Sometime during the first part of our first year, we picked up a book called the Encyclopedia of Country Living. It gave us the sage advice that we would overestimate what we could accomplish in one year — and dramatically underestimate what we could accomplish in ten. We have held to that as a hopeful spar when we were floundering with the unmovable weight of Too Much To Do over the years. And while the last ten years have definitely not gone precisely as our first few ten-year plans would have predicted, we have also definitely accomplished a lot more than we anticipated! Mahazda and the wall are hands-down the two biggest and most noticable infrastructure projects, but we have also accomplished a hundred smaller projects that are woven into the fabric of our daily lives now. Sometimes how far we have come is eclipsed by all we yet mean to do, so it helps to take a moment and reflect back on the changes. And so many people are in our lives now whom we did not know when we began Sunflower River! So take a look through these images and see how much has changed on our little piece of this Earth in just these ten years!
This is a long photo post. I am not sorry.
Garden, field & barn, September 2007
Same view today:
you can just about make out the barn, back there, behind the garden.
the garden, from west looking east to Isleta Blvd, Sept 2007
I’m including this one because it shows the difference in our land SO acutely, but I could not retake this shot, because it was nothing but a solid wall of apricot leaves, beans, and sunflowers. maybe next month, after the sunflowers have come down, and you can see the greenhouse & the earthbag wall from the garden again?
i think this is my very favorite contrast set, in all of these:
Apricot tree, freshly planted, March 2008
the cold frames by the Gate of Possibility, with bonus turkeys, 2009
that same spot today, complete with Alan & Rev:
just a wee little bit of intensive change has happened in this particular corner.
The Old Barn, Sept 2007 and Spring 2008
my favorite shot of the Actual Barn from Sept 07.
and that view today, as best i can recreate it:
barn, barnyard, and driveway, Sept 2007
and (from slightly further back) Sept 2017
goat pen, sept 07
the barnyard seen from the east side of the goat pen:
rabbit house, version 2 (rejected after major dog attack)
has been transformed into a poultry pen
chicken pen, Sept 07
creating the garden, January 08
i’m noticing this theme of “greenery grows large and eats the view.”
Cottage backyard & yurt area, Sept 07
from a slightly different angle, because my yurt is exactly right there now
Grandfather Cottonwood seen from the pasture, Fall 2007
The ritual ground is behind me, in this image:
and now. i couldn’t get the dog to cooperate, so here’s a cat.
another angle on the ritual ground, as it began. for realz.
front fenceline, Spring 2008
my beloved VW the AutoKineton, and my yurt in its original skin (also called “why Kat doesn’t try to sew architecture anymore”)
and, from a different angle, Tremaine and the yurt as it presently stands:
herb garden, August 08
Sept 17. it has apparently gotten slightly overgrown.
and a complete redo, which Rev is finishing right this minute:
some indoor transformations: The Cottage livingroom the week we bought the place, during the “rip the carpet out and refinish the floors” phase
the same corner of the Cottage livingroom, several remodelling efforts later
more of the Cottage floor situation
Building the Coyote Fence, 2008, with Tristan & Alan
and the other side, with Jenny and one of our very first wwoofers, Joanna:
and this all doesn’t even touch the Mahazda renovation project! that’ll have to be a whole ‘nother post sometime.
and, just for narrative closure today, one last kitty picture.