Butcher Hollow

Who would have thunk it? A native New Yorker living in what is known by the locals as Butcher “Holler”-this one is in WV. It is not the Butcher Hollow made famous in Loretta Lynns song “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. Yes, another "Who would have…? A native New Yorker owning a Coal Mining Company. I guess stranger things have happened. My husband runs the mining operation and I take care of the paperwork. Though I think it would be fun to get up there and run a dozer and do some stripping myself. I really think the best part of the job is reclaiming the land. We contour it out and fill in the auger holes. After contouring we plant. The land becomes a little more level and park like. We have to keep it up for 5 years after we reclaim it to make sure everything is growing.
The wild life is awesome-though sometimes scary. I can sit on the porch and watch and or hear the wild turkey. At night you can hear the bears walking around the perimeter of light. The panthers, mountain lions, and bobcats can mostly be heard drinking from our creek. It is rare to see them but you can smell them – especially if you are down wind. The creek is about 50 feet from the house. So they do come close. I have to watch out for fox so they don’t snatch up my new puppy Monet. As for Leonardo da Vinci aka Leo- i have to be careful of the larger animals. We have a barrel and burn our trash daily. You can’t have a trash can with food scraps in it. That would attract the larger animals.
I love living up our dirt road but it has its problems. The major one being getting modern technology. For the first week we were phoneless. Then after 3 weeks we were finally able to get TV through satellite. We are to far up into the hollow to get cable. We found that out after 4 appointments. The first one where they couldn’t find us and that story just goes on. So we ended up with satellite. Finally, after a month I was able to get internet service. Again, satellite. It was Sat or dialup. When the phone company told me dial up I thought I had gone back in time.
We have the most beautiful butterflies that fly around the yard. Unfortunately, a week after moving my nikon went on the fritz. I have to send it back to have it fixed. Unfortunately FEDEX has been having trouble finding us. You see though our 911 address is Lanes Branch Rd W- there is no street sign and the locals or natives don’t have a clue that the road has been named that – they only know it as Butcher Hollow. Well, you try to explain that to Fed Ex without sounding crazy.
I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining. I like it here. It is beautiful and peaceful. I have made a pen for my dogs, unpacking, running the business and enjoying nature. I get to sleep in and run the business in my pajamas while sitting on the porch drinking a cup of coffee. You get to observe so much from that spot. Unfortunately not through the lens of my camera. I guess I could go back to my minolta. But I really love my Nikon.
In closing if you look at the pic, Our Own Country Rd – you will see what I mean about where we live. We literally have no neighbors. I guess after growing up in the ’burbs of NYC surrounded by homes I need that kind of peace.

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