dogwoods and post holes

dogwood blossom

On this visit (April 17) I had an overwhelming urge, before I tackled anything else, to wander about in the forest and find dogwoods in bloom. They are one of my favourite trees, as I think I’ve mentioned, but I’d also like to feature a blossoming dogwood in a story I’m writing, so I really *needed* to see one. (More than I needed to start making holes for fence posts!) Further south they seem to come into blossom more or less with the redbuds, which is why I assumed I had none a couple of weeks back. But they were everywhere on the drive up to the land this time, including the edges of my neighbours’ properties, so I was hopeful. In fact, I could actually see one with its gorgeous, white-petaled flowers from the homestead site, but it turned out to be just over the border on my neighbour’s land. I didn’t have to walk too far, though, before I found many more, and on the right side of the border.

looking up at white blossom

In my last post, I remarked on how green everything was looking. In the time since then, with all the warmth and rain we’ve had, nature has run riot. The homestead site is now covered with a thick herby, weedy carpet. I need to tame it somehow – mow it? Shoots of the crop that filled it last September (whatever that was) are coming up again, self-seeded. They need to come out. I had a moment of feeling completely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, but the place is just *so* beautiful as it is, that that didn’t last too long. It will all get done. Somehow.

weed carpet and a butterfly

The wildlife is more in evidence too. There were plenty of bees last week, but I saw at least three different kinds of butterfly this time (zoom in to the pic above for one of them – wish I was better at identifying things), as well as two lizards. The lizard basking in the sun on the Old Man was a dashing, bright blue mottled creature, but too quick for me to catch on film.

The main task of the week was to start making holes for the fence posts. The boundary string I measured out last time was all still there – clearly none of the 90-odd tornadoes that swept across NC the day before had moved so much as a leaf in our particular neighbourhood. But there had been plenty of rain: perfect conditions for hammering stakes in to make holes. The job was almost easy! I made holes at 15′ intervals for two sides of the fence before running out of water. (Hot day… had to stop on the drive home at a middle-of-nowhere convenience store for pink lemonade, which was an adventure in itself.) Until the real fence posts arrive, I’ve stuck dead branches into the newly made holes… If you look carefully enough in the picture below, you should be able to make out the line of deadwood fence posts.

deadwood fence posts

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2 Responses to dogwoods and post holes

  1. Very interesting blog – I found it through Twitter.

    I’m a forest dweller myself (though nowhere near as remote as you, I think) I’m interested in your journey, and will keep following to see how you get on.

    Best wishes

    at nextstarfish

    • admin says:

      Hi Steve
      Thanks for finding the blog! Twitter is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve had a chance to get out to the land (writing this now on May 17). The day job has been very busy – we’ve also had a lot of stormy weather on days when I might have been free to go. No shelter yet in my bit of forest except the trees themselves. Looking forward to following your blog too.
      All best,

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