The weekend of March 4, was wet, cold and snowy. However, it didn’t deter Brian Yoxall and Marion Adams. While their kids, Cora and Henry, along with Linden and Magnolia, rolled around in the mud, AND ate the extra cookies passed along to us by Kathleen Lewis, Marion pulled on her rain suit, slipped on her nearly water-proof gloves, stepped into her insulated water-resistant boots, and proceeded to prune roses….. all day long, with even a few hours on Sunday morning in the snow! Brian took advantage of our garage and excess rusted, broken metal tools, to fabricate a new walk-through-gate for the fence by the mail-box, with an adorable owl to oversee just who’s coming and going.
Skip to the weekend of March 17, 18 and 19….. More people, more work, more aching muscles….
Malanyon kept folks busy planting potatoes (just a day after St. Pat’s day… the perfect time, we’re told) and onions, mulching multiple garden rows as well as a new row of raspberries and clearing out some of the raised beds in front of the dining room.
In order to accommodate more people on the tiny brick patio in front of Otter’s Cove, we felt an enlarging project was in order. Hazel dug out the sod and various bushes around the area, Andie and Olivia piled up the bricks onto pallets, I hauled them over with the back-hoe….. But the real work came on Saturday, when the principals set to work leveling, sanding and then placing the bricks. Since the real work is the leveling process, it took the longest. No one thought they would finish in a day…. As you can see, they were wrong! A beautiful extension to the patio lies charmingly towards the west end of Otter’s Cove. It went so well, we’re thinking of doing another, to use up the bricks that are already up from the field……
Up on the mountain, our intrepid trail-builders got a beautiful start on a new one, to Grandfather’s Tree. It will pass through old-growth Douglas Fir (with tiny Lady Slipper Orchids blooming right now!), up the side of Bald Spot with a glorious view of San Hedrin and Impassable Rock, into the oak studded knob across from Washington Rock, and over to one of the largest Live Oaks you’ll ever encounter. There’s much more to do, assuredly, but a good start it was!
After lunch, Tom asked for assistance with the new bench he had constructed with an enormous piece of redwood, gleaned from it’s other life as a floating experiment with redwood bark. He thought a couple of people could help him carry it up onto the “Hatchery Hill Loop” Trail built during our February Work Weekend. Indeed, a couple of people…. and a couple more! Heavy, awkward… but elegantly beautiful. Many, many hands…. many, many voices…. but it did make it’s way, ceremoniously (as in the “Ark of the Covenant” style), up the hill, to it’s position in the shade, facing the mountain.
Gates that actually swing, that fit the space in the fence well, and can be opened and closed easily are not always at the top of our priority list, especially if there’s someone along that can hop out, unbend the baling wire, lift the panel or whatever that closes off a particular pen or field and lug it back into place. However, we now have two gates by the barn that will make life easier for all our cow milkers! Jim brought his own tools, selected just the right boards from the pile of our own home-grown, hand-milled fir, and created two gates that can be seen from way down the road, they beam so brightly!
One more Willing-Hearted Work Weekend to go…. late April. Always, gardening…. but as for the rest of it? Hard to know! But if it can as productive as our first ones, then “Hooray!”