|Amy Ed Becky|
This blog has always been intended as a written record for us. Most of our posts focus on the garden and natural world around us. Today's post is more personal and for that reason an apology is offered in advance for this departure from the norm. Our mail today included a package from a person that had accepted the responsibility of disposing of the contents of an estate. It contained some old familiar photographs. This picture surprised me as I cannot recall ever having seen it.
The writing on the back of the photo indicates that the picture was taken in August 1992. It is always interesting to see the past but this is a picture of the first free standing wall I ever built. Two former students lived on a valley dairy farm that featured fields rimmed with stone. Permission was granted for me to pick stone along side of one of those fields. That was the source of the stone in wall number 1.
On occasion we drive past our former home of thirty years. My first wall still stands but it could use some maintenance. A combination of my inexperience building with stone and the new tenant's unruly children have left the wall in a bit of a sad state. Some stones have been removed and some have fallen. The top surface is no longer linear as it once was.
This photo carries the date 1997. The interior of the stone square is receiving some finishing touches. White wooden stakes and Masonite strips were used to define the circular stone path and its four exits. The level is way to fussy for this job but that is the nature of the builder. Thyme has muted the sharp line between the planting beds and the path but that fundamental structure still defines the area.
We still lived in our former village home when these walls were built. I would race home from school, throw some tools in the back of the pickup truck and spend pleasant hours working here surrounded by nature. Each day ended with time spent seated on the bench surveying the day's progress.
Once when Becky was with me, an Eastern Coyote sauntered over the ridge and moved down the hill toward us. When it sensed our presence, it quickly turned and disappeared back over the ridge. Moments later the coyote returned to our view. It was crawling on its belly and peeking over the edge of the hill to get a better look at the strangers that had invaded its world. We were given a long once over then the coyote disappeared back into the tall weeds. Now after 16 years the gardeners and the garden are part of the scenery and the animals are no longer impressed.