Sunday, February 5, 2012
Match The Task To The Day
Usually snow madness has set in here by the first week in February. Weeks of unrelenting snow fall limits outside activity. That is not the case this year. Once again we awoke to find frost covering the bare ground but the sun quickly melted that. On the sunny side of this stone wall the ground is soft while the shady side remains firmly frozen. A quick tap with a hammer releases the frozen stones so some wall building is possible today. Most of the stones in this area have been thrown in a heap. The farmer's children were likely given the task of picking these rather small stones from the field and they had no interest in wall building. Putting this right made for an incredibly pleasant day.
One advantage to working stone in the cold is the lack of critter activity. Snakes, wasps and spiders are dormant now. Not so for this stone roach. This creature may have a proper name but it is unknown to us. We assigned the name stone roach to these numerous occupants of our stone piles. Despite the removal of the roof from its frozen quarters, this guy moved quickly. It was gone in a flash returning to the stone wall. Another second and he would have been missing from this picture leaving just a cool and frosty fossilized stone.
The purpose of this wall is to consolidate the stone pile freeing up the ground for planting. An attractive wall is unlikely given the poor quality of the stone. All this wall has to do is remain standing for a few years. Stone placement in the interior of the wall is the most important factor in building a stable wall with this rubble. A great number of stones were handled today to build a rather short section of low wall.
Day's end found about six feet of new wall. The dumped stone pile is shrinking. If this wall is to continue to grow, additional stone will have to be brought to the site. We have the stone but time for this kind of play is limited. One thing about a stone wall it waits quietly and patiently for the builder's return no matter how long that takes.