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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Misty Morning Hop

Beyond the front door, the barn, the woods, beyond the clouds and the sky itself, I am connected to it all and more – separation is an illusion. All matter, all life, is one. Uni-verse.

Alan and I have cut down all the trees on the dam embankment, an important maintenance task long deferred, and this has opened up new views into the Kincaid Creek valley. I imagine it as the land that time forgot, wild and left to the animals.

We're still working on our logging rig, so the felled trees remain on the slope, and these thick tangles have become the haunt of a new arrival, a cat that first showed up two or three weeks ago. It looks domestic and healthy, definitely not a tom, and how it got here – abandoned or run off or merely seeking its fortune – we've no idea. We can't get within 50 feet of it, but we've invited it to stick around and be a barn cat if it wishes.

In the Hidden Meadow, this dewy web.

Down by the road embankment, where the creeks passes over a drop structure and through a large culvert, is the ruined farm bridge, lifted and twisted by a flood.

I've now dismantled the wreck and salvaged the planks. Alan ran some hydraulic and hydrologic simulations as part of a redesign, and determined the new bridge should be elevated about 18 inches above the bank to pass a five-year return interval event. Our experience with the shooting platform makes us confident we can construct the superstructure and deck, but the approaches will be a little trickier. If we make them of compacted earth they'll be subject to erosion in a flood, while steel or lumber will be subject to floatation and impact by water-borne debris. But that's just the sort of problem-solving we enjoy, so we'll figure out something.

In the backyard, a windstorm knocked over a third of this tree and left it dangling perilously, but as our friend Gary says, "What problem? You've got a tractor." So down it came, and then the chainsaw, and now it's a pile of logs near the fire pit.

Behind the tree is the Mystery Building, possibly a chicken coop at one time but now 90% remodeled as habitable space. Alan and Donna installed light fixtures some months ago, and about ten days ago got baseboard heaters installed. The floor is a pretty good concrete slab but it has a large crack from uneven settlement, so the next big job is leveling and covering. It would make a good studio, or bunkhouse but its ultimate function remains...a mystery.

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