Saturday, January 14, 2012
Retirement planning had focused on establishing a lifestyle in close harmony with nature. Our years here have centered on our house, located on a ridge out of sight of the highway, and the more remote land at the base of an uninhabited ridge. An area between the gravel pit and the road was largely ignored. Working near the intrusion of road traffic interested us little. We were vaguely aware that stone cleared from the field had been dumped along what is now our property line but the area was largely ignored. The snowless but frozen garden was now off limits so Ed explored this area while looking for outside activity.
He found wild grape vines claiming the tree line. Their unusual structure and growth habit make them interesting plants but they kill the trees that they climb. Found early, the vines can be pulled from the tree and removed. These mature wild grapes out muscle us. We are no match for their massive presence high up in a host tree. Some sort of tool will be required if these vines are to be removed. Perhaps a cable winch can supply the mechanical advantage needed on this job.
In our youth I'm sure this vine might have served as a swing. Now the idea of getting dumped onto a stone pile prevents us from attempting that. How these vines grow is a mystery to us. Great distance separates the point of emergence from the ground and the supporting tree. Anchoring growth high up in the tree is thin and wildly branched while the thick vine near the ground floats freely. I cannot find any understanding of the mechanics of wild grape vine growth but I find them interesting.
This white pine grows along side of the stone pile at fields edge. A wild grape vine was pulled from this tree two years ago but nothing could be done about the barbed wire fastened to the tree. Over the years the tree has grown around the wire. We hope that the new growth is solid and that the tree remains alive and well. In our time here most of the barbed wire fences have been removed. They remain only along the perimeter of our land or in places difficult to access. Crawling through or under barbed wire fences is for kids.