a good days work: landscape designer

I spend 40 minutes surveying the land and clearing brambles.

Then I had to lay down, eat and take cortisol, for about an hour.

Then I spend 40 minutes representing the ideas visually, just for fun. I like maps. This one will spark my next workday when I continue this project:

you see our cabin, the owl in the tree, a pond, places I like to sit, patches I want to clear, hedges that need mending, lines of view that are important.

While walking around there were some new ideas, there was a lot of maintainance that has to be documented and there were not a lot of big ideas. Mainly because big ideas seldom come when exploring a land for the first time. And also because for the execution of big ideas one needs big equipment and the thought of that is too overwhelming for me at the moment. It would disrupt the peace and the animals we have here now and that is very present at the moment.

On the other hand: big equipment does make the task easier. And I love hydraulics:

kraan3

here’s how we made the very wet farmers grassland into a ecological habitat. You are looking from the grassland north, to our patch of wood. The little bright green rectangles you see just right from the crane are the shutters from our window. This photo was taken when we scraped away the rich soil and made them into hills. We planted some apple trees onto them. But mainly it’s just brambles and nettles. Full of birds and mice and the hare loves to lay there.

The resulting lower places have poor soil and this is just how natural herbs like it. We’ve got wild carrot and scarlet pimpernel growing there. And, because of the very wet conditions, various march plants. And frogs and toads and lots of dragon flies and butter flies! The small hills with the nettles make for warm, wet lowlands between them.

Using machinery is great fun. But also invasive. I remember, before we took this crane to the grassland, running around with a big bucket, collecting the frogs that hid in the grass to bring them into safety. And when the county was felling trees in the forest on the other side of the grassland, deer were fleeing into the cornfields, with or without their young. Scared witless. Very bad timing on part of the county.

That’s also when the squirrels fled the forest and came down the road to live with us. One got run over. The other survived and lived in our patch for two years. We fed her in winter and she found a mate. Eventually they moved back to the county forest but their young came to our patch for two winters after that. I have not seen him this winter…

but we do have a barn owl now :)

a young from last year, sitting out the winter in our tree. She will go look for a barn or church in Spring.

Well, using machinery may be in our future. It would make filling up a hole we have in front of the cabin easier. And clear some patches. Bring in some good soil. Without machinery landscaping this patch is like gardening. A little pruning here, a little digging there. Still…. gardening alone does get you a long way.

I will go out in a bit again, weed some more. Get some more ideas. I really like being out there and busy. It’s a bit annoying to notice the fatigue rising and how long I need to recuperate but well… can’t complain. Other people have smelly feet.

One thing I do is plan ahead: before I go out and exhaust myself I make sure food is waiting when I come back in and also that I can do mindless knitting straight away, without first having to think about solving knitting problems. (yes, knitters have problems too)

I do love hydraulics:

kraan4

UPDATE: when I stepped outside the county just arrived to fell a tree behind our patch, a tree that was growing wonky. With their noise I could not stand being outside so I went back inside, to prepare some knitting I had to frog and recalculate. After that I got very tired and the county was still outside so I had a rest, laying on the couch and knitting. After the rest I am still tired and also it has started raining outside so I am calling it a day today, as far as work is considered. I now have a little bit of energy left to do some cooking and tinker around the house. Then more resting and mindless knitting. All in all, nothing compared by my knitter friends who do a full days job. But still I feel good. I am looking forward to my other occupations the rest of the week.

This Landscape Engineering thing gets shelved now, untill its next day comes. In the mean time I’ll be able to stroll around our patch without feeling the need to make plans or be usefull. I’ll be back to post tomorrow.

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