Have I bought forest or jungle?
It’s been more than a month since my last visit and the undergrowth has taken over. I got halfway down the trail to the homestead site and… completely lost the trail. A sea of some kind of crop confronted me, waist high and swarming with ticks. Fortunately I had invested in a machete before making the trip and so I was able to cut myself a path through this jungle. I’d never wielded a machete before, but when faced with the choice of wading through tick-infested weeds or walking a nice mown path to one’s cow barn, one quickly learns the way of the machete.
As I hacked my way through, all sorts of interesting flora and fauna were revealed. First some wild strawberries, hiding in the grass. The fruit was round, bright red and ready, though not very sweet. Still, that firms up one plant identification! (If you remember, I thought I recognised strawberry leaves back in March.) The fauna was much more of a surprise. I was swinging my machete, and oh!
So nice to see this turtle (probably an eastern box turtle) – it made up for all the ticks. And even if it turns out to be a snapping turtle and will one day get big and vicious, today he/she was very calm. In fact the little beast stuck around for quite a while as I admired it, photographed it (sorry about the slightly wobbly picture quality – my arms were so tired from swinging the machete), slashed my way past it and on to Base Camp.
You can see the trusty machete leaning against a tree to the left of my pink backpack. The green bucket contains my (by now very decomposing) compost… oh no, I was NOT going to waste that compost.
In the relatively tick-free environment of Base Camp, I ate lunch, and wondered whether to call it a day. But where would I put the compost if I left now? No, onwards and into the homestead site… where I managed to uncover half the fire circle. Note the crop around it, but mostly grass inside.
By now I was getting really tired, but that compost needed to go somewhere. I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to machete my way round to the official compost bin. Instead, I decided to clear a path to the tyres (still waiting for me to plant them up with herbs) and leave the compost in one of them.
And that is where I left it. I need to go back in a day or two and cut away more undergrowth. I think I’ll also plant out my tomato and pepper plants in the raised (tyre) beds. Some herbs can go in with them too. That’s a huge simplification of the original plan, but I think it will be more manageable… especially given the time I’ll need to spend taming the vegetation.