6/52: Big Gap No More?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020



About a year and a half ago, we had some pretty intense spring storms that completely washed out the land bridge/dam between our pond and the creek it connects to. The pond was still intact, but Andrew couldn't drive the mower over the bridge into our back acreage, and we had to climb down into a gully the kids named "the Big Gap" in order to access the back woods. We planned on getting it fixed at some point, but it was going to be pretty pricey and there were always more important things that needed to get paid for... Plus the kids had a blast playing in the clay down by the pond, and they still managed to explore the woods pretty thoroughly even with their access impeded somewhat.

A few weeks ago our new neighbor knocked on the door and said he wanted to drain his pond, and that he'd fix our dam for free if we would let him do whatever he needed to do to our pond in order to fix his.

Well.

It's been rather more involved than I think any of us expected!! But it's actually a huge blessing, because that area was ridiculously overgrown and we couldn't really do anything with it... At this point he's also cleared a big hillside with baby pine trees in order to use that shale for the dam, so now we don't have to do that either, and it's clear enough that we can probably plant a bunch of blackberries and blueberries come spring! Meanwhile, the kids are out watching him with the backhoe and bulldozer, having an AMAZING time "helping" (goodness he's a good sport) and getting really, truly, thoroughly and tremendously muddy every single day. This was not a good time for our vacuum to break. And nobody has dry shoes anymore!!

They've been using downed trees to make various forts, and they were VERY proud of their "house" that they made, which they outlined with stones (that were subsequently washed away during a big storm that came at a really good time, because it showed everywhere the dam needed to be strengthened!). Cecilia propped a board up in a dying juniper tree and was pretty angry when I told her the branches were too thin and cracking for her to keep climbing, but it looks like a good thing because that tree is completely gone now! She chose a new location for her fort and I think it's still going strong.

We had some gloriously warm days in the midst of all this work, and everyone was out barefoot and half-clad, basking in the beauty of the little spring preview. Lucy got a ride in the wagon (with all the dolls) but didn't seem to love it as much as everyone would have hoped (and that wagon needs some work! It's taken a lot of abuse...).

Meanwhile, we're seeing green things make their appearance - the chives are coming back, I may not have killed my rosemary this year, the spiderwort I planted last year is multiplying, the yarrow and columbine are showing new growth... Time to prepare for spring!

(We started watching The Lord of the Rings on Superbowl Sunday and Cecilia didn't want to wait to find out how it ended so she... read the entire series. In less than a week!)

(And that's a grocery bag on Peter's arms—it's his parachute. Obviously.)

4 comments:

  1. That picture of Peter is SO cute and frameable!!

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  2. Your little munchkins have the life! Being able to play outdoors, barefoot, climbing trees all that fresh air and sunshine! Using imaginations to create something from nothing! That's the way I was raised as well! Best life ever! Just keep an eye out for ticks..that's one thing we never had to worry about until now.

    I have to check myself every time I go out to garden.

    Cecelia is certainly a voracious reader! And as Martha Stewart says, "that's a good thing!".

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    Replies
    1. Yes, thankfully the kids are really good at noticing ticks immediately! After our first summer here they became experts :)

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