Friday, November 1, 2013
This stone wall defining the limits of the right of way is marching down hill. If I did not thoroughly enjoy solitary time spent in the woods, this project might appear just a little crazy. Finding all of these stones that were long ago carried to field's edge does forge a connection with the amount of work early farmers dedicated to clearing their fields. In a way this stone deserves to rest in a wall rather than in a heap that is covered over by fallen leaves. Soon no one will be able to know for certain just when this wall was laid up. Moss and lichens will find a foot hold and cover much of the face of the wall.
When we first found this land, this area was a favorite destination when walking about. Several stones were placed at the base of an oak tree forming a seat. Time spent motionless sitting with my back against the tree trunk seemed to quiet the soul. Now the end of the wall forms a seat. Top stones have been selected with an eye to their form. Undersides are recently exposed flat surfaces while the top sides are weathered natural faces. Stone bearing fossils are also placed here. The fossils will soon become softened in relief by the weathering action of wind, sunlight and rain.
This side of the wall serves as a bench. All of the stones still scattered about will be removed and the area smoothed. Fallen leaves will be scattered about to hide all signs of my recent presence here. Then I can come here and sit in the quiet of our woods on most days when I am the only person in the area. There is one example of how not to build a wall in this photo. A continuous line running from the base of the wall to its top is visible. Each stone should rest on the two stones beneath it covering the crack. This is a weak point where the wall will likely fail if I do not relay this section.
The three previous owners of the adjacent field have allowed me to turn my truck around there. That privilege seems to have disappeared now. My solution to that issue was to make a place where I can turn my truck on my land. An overhanging branch needs removal before I can get to a large pile of stone at the top of the hill but the truck is ready to drive out.