Tuesday, June 9, 2009

As we drove up through the woods alongside the stream that feeds into the lake, David Freer pointed out the evidence of Beaver activity. This is not a very good picture, but you may be able to see that the tree that is down was cut into by the work of a Beaver.

Wildlife does abound in these Virginia hills, meadowlands and forests. We scared up a large White Tail Deer just a short distance from where this picture was taken, but I again, didn't get the camera un-limbered in time to get a picture.

It was a very pleasant experience for us to be with Susan and David and see their home and their forest property. They designed and built the home largely by themselves, installing special energy-saving features for both heating and cooling and emergency power, etc. Pretty impressive work. You can't help but admire what they have accomplished in such a short two years since they purchased the land.

The Freer's two big dogs ran along behind us as we cruised about the property. They have a wonderful big place to run and explore and chase about in; just what a dog's life should be!

We drove down to the reservoir that is on their property. Susan said she caught a large mouth bass the other day that was some 20" in length and weighed a good 6 lbs. We did see fish swimming about, but nothing that size.

The plan was for father's and sons to camp out Friday night down near the lake and enjoy fishing and boating before the rest of the Branch members arrived, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The rains made it all too muddy and wet for a good camp-out so they will have to re-schedule their activity.

As we drove through the tall grass of one of their meadows we scared up a wild turkey which rose out of the grass and flew away so swiftly I didn't get a picture. But, there in the grass of the meadow we found this nest. We counted ten eggs, pretty obviously these are turkey eggs. We hoped the mother would come back after we departed.

They drove us about the place in their their little run-about dump truck. David and I got to ride in back of course. David is the Elder's Quorum President and a great strength to the Branch because of the deep committment and understanding he has of the gospel and church government. He has an active cancer that is not longer treatable, but you never hear him mention it. He is an inspiration to us all. His wife Susan is a North Carolina girl. She gave us big hugs and made us feel so welcome!

Saturday, we drove out to the 50-acre estate of Branch member David Freer, believing that we would be participating in a Branch party and cook-out. When we arrived we learned the picnic had been cancelled because of the heavy rains of the previous two days. But, we were greeted warmly by both David and his wife Susan and at their invitation we spent a good part of the afternoon, touring their very unique new home and riding about the expansive grounds which include hardwood forest, open meadows and a quite a nice sized private lake, stocked with fish. They treated us royally! We really had a most enjoyable afternoon with them, even sharing a meal together before we left for home.