The Back Yard

The front yard of a New England home is for the neighbors to look at as they pass by but the back yard is where we always lived and played. You can take the girl out of New England but you can’t take the New England ways out of the girl and that is just what I am.

This is our back yard. You can either sit out on this deck or sit out in the screened in room just to the right of this. Just to the right of this area is the fenced in area where the dogs have a yard this same size to run and play in. Landen has cleaned that part of the yard up so it is clean and safe for the dogs. We are cleaning up this area too but it is slow hard work. Nothing has been done for the last six years to keep it up to the beautiful estate it once was. the beautiful oak trees keep it in shade most all day so it is pleasant to just sit to side and watch the squirrels play. Sally loves the chase them up the trees and they love to come up to the door and tease Sally when she is in the house. One day a squirrel come up to the screened porch and went nose to nose with Sally. Sally didn’t bark and the squirrel didn’t run it made me believe Sally would not know what to do if she ever caught a squirrel.

Otis doesn’t pay much attention to squirrel as he had those in his yard in Port St Lucie and since he was always on a leash there when ever he tried to chase them he got hung up on the leash so he knows he can never catch one. He loves to go out and just bark at the fence and this is what he gets in his barking.

This is Alley. She lives next door and is a big time yapper. It is just her way of saying “Hi neighbor, come pat me”. She hears Otis outside so she come to the fence and sniffs at Otis and stands there for one of us to pat her. She has two other dogs in her house, one is small her size, she is all white and no where near as friendly as Alley. the other dog is a chocolate Lab and very friendly. Otis is impressed with him.

It is fun working out side on this lawn, you find so many new things and they all look so nice when they are uncovered. Here are some of our finds.

This big bird came down and landed in the back yard. Landen had his phone with him so he caught a picture of the bird as it flew off. He just let us know we are in the country and we had best watch our little dogs or they could be a wonderful supper for one of the wild animals around behind our house. Otis isn’t impressed as he had bob cats and coyotes in Port St Lucie and he did battle with crabs several times.

This was one of Holly’s finds. As she was raking up some old leaves and putting them into bags she came across this fellow. I grew up in the country but I have never seen one of these before and I was not interested in holding him even if Holly did and didn’t get bitten. I am not that brave I’m afraid. I’ll stick to things I know something about.


This is one of Landen’s finds. You can see the wooden pad just outside the screened door to the porch. Well when we came there was one square just outside the door, Then as Holly and Landen raked leaves away from the house they found it was not just one square of wooden pad but four and covered all the way to the fence on the left side. In the right side was just weeds and dirt. When Landen raked out from under the bushes to the right of the door he pulled out some of the weeds in this area and he found the pavers all over grown with weeds and packed with dirt. He took the all out, got out the weeds and leveled the ground again and replaced the pavers. I have no idea what this pad could have been used for but maybe it would be just right size for a grill so you can keep the fire outside but close to the porch for eating. There is also a wooden deck a little further to the right with pretty bushes around three sides of it so maybe that was where they used to grill or back on the other side of the fence on that patio either or all of them would work.

This is the back of the house. That is the kitchen window and behind my grow boxes you see the fence around the dog’s yard. And this fence butts up to the screened porch but you have to go through the house to get from one side of the fence to the other. After Landen cleaned up the dog’s yard her came over this side and started to clean up around my garden area and clean under this big tree so I had a better path from the house to this area. As he pulled out the old vines and leaves this is what he found here.


Here were more pavers all along the screened porch and some under the down spout from the gutters. These were all covered and buried. Landen again pulled them all out, cleaned up the area and put them back in. Notice the wire. There are wires like this all over the place. Some day we will trace them and see where they go to and see if they are anything we need. I think they are TV cables or lines from past owners putting TV’s into different rooms. But we will wait and be sure before cutting them. Years ago Norman decided to clean up our computer himself so went through and deleted everything we did not use. When he came to “systems” he asked if I used that and I didn’t even know what it was so how could I use it and he felt the same and so he deleted it. And you are probably all ready ahead of me and know what the system is! Right it is the whole works and he had to take the computer back to the store to get it working again. Now I don’t delete anything until I know what it is. Notice the sprinkler near the water spout. These are found all over the place both front and back. There is a sprinkler system that was used at one time but it no longer is operational. One day we may have that looked into along with the vacuum system in the house that is there but who knows how to use it or if it is still useable.

Our first job here in the back yard was to have Mark come and spend a day just reclaiming our yard both front and back. He trimmed and shaped all the bushes and cleaned up as much as he could in the one day. He worked 12 hours at it and got it to a place we could handle it from there. Also Terry and his crew came and cut down a tree that stood in the dog’s yard. It was hollow up as high as you could see and as he said,” Yes, this tree should have come down yesterday” Unless we wanted to take a chance it would fall on the house. We had them take down that big tree and then cut back the under growth across the back of the yard. The jungle behind us had over grown onto our land about two feet.

We are still working on cleaning up and today we found this.

Things are starting to bloom in the back yard. Landen looked up this flower and found it is the Justicia Carnea or Brazilian Plume that blooms in the late fall aand flowers until the hard frost. It brings so much nice color at a very dreary time of year.

There are many different bushes all though the bak yard and some of them are getting ready to bloom,

These are just opening. Shirley tells me these bloom in Dec and Jan and love the cold weather. You can see by the second picture they are just loaded with bids so they will be beautiful when they all open up. They will bring such beauty to the cold weather for me.

These are just a couple of the clumps of these bushes. There are several other kinds of bushes too, some don’t bloom at all and some bloom in March. So you see we have a very active back yard and I’ll follow it’s discoveries as the year unfold. I hope you have enjoyed our tour. Have a great day and I will be back with the inside of the house as soon as I can find the time. Love to all. Ouma

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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