Thursday, November 24, 2022

West Then North

We have reached a corner that is adjacent to rich river bottom land.  Once again the border of our land is defined by stone removed from the field.  This line is less than straight and to the right is a huge mass of simply dumped stone.  Fallen leaves have rotted to become soil in the more than one century that has passed since stones were placed here.

A more recent event can also be seen in the top left corner of the photo.  The original farm barn was struck by lightening and burned to the ground about 1960.  The remains of the fire were hauled up the hill and dumped here over the edge.  When the fire debris was all placed here, what became the gravel bank was opened to provide fill to cover the mess.  When walking here an occasional encounter with protruding metal happens.

This is the view looking Eastward along this end of the property line.  The stone work is mine and my goal was to rebuild the original wall as far as the White Pine tree.  The steel pipe that was driven into the ground to define the property line is peeking up out of the wall.  The reconstruction of the wall was carefully done to preserve the original placement of this marker.

Looking to the North one can see more of a decent stone wall and a much improved Gravel Bank Road.  Goldenrod growing here along with wild berry canes really need to be removed.

Here we have returned to River Road.  The driveway is much improved from what we originally found.  Adjacent to the hill is another place where stone cleared from the field was simply dumped.  A bend in the road was needed to get around that pile.  Much of that removed stone was used to the build the wall just out of sight to the right.

At this point our land is only forty feet wide.  The right turn onto the lane is where our homestead opens up to its thirty-six acres.  The original farm contained a long stretch of desirable river bottom land that was sold first as house sized lots.  The retreating glacier left behind many interesting land forms up our hill creating an attractive site for a primitive homestead.  We have called this land our own since 1994.  Perhaps the time is approaching when this treasure should be placed in the care of younger people.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Heading North

The original 130 acre farm here was defined by only two straight lines that met at a right angle and the Unadilla River.  Here we are looking to the North at part of one of those original property lines.  This is the longest straight line that defines what is ours.  The retreating glacier deposited many different appearing land forms here.  The bedrock ridge is behind us and is disappearing into glacial till.  Ahead of us is higher ground that is entirely glacial material.  The visible depression carries away a steady water flow that oozes from the bedrock.  From the first time that I walked here, I wanted to build a stone dam to form a respectable sized pond.  That project remains only a dream. 

This depression was formed when a large chunk of the glacial ice fell into meltwater.  The till dropped here covered the ice creating a long level land form.  Eventually the ice melted and the soil dropped into the resulting hole.  A Dead Ice Sink is frequently filled with water but this area contains a deep deposit of sandy ground that quickly carries away water.

This picture is looking Eastward toward the Dead Ice Sink.  It shows the long soil deposit that may be the highest ground that we own.  To me it looked like the level deck of an aircraft carrier since the ground sharply falls away in all directions..  To the right several lower and smaller fields can be found.  This ground was drier and was used only as pasture for the dairy cows.  Views of the ridge are spectacular and we still spend a great deal of time walking here.

Our property line crosses this feature as the land drops away on the far side.  We have always referred to it as the Gravel Bank Hill since a gravel bank was opened there about seventy years ago.  When we purchased this land the highway crew of the Town of Unadilla yearly took away enough gravel to cover the taxes on the remains of the original farm.  That arrangement ended when we acquired this land.


The Gravel Bank Hill drops sharply to river bottom land.  Walking that property line when some snow covers the ground would be risky so we will have to imagine the sharp drop to this pipe that marks the end of our walk to the North.  A left turn will have us walking to the West.