Monday, February 16, 2009

As time flies

It's amazing how fast 10 days goes by! Every time something happens I think "Oh, I need to blog that!" and then life gets in the way and I don't.

We spent last weekend at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis with my youngest daughter. She has a pretty nasty staph infection that doctors were afraid was actually a MRSA infection so she got to spend the night in an isolation room, just in case. Thank goodness it wasn't! She's much, much better now.

Gabe has somehow managed to get a fat front leg. He won't let me mess with it and it's been too cold to hose it off so I can't really see what's going on. He is NOT lame on it, so that's encouraging. The last time he scraped a back leg it swelled up pretty big, so I'm thinking he has now managed to scrape his front leg. The way he and Chief fight over/through the fence I wouldn't be surprised if he smacked a T-post and scratched himself nicely. There is NOTHING else in his paddock for him to manage to maim himself on. I'm going to get my husband to help me hold him today and I'm thinking I'm going to have to break out the chain to convince him that standing still is his best option.

It's been too muddy and flooded to ride anyone. Sigh. Our driveway is even soft and our road has been flooded since early last week. *sigh* If it's not one thing, it's another.
No. Really. It's a road. I promise. It's not a boat ramp! The water towards the center of our new "lake" is typically more than a foot deep when it floods like this.

Welcome to "The Bottoms." Every creek leads to the bottoms and dumps all kinds of good silt and muck on the land. As farmland it's extremely fertile and valuable. As long as the flooding happens BEFORE the crop is planted and AFTER it's harvested, so it's kind of a crap shoot when you're farming the bottoms. My daughter rides with the daughter of a woman whose family owns all this land (a few hundred acres) and we have permission to ride on it. There are trails between the fields and through all the woods. And it's great long as it's dry!

I promised pictures of my poor trees. When the men with the chainsaws finally finished up their massacre I took a walk with my camera to assess the damage. My stomach was sick and there were tears in my eyes. All those trees, those beautiful, mature trees, gone. And what hurts the most is I know there were several owls nesting back there, as well as bluebirds and they have no where to live. Kayleigh and I decided we are going to start building bluebird boxes to try to help make up for some of the lost nesting space. But, plans are already in the works to start planting even more trees. We can't plant trees where they cut them down, but we can plant right on the line. Which is what we'll do. I'm planning a variety of evergreen, some hardwoods and holly trees as well as many lilac bushes as I can possibly fit back there! No, it won't be the same as the mature trees, but it's a start.

It's kind of hard to tell because of the fading light, but before the massacre you couldn't see the field on the far side of the creek. Now, you can. My windbreak is gone.

Gone. Just. Gone.

I used to enjoy walking along the creek here. There was a well-used deer trail right on the edge of the high creek bank. Now I'm worried that without the trees we are going to lose the bank entirely. The twin does that have lived in the woods for two seasons are gone.


  1. Oh Jenn,
    Glad that your daughter is well! Man, scare city.

    That is truly a sickening scene knowing that the wildlife was diplaced and how the land will erode.
    You will miss hearing those owls, but, I do LOVE your plans to replant, and invite the wildlife back in other ways.
    One of my neighbbors planted some either cottonwoods or popplars (sp?)across the street from us and man, did they grow up FAST!!Summer shade and beautiful color in the falls. When the wind blows, they sing with rustly leaves. But, they may be too fragile for lots of Ice, if that is normal for you.
    Your bottoms road view does look boat rampish at present!
    Hope your Gabe stays outa trouble, mine can find it too, with NOTHING to avail her around!

    Those acres of trails will be calling to you soon!

  2. Oh gosh what a massacre! So very sorry about the trees and the loss of animal life. I love your idea to replant and right on the line!! Good for you. Why did they cut them all down anyway?? Here, they have laws about leaving trees and vegetation within so many feet of existing creekbeds to prevent erosion. Get to planting girl! Oh, and I loved your videos of your ponies in the snow all bucking and snorting - aren't you just thankful that they generally behave themselves when we're on their backs!!??

  3. allhorsestuff...we get far too much ice for the cottonwoods...they'd be snapped in half the first season! I do miss them, though. There were TONS of cottonwoods in Kansas where I grew up and I loved listening to them "rattle" in the wind. The evergreens I have picked out are moderately fast growth trees and the holly trees are considered fast growth. But, of course, fast growth in trees is 10 years!

    Those trails are already calling my name! But I'd need a boat right now. :P

    C-ingspots...The TransCanadian oil pipeline is going through the north side of our property. Yay us! Federal law requires a 100 foot clearance around the pipeline, which is one of the reasons they cut down our trees. They were just in the "clearance" zone. We can't get a straight answer out of the company about what they are going to do to prevent erosion and loss of the creek bank. So far the answer has been "plant grass," but with the flooding we get in the fall/spring, we've told them that's not enough and they are going to need to take additional steps. I'm going to start keeping a photo record of the banks as they erode (which they will without the trees) so I have it in case we need to do something legal to force them to do something permanent.