Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 85 - Clemsonville

All trees $20 -- even the
14ft tall ones!
All tree farms are not the same.  Today I walked the 200 acre farm of Mike Ryan called Clemsonville near Union Bridge, MD.

The Clemsonville Manor House
I drove along Md 31 through miles of horse farms all neatly delineated with white board fencing.  Signs to the tree farm were conveniently placed along intervals on the road.  I turned onto Clemsonville Road and found the farm, dominated by an old manor home atop a rocky hillside.  Mine was the only car in the parking area. I'm sure they were slammed with customers over the weekend, but at 1 p.m. on a Monday, business was slow.
Even the rocks are into Christmas.

I found Mr. Ryan, who is 79,  working in one of the outbuildings and asked him if I could walk the property.  He stopped work and came out to point out all the good places for me to go -- to the boulder garden, down the nature trails that followed the stream, across the field and across the road to the huge wreath on the hill, along the lane by the house across the road, etc.

Christmas Dinner
First I walked the nature trail by the stream, and when I got to the end of that, I continued across the field to the road.

The big difference between this tree farm and the one I walked yesterday is that it is a more natural setting.  You can see where trees were once planted in rows, but they are scattered now and farther apart.  This is where you can take the family for a real "let's go out in the country to cut down a tree" experience.  All it needed was a horse drawn cart for bringing in the tree instead of an SUV driven to the site.
I was walking in horse country.

The big wreath on the hillside was once much larger, and back in the day it was the world's largest wreath, with a Guinness world record to prove it.  It has been scaled back for practical purposes.

Along the top of the ridge, I could see horse farms below, and I continued down the other side of the ridge to a gravel road and emerged by the farmhouse with the lane.  From this vantage point I could get a good look at the large manor home, built in the late 1700's by John Clemson, the founder of Clemson University.
The stockings are hung by
the chimney with care.

Clemsonville's Snoring Santa
At the end of my walk, I went into the Christmas barn and stepped back in time to a 1950's Christmas, like the ones when I was a child.  Mr. Ryan turned on the snoring sound to accompany the "sleeping Santa" who reposes in the old iron bed.

I bought a wreath (how could I not?) and left there feeling in the Christmas mood.  Thank you, Mr. Ryan.  I had a great walk at Clemsonville!
Mr. Ryan waves goodbye.

For reviews and articles about Clemsonville, visit:   and

A different look to the trees than
at Gavers.

The wreath on the hillside.

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross.  Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address.  The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient.  Send the receipt and the photo request to

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Visit my web site:
Follow me on Twitter:  @camscamerashots

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use my Nikon P7100 (it is a very convenient size and weight)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

No comments:

Post a Comment