We knew there would be a lot of firsts this year and indeed they have been coming in rapid succession. The past two weekends have been hardworking family affairs, but a lot of fun I must say.
Easter weekend was rainy and didn’t have a lot to recommend it weather-wise, but we did manage to complete the dam that we were building for our pond. It’s a great success, the pond is back up to the level we need it at and we’re feeling really pleased. We have a bit of reinforcing to do of the banks adjacent to the dam, to guard against erosion, but it’s otherwise a done deal. I will plan to put up a post about the second phase of dam building as I took another round of photos and I think the whole process was very interesting.
That same weekend we also spent some time clearing out the cattle crossing that our boys use to get under the highway to school (basically a concrete tunnel that a farmer once used to get his cattle across to a field for grazing). It was still thick with ice and also boasted nice muddy deposits and rubbish that has accumulated from the nearby highway. Oldest son dug a channel away from the mouth of the tunnel to get it draining, youngest son and father cleared things out inside the tunnel itself, and I picked up roadside rubbish. Nothing like a quick spring clean.
This weekend was a heck of a lot sunnier and a pleasure to be outside. Tree planting was another item on our list, which might sound crazy to anyone who knows our land – there are a lot of trees here, however we don’t have trees in some key places (such as between our house and the highway, apart from a spindly line of poplars) and we’re lacking in some trees with major presence, particularly in certain areas. Case in point? Our pond has some very nice mature trees near and around it and our woods begin at its southern end, but we felt it was missing that iconic tree, a weeping willow. Through our local municipality we were able to buy five mature trees, including two golden weeping willows, and the first of these went in on the western side of the pond on Saturday. We also got 30 conifer seedlings (Norway Spruce and Colorado Blue Spruce, if I remember correctly – it’s late!) for $1 each! These are about 10 to 12 inches high, as opposed to the 10 to 12 feet high of the five mature decidous trees that we bought for somewhat more. All 30 were planted in an arc of sorts around the front and sides of our house. It’ll take a while till we get to enjoy these, but if even half of them are successful (and we piled in the compost to help them grow in our clay soil), we’ll have transformed the place in a few years’ time. Every year of growth is critical with trees, and I’m really grateful that we could make this bid for the future so inexpensively our first year here. And our boys feel like real Canadians having done some serious tree planting now.