this is the post for country folks who want to know about the outside
The parcel is slightly larger than 5 acres, in a fat L-shape (I'll post the satellite image when SCOPI comes back online, it's being tweaky tonight), with the house and driveway at the top of the L (to the east), and the pasture on the bottom.
To the east of the house, literally across the road, is Ebey Hill, which locals call Ebey Mountain; the altitude rises from 330 feet above sea level at the house, to 350 feet at the top of the driveway, to 1650 feet at the top of the hill less than a half-mile to the east. Yes, very steep. The mountain is covered with logging roads and game trails that I hope will keep us and the horses busy for the next 40 years.
Speaking of horses, there is no barn yet. There is a small outbuilding that we can use to store hay at first, so that the horses can move in as soon as the fences are properly installed. We will build a small barn at the northeast corner of the pasture area, with pasture to the south and west. We walked the pasture on the wettest day of winter (so far) and were very pleased at the lack of sogginess! The sellers have kept the pasture in hay, but there hasn't been livestock here since the old dairy subdivided more than 20 years ago. There are horses next door, and many other horses on the road, so we'll have plenty of equine neighbors.
There is plenty of neighboring wildlife as well. Today was snowy, so we caught up on a lot of footprint gossip around the house, spotting tracks from deer, mice, moles, rabbits, raccoons, as well as tracks from the neighbor's cats and the seller's dog Daisy. We also expect to see plenty of bluejays, eagles, hawks, and vultures when the sky isn't full of snow.
There are a number of outbuildings on the property, including a woodshop (soon to be Jim's computer lab) the pump house, and a woodshed, plus the afore-mentioned hay shed. There is also a greenhouse that needs to be moved or torn down, a falling-down outhouse that we will take down, and a chicken condo.
At the top of the "L", between the house and the road is the orchard: apple, pear, cherry and peach, black walnut and hazelnut trees. There are also blueberry bushes and some winegrape vines that are apparently impossible to kill.
And of course, there are blackberry vines. Our first major investment will be a tractor, so we can trample down the blackberry vines on a regular basis...not that this treatment will kill blackberries, but it will at least cause them to speak respectfully in polite company. We hope.