Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Ragged Robin

Despite our recent scant rainfall, this level ground is still holding standing water.  Tree growth is on the remains of the bedrock ridge.  There springs steadily ooze water but there is no outlet.  Seeping into the gravel filled level ground keeps the depth of the trapped water from overflowing my shoes.  By stepping on the centers of the ferns, I was able to reach the pink flowers still some distance away.

Ragged robin is an old European import much like my ancestors.  We commonly see it growing in vast tracts on abandoned fields or in roadside ditches.  None of this plant was growing here when we purchased this land.  A fellow teacher gave me permission to dig some from her ditch.  That was one quarter of a century ago yet the size of our patch remains small.  My guess is that slightly drier soil would be more to its liking.

The mowed area is limited by level appearing ground that is littered with mostly dry channels where water sometimes flows.  Uneven ground with occasional chunks of bedrock is difficult to walk across and impossible to cross with a lawn tractor.  When we found this land twenty-five years ago, it was used to pasture horses.  They had free range over the entire thirty-six acres and their presence kept the fields free of invasive shrubs and briers.  With the horses gone, Japanese honeysuckle steadily claimed this ground.  It took us several years to regain control over this meadow.  Our mowing is intended to discourage Goldenrod and the bushes.  A great deal of time is spent  as this location since it is both beautiful and quiet.  This view is looking to the east.  The Ragged robin is located behind the darker. trees at the far right of the beautiful blue sky in this picture.  In my younger days I gained the land owner's permission to hike to the top of the ridge.  During the return trip we saw the dark hairy backside of a sizable animal disappearing into the brush.  It may have been a bear since this is the edge of several square miles of mostly wild land crossed only by one seasonal dirt road.

A ninety degree turn reveals the view looking to the north.  Just how the retreating glacier formed this land remains a mystery.  Four level meadows can be seen in both pictures each at a different elevation.  The highest one might be a kame terrace marking a location where glacial meltwater roared between the ridge and the ice mass.  It is the highest deposit in this area.  Standing on it suggests a location on an aircraft carrier. Long distance views are breathtaking but  road noise identifies nearby civilization.  We feel fortunate to have called this ground home.

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