a furniture shop here almost two years ago. The giant chair is a recent addition to the roadside signage, and I so want to sit in it and get my picture taken. Probably just like the hundreds of folks who drive past each day. (I bet that could get old quick if I worked there...)
And every day I am reminded of the deep history of this place...like Mr. Fraser here, who was with Lewis and Clark when they explored the Louisiana Purchase, among other things. I pass his birthplace.

At last, on to the farm, which is framed first by the maple grove, ready for tapping in just a few weeks:

Finally, the hub of the farm which sits nestled in the center of 600 acres:
I did, however, have one advantage over Nancy. I had my own photographer to help me:
She's the one on the right...

12 comments:

Kathy said...

(sniff, sniff) (tears in my eyes) How wonderful and heartfilling to see pictures of Upstate again. I still have dreams about the Coby area (but not Poughkeepsie, for some reason). The rolling hills and streams are beautiful, if not freezing cold when canoeing over rapdis as I did in my youth.

And c'mon, Mel...there's something for you at my blog you need to pick up. :)
Thank you so very much for brightening my day!

melanie said...

Ahh..I've been by, and been blown away by the compliment. Also, by putting off picking up the button, I am gleaning a few moments of thinking time to decide who I will tag...*grin*

Nancy K. said...

Thank you for sharing your ride! What a wonderful and historical journey. I love your blog and will put a link to it on mine...

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I really liked Nancy's "commute photos" idea, and am glad you followed up with your own. Does your daughter go to work with you? I can't remember, do you homeschool, too?

melanie said...

As much as Madison would like, she does not get to stay home for school. She goes to a little parochial school in Albany (an hour commute with Dad each way) and I only get to take her to work with me on bad weather/snow days.

But I expect this summer, she will be "down on SOME farm" every day...

knitprincess said...

Dude, why have I not been taken to the moose store? I LOVE moose!

Elysbeth said...

Melanie- Definitely you have to make the Thanksgiving Shawl. It's very warm and stays on wonderfully, also the wings are long enough that you can pin them behind your waist and have Nothing dangling.

Nancy K. said...

WHAT THANKSGIVING SHAWL is Elysbeth talking about??? I might want to make one as well....

melanie said...

Nancy-
I saw it on her blog, and was really excited about the idea of a "fitted" shawl that won't slide off the shoulders, and looked pretty easy to knit up. It also seemed warm enough to be more than decoration...so I was very intrigued. Now just imagine it in Shetland....um, um, um.

Jackie said...

Hey Melanie.

Just wanted to tell you that your 2/7 comment on the Yarn Harlot blog was pretty insightful to me.

melanie said...

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I have been thinking a lot lately about what we should be doing for others, and how we relate to an entire community, rather than acting alone. It helps me to focus on that everyday...I'm not perfect, but trying!

Karin said...

Great photography, Madison.

I've seen the gian chair and of course imagined sitting in it. I WILL have to stop there next time.