Thursday, April 26, 2012

Earning the rock wall

As I mentioned some time back, I am slowly building a rock wawall along the uphill edge of our backyard.  Until recently, it had consisted of rocks -- stones, if you will (Natalie was asking me about the difference recently.  I think it's mostly a class distinction, "stones" sounding older, more worn with age, more expensive) -- that were already loose in the yard and which I pulled up and carried over to the wall area. And part of me felt that using already loose rocks was tantamount to having a kind of unearned rock wall.

Then Mary got it into her head that we should do some serious landscaping in the front yard. More serious than what mom had put there over the years, which was, in truth, plenty serious for me. But, having time on my hands, I offered to help her -- some. So I've been digging some holes.  And there are, truth be told, lots of rocks down there in the soil, itself much more clay-based than the dark loamy stuff we had become accustomed to up in New Jersey.  And so, I have been digging up rocks, stones, if you will, and taking some of them over to the rock wall project staging area.  Over time, I will have to educate myself on how to put the damned things together to make a wall. And educate the kids too, as I view the wall-building as a multi-year process, not to be rushed.

Or, possibly, they will just sort of tumble and jumble there together, as they're not really shaped ideally to nestle together. As I look at the walls around town, the really neat ones seem to be held together by cement, and I can't help thinking that cement is for pussies.

ps. Mary tells me that voles -- the little nemeses that eat her plants, like to live in rock walls.  Hence she's happy for me to take rocks from the one in the front yard and put them in the back yard.  We'll see how long it is before that wall gets blamed for vole infestation in the patio garden.  I may be forced to disperse the rocks or cement them together.

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