“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”  ~Henry Beston

We had a good summer at Morning Bray Farm.

Summer pastures

The herd loves their new farrier. Pedicures long ago stopped being an inconvenience for Ellsworth:

Ellsworth pedi

Grace did extremely well with her first pedicures this summer:

Grace pedi

We had the occasional peeping Moo:

Peeping Moo

We enjoyed many beautiful early mornings:

Early summer morning

…and the summer storms fondly remembered from my youth:

Summer

Pineapple weed

I had the gardens I’ve always dreamed of:

Summer garden

Butterfly bush

And, now…

“It is a delightful pastime to sit in the pleasant sunshine of autumn, and gazing from this little spot of free earth over such a landscape, let the imagination luxuriate amid the thrilling associations of the scene!” ~H.T. Tuckerman, San Marino

Autumn

We hope all is well in your world. ♥

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We’re here and everyone is safe and sound.

Virginia1

Gracie coliced last week, but appears to be doing well now. We found a local equine vet who is coming out to meet the herd on Friday, and will visit who we hope will be our new hay supplier tomorrow.

Virginia2

Harriet has been the only one to bray since we arrived. I think everyone is still adjusting, but the herd seems to settle in a little more each day. I caught Nigel and Patrick playing “traffic cone” yesterday morning, which brought a smile to my face.

Virginia3

I suppose it’s finally time to spill the beans. In just a few short weeks, Don and I, the dogs, the donkeys and Meggie Moo are moving to Virginia.

Charlottesville

It certainly wasn’t an easy decision. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment! There is so much we will miss about this ruggedly beautiful state and the original Morning Bray Farm. We’ll have a heckuva lot of people to miss, too.

We’re moving east to be closer to our parents, other family and old friends. We’ve chosen the Charlottesville area as where we’d like to establish the next Morning Bray Farm.

In the interim while we get the lay of the land, we’ve found the perfect farm to rent in Lexington, Virginia.

Lexington

The dogs will have a picket-fenced yard and the donkeys will have almost eight acres of gently rolling pasture with a brand new barn. As she does here, Meggie Moo will run the place.

Lexington2

We’re both excited and terrified, and we’re looking forward to our next adventure in the Old Dominion State.

Phlox

Candytuft

Tulip

The state of Virginia was named for the “virgin queen” of England, Queen Elizabeth I. 

Virginia’s nickname, The Old Dominion, originated in Colonial days. (Dominion refers to complete ownership of a particular piece of land or territory.) Because he considered the Virginians “the best of his distant children,” sometime around 1663, King Charles II of England elevated Virginia to the position of dominion along with England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. The citizens of Virginia were pleased with this elevated status because they considered themselves the most faithful of the King’s settlements in America. Since their settlement was the oldest of King Charles’ settlements in America, they adopted the name “The Old Dominion.”

I visited my dad in the Old Dominion last weekend. It’s a beautiful state with abundant history.

In Lexington, Virginia, the echoes of the past still ring loud and clear. We visited the Stonewall Jackson House, the only house that Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson ever owned. He and his wife lived in the house while he taught at the Virginia Military Institute prior to the American Civil War.

It was then on to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, where Stonewall Jackson, 144 Confederate veterans, two Virginia Governors and Margaret Junkin Preston are buried.

I still have a fascination with historic cemeteries.

We did a fair amount of hiking while I was there too. Here we are at Abbott Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway:

We ventured into West Virginia for a spell, where we stopped to see the Locust Creek Covered Bridge near Hillsboro. The bridge was originally built in 1888 for US$1,250 and is now for pedestrian traffic only.

Back in Virginia, we visited the historic Homestead Resort. While we sat and enjoyed a drink on the front porch, we imagined back to the days when Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, the father of the Constitution visited The Homestead.

More hiking. Here at Sherando Lake:

And here at Humpback Rocks in George Washington National Forest:

The mile up to the Rocks was tough, gaining about 800′. The views from the Rocks are great looking west onto the Shenandoah Valley and north to Shenandoah National Park.

From netstate.com:

Virginia is a state steeped in history. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Chief Powhatan ruled over the untamed land. Chief Powhatan fathered one of Virginia’s more famous historical figures, Pocahontas. The first permanent English settlement in America, at Jamestown in 1607, set the stage for the taming of the wilderness.

Virginia played a central role during the American Revolution, from Patrick Henry’s fiery oration “Give me liberty or give me death”, to the eventual surrender of Lord Cornwallis to Washington at Yorktown. And during the Civil War, Virginia saw more battles fought on her soil than any other state. Many of these battlegrounds are now national historic sites, and are visited by thousands of tourists annually.

Virginia also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents. No wonder they say that Virginia’s history is America’s history!

Don and I flew to Virginia last weekend to visit my dad.

I was in heaven. We visited the Appalachian Trail.

It was green and there were flowers everywhere.

And waterfalls.

And woods.

Did I mention flowers?

We visited the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.

And walked in more woods. (Heaven.)

We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Beautiful.)

We visited Natural Chimneys Regional Park. Though Maryland was the first state to choose jousting as its official state sport in 1962, Natural Chimneys has been home to the oldest jousting tournament in North America since 1821.

I fell in love with old barns.

And old houses.

I love peonies.

Love. Love. Love. ♥

p.s. Mommy, thank you for looking after the farm while we were gone. ♥ ♥ ♥