yesterday jason and i did something that i have been fantasizing about for months… we finally chose, marked, and pruned a path around the perimeter of our land! even though it was raining a cold drizzle during most of the adventure, it was excellent fun. some of the reasons i have been chomping at the bit to get my new trail marked:
- spring is about to hit and i really wanted to have the trail marked and somewhat cleared before all of the foliage came back in and obscured the best path options. jason carried the bush ax and i carried the long-handled nippers and green marking tape. we pruned small tree limbs out of the way and pushed some dead wood out of the the path as we went, and i marked trees that were directly to the left side of the trail. this was so that i can remember the path until i get more used to it and so that visitors know where they are going if they decide to strike out on their own!
- i recently started running again and unlike my other attempts over the last decade to get motivated and stick with it, i really feel excited about it this time. i thought that getting my trail marked and thoroughly “beaten down” before the undergrowth threatens to block the way would really keep me excited about running. i can also imagine how much cooler exercising will be in the summer under the shade of my very own canopy!
- as i discovered this weekend, the ticks have arrived (tick spring break ’14! what, what!). they have not shown up in mass yet, and i only found 2 crawling on me because i was sitting down in the leaves at the edge of our yard. but before they show up in numbers, i wanted to do all of the limb bumping and leaf shaking that i could (ticks like to wait in bushes and smaller trees for an animal to bump it… then they jump off onto the animal).
- for the wedding, of course. we really wanted to have some developed walking trails available for the wedding guests to be able to explore the different portions of our land. we tried to make it a scenic and not-too-strenuous route so that everyone (even running emma) could enjoy it!
first we started by the house and marked the path through what we call open woods, a portion of our land that has large hardwoods and very few pines. There is very little undergrowth here and it has nice open spaces for walking and looking down towards the pond.
then the path goes down to the pond, curves up the hill slightly, and takes you right by the longest side of the pond where the mimosas will be blooming and where the frogs can already be heard singing lovely songs!
the path then leads into an already existing path that is framed by pine trees and littered with pine needles (this is the small portion of our land that always reminds me of a traveling scene in the lord of the rings films). this path is actually the top of the dam.
it goes out into a small clearing and then cuts back into our largest portion of woods that borders an even larger pond. it goes in the gulley for a while, through stove cove (named for the old rusting stove sitting in the middle of it) and starts to climb up the side of our largest hill towards areas that overlook the larger pond below. during this portion of the path, you can see other landmarks that we’ve named: the hanging tree, a pine that has snapped off from it’s base but is weirdly held in its place by adjacent pines and looks like it is floating vertically in air 12 feet off the ground; finger tree–also called hand tree–that has 5 trunks coming out of one stump with one trunk emerging from the stump closer to the ground (and thus looking like a thumb and 4 fingers), and bo bo tree, a large, fallen tree that we originally thought was struck by lightning and so we named it after bolt.
bo bo tree is at the highest point in our land, and after going past this tree, the path curves back a bit in the direction of the house and tours the plateau, an interesting flat and wooded area that would be great for building a little cabin one day.
from there, the path goes downhill into a gully (that in another direction eventually connects to stove cove) and starts to climb uphill through running cedar, a lovely portion of forest that is blanketed with running cedar vines year-round. the path follows a natural deer trail through this area and eventually spits out into a very shady pine forest.
as you travel through this pine forest, the trees begin to get larger and less are standing. i’ve given this section of our land the name drunken pines, named after a pablo neruda poem and since so many of the pine trees have fallen or are leaning (i would say maybe half of the trees!). this part of the trail emerges at the edge of a large area on our land that was a tobacco field about 7 years ago, and has since hosted small pines and blackberry vines.
the trail leads around this old field and right beside the old tobacco dryer and drying racks that still sit and wait for a better purpose…
by this time those on the trial have sight of the house and yard and the path cuts down bridey’s run for a little while and right past the spot where we are about to plant a lot of fruit trees and where we are thinking of getting married. from there, the path leads right up to the house!
and… a little history about bridey’s run: it is an old road (wide path) that goes from our paved road down our property until the beginning of our pond’s dam, where it dead ends. this straight run down has been titled bridey’s run because bridey, our 15-year-old dog likes to run down this path. the only (comical) problem with this is that once she gets going, her old legs can’t stop and she “bunny hops” all the way down to the pond! so hilarious.
so this is what we did this weekend, and it was great fun! we’ve named this perimeter trail around our land dodger’s way because the first time we ever walked the entire property our cat dodger came with us, meowing all the way. he even came with us again this weekend, despite the fact it was raining! that’s a sign for sure; that dodger’s way is going to be a “good luck” path for many years to come.