|Ella, Everett and the chicks|
While we have been sharing meals and a roof overhead in town, we have been going out to our land every day to work on our first projects and to get acquainted with how our land handles what is proving to be the wettest season we have yet experienced. There has been rain after rain after rain, infusing our softly rolling hills with little rivulets and lots of mud. It has been GREAT for our pond, which has filled almost to the top with water and great for our dam wall which is now sprouting with green shoots instead of eroding away (so glad we spent a week last fall seeding and mulching it!) The other totally fascinating feature of our land in this season has been our creek, which in its summer incarnation is a dry sandy ditch. We have always had a hard time imagine it full and running, much less, overflowing its banks and flooding our bottom land; but lo and behold, after two consecutive deluges, it did just that and a mercurial brown snake was ribboning its way around our land. Our lower field had standing water, and just about all of the ten acres to the east (woods side). We explored around in it, just dumbfounded at the elemental power of water to both knock heavy things out of its way (gravel, tree trunks, and our neatly mulched pathways) and infuse everything with a pulse of green life in its wake. Just as quickly as it came, it has subsided and by the time we got our camera out, the creek had sunk a foot or so, leaving vernal pools around for the frogs to spawn in.
|Pond almost full!|
|A very swollen Bear Cub Creek, which weaves through our bottom land|
For the present, our goals are set much lower and more immediate. We decided that our most pressing need was to create a more comfortable tent-covering structure with a shed roof and level floor platform. We jumped right into construction last week, using various lumber scraps we have scrounged together last season. We dug post holes (which promptly filled up with the swelling ground water) and used our auction-bought transit level to level the tops to one another. We used gravel to tamp around the post bases, which locks them surprisingly rigid. Some more scrounging resulted in used plywood and roof metal, a few needed 2x6's and rafters and by the end of yesterday we were done. I can't believe we went through one whole season on the land without this structure, and am already grateful to have the rain-cover and shade that it will provide us. Also, thanks to a gift from Mike's mom, we have a new tent to set up next week, minus the holes and broken zipper of our old one. 2013 Missouri season, here we come!
|Our finished tent platform! Tent will go in the right bay, benches and table in the left bay.|