Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where Is Winter?

Pioneer settlers had to clear their land as a first order of business.  Hauling stone to what would become field's edge preceded planting.  Stones were likely heaved in a pile since there was no time to build walls.  Years later stone walls could have served as pasture fences.  A wall occupied less land than a stone heap and having the livestock walk on solid cleared ground was safer than having them slipping on slanted stone.  Here at field's edge traces of an old wall can be found among the rubble.  The new stone tower holds a string to define a straight wall edge.  Two strings, one high and one low, would clearly define the plane face of the wall but one will almost do.  A rubber hammer makes necessary adjustments without marking the face of the whacked stone.

Today's 50 degree temperature drew me outside.  This entire area was littered with stone.  Cleaning up the mess seemed  like a good use of this unseasonable day.  Frost still held the buried stone but a little time in the sun softened the duff.  Clearing the stone pile was the day's task.  Placing it in the wall gave me a place to git rid of the litter.  Disposing of the stone was the task.  Keeping the new wall solid would prevent me from having to pick them up again.  Artful tight stone placement would have to wait for another wall in another place.

The area in front of the wall is not yet ready to plant.  Much stone still lies beneath the surface.  Briers and roses have been uprooted but will likely stage a come back.  This season will be spent battling noxious weeds and levering out more stone.  Planned planting will have to wait one more year.

Last year we had more snow in February than I could handle with my lawn tractor.  Plowing pros were called in several times to clear the snow and remove nearly three hundred dollars from my wallet.  That winter was easier on the plants but I did enjoy today.


Going Native said...

What an inspiration. I've tried to build a stone wall, but it didn't work out. And it did not look nearly as good as yours. Maybe I'll try again.

petka said...

The wall is amazing! I must say I envy again!

petka said...

Thank you, Ed. No, right here at home in Czech Republic are stone buildings 1000 years old. Some churches have bases in 850 AD :-) That's Cathedral in our capital city, it's beautiful and famous church, but not the oldest. See: