Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Grand Opening

with 2 comments

One of the first projects we did shortly after we arrived here ten years ago had to do with the rusted old barbed wire fence along our northern property border. We climbed into the thick bramble of thorny trees and pulled up much of the old barbed wire, replacing it with a new nylon fence rope.

Our thinking at the time was that we might have horses coming near the fences along the property borders and barbed wire is inappropriate for horses. What we didn’t realize at the time was that the area we picked to start working was the least likely to ever have horse traffic near it.

For ten years since, much of that area has been ignored and allowed to grow unconstrained. That resulted in a wild thicket of grape vines snarled around the sharp thorns of wild plum trees. It was easy to cut vines and trees down but an incredibly frustrating battle to pull the branches apart and then shove them into a new tangle parallel to the fence line.









We decided to leave a couple of nice-looking maple trees alone, even though they look like they are right in the middle of the pathway. They are easy enough to walk around and will be a nice asset as they grow to maturity in the years to come.

We ended up with a pleasing alleyway between the pine trees and the wall of tangled branches along the property line. My goal, as always along this stretch of our northern border from the road up to the shop garage, is to continually trim back new growth until that thicket begins to look like a giant hedge delineating our property line.

It was the grand opening of a pathway that took us ten years to finally accomplish.

I stacked a few rocks on the old pine stump we had saved for just that purpose. It was an expression of our interest in opening up this portion of trail for more regular visits.

Like every other new trail we have opened up, this one is suddenly our new favorite and beckons us to return for a stroll each time we venture outside.

We walked it with flashlights in the dark last night upon our return from rolling the trash bin down the end of the driveway by the road. Shortly after we had gotten back inside the house, one of the largest and loudest outbursts of coyote howling started up. We stepped outside to listen and I got the sense it was coming from two different directions.

I whistled my most shrill loud whistle and their yelping stopped. Cyndie walked to the barn and turned on all the outside lights.

My guess is they were all excited about our new trail and were feeling in a celebratory mood over it. It gives me pleasure to know they won’t be getting any chicken dinners from us. Not for a while, anyway. One never knows when the urge to have free-ranging chickens again will override our frustrations over losing so many of them to predators.



Written by johnwhays

October 28, 2022 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Love the stacked rocks.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    October 28, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    • Thanks! The impermanence is a feature, not a bug. Every time I re-balance them the result ends up a little different.


      October 28, 2022 at 8:15 pm

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