Sunday, 20 May 2012

Spring Bursts Without Me
The next visit to the land to check on the house construction was met with a scene of white and pale green buds and blossoms that had bloomed since my last visit. I was excited to see that the grasses were growing higher and hay was beginning to get higher on the surrounding untouched field. It was also a panic as well. For if the hay grows too high, it will prevent me from walking on all the field that I was planning to explore. The summer we posted the poles for the proposed road up the hill, my husband and the over six foot tall contractor were lost in the hay. They used their long poles to wave to each other and find the road direction to stake the poles. I am much shorter than both these men. We had plans to bush hog the field and control the height of the hay, but as we are late finishing the house, so is the plan to cut the hay before it gets too tall. I will have to wait and be patient once we are into the house and later into the season.
Meanwhile where we had plowed up the grounds for the house build, the grasses were not too high yet and I wandered up to the tree line to investigate the numerous types of bush and trees coming to life in this new season. I haven’t yet bought my guide book on flora and  fauna of Nova Scotia so that I can learn the names of the species. I took a few photographs and will check online for some tree types to match my pictures of buds and repost results of pictures there. I do notice that I can get a CD of identification of trees from Natural Resources and will call  for that item.
I haven’t yet seen any mammals like the contractor had seen and strained my eyes toward the far tree line hoping to see some deer or small movements in the grass. So far on the land the birds and insects is all I have taken note of in my search. I did notice the hornets that were enjoying the heat off the deck seemed unusually large to me. Maybe having been left to their own devices in this abandoned hay fields, they have managed to grow rather large. I wonder if all the species I will come across will be somewhat healthier for living here. That could be a bit of a worry depending on what kind of mammal we run into while outdoors.
I had noticed when we turned in that the lengthly drain ditches, yet to be graded to the gravel road top, had something dark and moving in the shallow water running to the main stream at the bottom of the hill. I walked back down from the house the fourteen hundred feet of driveway to the road. There were black tadpoles filling the ditches and I stopped to photograph. Another research project for me to see what species of frog will develop from these tadpoles. Another fear as it has only been a few weeks that we could hear the spring peepers along the highway as we drove. We had once rented a house having just moved to our present home, and it stood across from a marsh. For a terrible week, we were serenaded by spring peepers day and night, but mostly night. At one point madness had set in and I opened the bedroom window after midnight and screamed at them to shut up. I had been awake for nights at this point. The chorus immediately stopped for all of fifteen seconds before resuming. As romantic a sign of warm weather finishing our long winter that these peepers sing to us, I fear that next spring a week of madness waits for us.

As usual my visit up to the house, did not leave me with time to take out the art supplies or get right into the woods. The construction still requires our diligence and we were off to make some needed purchases. I had carried my sketchbook from the Art house coop museum project, but didn’t have time to open the book. This is a world wide project where an artist fills the small book with her art and sends it back into the Boston museum where it will eventually go out on tour with all the others. In my second year of the project I want to record the land with drawings. I will have to wait until I have more time on the land to use my art tools. It is to be hoped that as we get closer to completion on the house, that time will come and I will have some artwork for this blog as well.        

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Discovering My New Home On 49 Acres.

The time is coming close where I will move onto the land. Many visits, although short in time, has made me eager to permanently relocate myself in a farming and rolling hill region. And with summer nearing I do not want to miss the unveiling of plant and animal species ,as anxious as I to come out from the long winter. Throw in the fact that the house has been late to complete and the few years we owned the land , only once able to climb the hill to the top because of high hay; I am more than ready to experience dawn and dusk at our land.
With camera in hand on each trip I photographed the house construction noting stages and progress. Now I wish to turn the lens and my hand to discovering what else lives and moves about on the 49 acres. Up to now the builders have had the pleasure to view the regular appearance of about 6 deer in a herd on their daily crossing. They have seen a red tail hawk that appears to be a regular resident as well the eagle I did have a chance to watch overhead at one visit. Then there have been pheasant and quail running through the field and bordering woods. I feel that I am missing out but hope they all put on a show for me once I arrive. 
Are these populars? Next project!
I will search for a book with pictures and detail on the indigenous plant and wildlife of the area, so that I can learn what grows and lives there. Then if adding to the species is necessary I will follow protocol on what should inhabit the area. With solar energy and heat pumps bringing us into a greener era of our life, we should also respect what would be the proper species and get to recognize what and why they are abundant. 
Watching the weather patterns as well will be a new subject to study, just as the farmer that mowed his fields must have participated. Our neighbour whom will grade our soil and clear our long drive, says he knows how the snow lays and drifts so can drain the area around the house when completed. I didn’t realize the science involved in grading the lawn area for maximum drainage. Most of our neighbours are long time residents and know the area as well as all who live there. There is a wealth of information I have already been privilege to with this chap. Although there is new construction with a few neighbours ,so that we aren’t the only newbies on the land, it is prudent as the new residents, to watch and learn the habits and ways of our neighbours. Two already have used the back acreage for snowmobiling for years so that will go on uninhibited. Apparently with their ownership of trail comes a protective nature and was told they would disperse anyone nosing around while we aren’t there.  A benefit for sure for us in exchange of tolerating the movement of machines and with so much space, there isn’t a problem with sharing.
We have even given up the idea of removing the two old vehicles collapsed and rusting in the woods where they were dumped many years ago. It was my first thought to have them removed. but as no one sees value in the process of removal, and the costs looking dear, maybe just leaving them to the elements and the curiosity of visitors, is the way to go for now. So long as they don’t represent a danger, especially to our eight year old grandson, the woods will continue to encapsulate them. And he can use his imagination with the vehicles. This is something we can take our time to revisit. Already I seem to be moving into rural or country mode.
OLd Ford becoming part of landscape
So while I wait to get my camera and canvasses and paints out on the land and the area, I envision the possibilities ahead to a new adventure and life style. I will continue to record my discoveries and art works once I get to the land and my new home.