From Above

If you want to look at the same place and see different things, look at the same place from different perspectives!

~Mehmet Murat ildan

While we were away over Thanksgiving, our good friends had family (their son and his fiancé) in town and he brought his drone. They flew it over their house and posted the video on social media. I apparently oohed and aahed over it in my reply, so they were kind enough to come over to our house in the woods and fly over our abode. Here is the wonderful video they shared (thank you, Kennedy!).

A short drone video showing our house surrounded by woods

It is certainly interesting to view your sanctuary from this perspective. As you can see, we definitely live “in the woods”. The video doesn’t show the one house we can see from ours, a large brick house not far off the northwest corer of the video but you can see the expanse of large trees that surround our home. Below is a still from another video showing some of the landscape features we have added:

  1. The two “circles” (one in front of the house, below it in this pic; and one off the lower right corner of the house) are amphibian pools. We have recently refurbished both of them (only one was completed when the image was taken) since the liners finally sprung leaks after 23+ years.
Still photo of the house and surroundings from another angle

2. There is minimal “yard” and much of the green you see to the right of the house is actually moss.

3. There are wildflower beds in what appear as brown ground cover inside the tree line, plus a small vegetable garden adjacent to the right of the house (you can see the curved line of the rabbit fence around the garden).

4. About an acre+ is surrounded by a deer fence. The other 13 acres, along with many acres of adjoining wooded lots, is for the deer and other large wildlife. Most of our property lies behind the house (beyond the top of this picture). On thing that is hard to see in the images is the steep terrain behind the house as it drops off over a hundred feet down to a wet weather stream before ascending to a comparable height on a very-looking different south-facing slope.

If you look fast, you may see the old stock tank we refurbished as an outdoor tub located just off the upper right corner of the house (the screen porch).

When the house was built 24 years ago, there was much more of an opening in the trees and more sunlight for the native plant gardens. I guess it may be time to limb up a few of the trees. The area around our house (and most of our property) is a mature hardwood forest. The dominant tree species are Tulip Poplar, White Oak, Northern Red Oak, a couple of species of hickory, some maples, and a variety of understory trees. Loblolly Pines appear here and there, especially in the few flatter sections along the ridge that were farmed up until about 75 years ago.

This is a great way to get a feel for the habitat you see in many of the blog posts about the plants and animals that are our wild neighbors. Of course, now I want to do this in every season.

6 thoughts on “From Above

  1. Mike, I have a couple drones and would be happy to take overhead photos and videos of things you would find interesting. I could also show you how to do it yourself. The drones are not that expensive. And if you hear of someone who wants overhead views of anything, have them get in touch with me, especially if there’s a natural history or environmental science connection.

  2. I sure gives a different perspective from above! Looks as though you have a cozy little nest there in the woods. I am surrounded by woods where I live and as I see more and more being cut down around our area, I am thankful for my little corner of paradise. Happy holidays!

    • We are very lucky to live here. Our creek bottom seems secure for the long term as it is steep on both slopes above it and no neighbors have built downslope. Hoping it stays that way for many years as the wildlife really utilize this as a corridor.

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