Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Back in Time - Putting Down Roots

Looking South toward the Wind River Range
Autumn 1966
When my parents bought the farm in the early 1940s it was a barren landscape, but they built a modest house (photo in this earlier post), planted trees, and put down roots. The farm was sold after my brother died in 1996.

The tree in the photo was one of many cottonless cottonwoods planted around the farm house. Part of windbreak to the west of the house can be seen on the far right in the photo. That windbreak row plus another windbreak row to the north and an orchard protected the area around the house. It was sometimes eerie how calm it was around the house when the wind was howling from the west. An aerial photo from the 1950s of the trees surrounding the house can be seen here.

One afternoon in the 1980s, my mother was in the house when she heard an explosion. She thought that the propane tank by this tree had exploded, but the tree had taken a direct lighting hit.

Note the propane tank directly behind my mother in this photo. The ground around the tree was littered with bark and limbs that Mom had picked up by the time I arrived with my camera.

Mom and Pepper
The gash in this tree was deep and thankfully it survived.

I loved taking photos of this tree since it framed the view to the south of the house. This photo was posted earlier here.

The new owners put their own mark on the farmstead, but the roots that my parents planted are still there even if the trees are gone.


  1. That last photo is absolutely stunning!
    I didn't know that cottonwoods came in cottonless varieties. I remember as a child how fascinated I was with the "snowing" trees.

  2. Amazing that that tree lived! The trees reminds me of the promise that you will reap what you sow and it seems so will others:)

  3. I'll bet that tree would have a lot to say about what it has seen through the years. So glad that you are sharing some of those stories and your treasured memories with us. What a wonderful childhood you must have had!

  4. There is something to be said about putting down roots... I often wish we would of stayed in the house we raised our children in..... but it wasn't meant to be...but I often wonder how different life might of been!!...

    Beautiful big tree!!!... Photos are memories are great.

  5. Gorgeous landscapes! Those should be enlarged and framed. I love hearing about those days when people lived off the land. I remember well the days when I played along dirt roads and sat in the grass eating fruit that had fallen from the trucks going to market. Does that happen anymore? Thanks for sharing Nancy!

  6. I had to check out all the links in this post. Oh my, that first house your folks built was modest, indeed. So many families in this area started out the same way, and isn't it interesting that they all thrived, somehow - perhaps on a dream and a lot of hard work.

    Did your family add on to that building or build a completely different house?

    The scar on the tree hit by lightening is quite a sight. Yowza.

    I love the photo "Pending Storm" too; it's got drama! Love the colors.

  7. That was a beautiful tree! We have planted trees everyplace we have lived. It is my hope that some are still alive:) That looks like the Cottonwood bark we like to carve....if you can get a piece from the current landowners send me a small piece of bark and I will carve you a church or a house:)

  8. That tree would be pretty anyway, but the lightning mark really makes it special. It's amazing that the lightning missed the propane tank.

  9. Sorry to hear that the farm was sold and sorrier that you had lost your brother too. My parents are still around - Mom is 85 and Dad is 87 but Mom isn't doing very well lately. Thank you for sharing with us; the photos are beautiful.

  10. Gorgeous photos and another wonderful story.


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