Abandoned Apple Orchard-Rauhallinen Farm

As I write, the first snow of the season is dropping in wet and heavy flakes...having its origins in a cold rain that took the last of the evening light. The deer have been fed, woodboiler loaded with dried ash, birch, and maple, and the evening walk was aborted early, due to wetness. The pleasant smell of woodsmoke permeates the acreage in my section of this wilderness. While there are less than a dozen other farms in the immediate 300 acres, tonight the sky intimates that most of them burn wood as well. All the other apple trees in the orchard and back yard have long shed their fruit. This one tree produces a dwarf species of apple that always remains and freezes on the tree, falling in winter and staying frozen under up to five feet of a white blanket.... a spring thaw gift to hungry white-tailed deer that have managed to survive the arctic assault.