Monday, July 14, 2008
So it's been months since I've been able to find the time to post our final after pics. So long, that in fact, these pictures are quite out of date as the morning glory has completely covered the ground. A little depressing, but nothing that a short stint of goats in the fall can't take care of. We've been trying to get blackberry dug out - in fits and starts. We planted some red-osier dogwood, twinberry and pacific ninebark in some of the wettest spots. I checked down there over the weekend, and everything I found still seemed to be growing - it was pretty surrounded by horsetail, so I cleared some of that and tried to unwind any morning glory growing on them, that is, until I got thrashed by stinging nettles, which sent Triona and I into a speedy retreat.
Now, here are the pictures! Matched pretty closely by Dan.
The apple tree in the background actually blossomed this year (we haven't been able to see it in a few years, so don't know if it has recently). It was beautiful.
It's hard to tell, but the blackberries were up to about the tetherball height - and now it's all knocked down to the ground. You can also see the retaining wall that was previously covered with ivy.
Where once there was an impenetrable wall, you can see down into the ravine
This spot will hopefully be terraced someday so that we can make it easier to get down there.
The lighter area in the back of the after picture is where we've done some planting - I'll be wearing gloves next time!
Thanks for reading our glog - we'll try to post more when/if we make more progress. Still LOTS to do!
I took a wetlands class in graduate school where we learned how to delineate wetlands - basically, what characteristics does a site need to include to be classified a wetland. In addition to wetland soils, vegetation, and hydrology, my professor and TA added: trash. Wetlands are full of trash - very sad, but it does seem to often be the case, and our little backyard riparian zone was no different. We hauled quite a collection of balls, spent fireworks, a swingset, even a lawnmower out of the ravine. Well, we know the weeds will keep growing back, but at least the trash won't!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Spice warming up the driver's seat for Josh.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Almost immediately upon the goats' arrival, our next door neighbors were out on their deck checking out the strange goings on. Shortly thereafter, they were over in the yard making friends with our new guests. The Goat Lady told us this is a regular occurance for their clients - many get to know neighbors they've never met before.
We live in a neighborhood where pretty much everyone at least recognizes everyone else. It's a short dead end street, with a one block cul-de-sac, so there are about 20 houses altogether. It used to be the kind of neighborhood where the kids all knew each other and played together. While the goats were here, it was again.
One of the best parts of our goat experience has been the daily visits from the neighborhood kids (and their parents). Every day after school they would come to our yard to check on, feed, pet, help move, and untangle the goats. There was plenty of running, climbing, and getting stuck in the mud in the back woods too. It's what we envisioned when we bought the house, and Triona loved having four 10 year olds to follow around (who were all very patient).
If you are looking for a way to meet your neighbors, we highly recommend goats!
Thierry gives Obie some goat feed once the browse starts getting sparse.
Shannon (Thierry's mom) fends off Google who anxiously awaits a handful of goat feed.
Anna (our champion goat tender) says goodbye to Sugar and Delight on their last afternoon with us.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Extensive Indian Plum is growing throughout, its delicate flowers cascading down from sprays of oblong leaves.
Sever all the ivy vines sneaking up the trees,
and haul out most of the trash that we've uncovered (including computer parts, croquet balls, badminton birdies, numerous golf balls, an old jungle gym and a lawn mower motor). It's strange and sad how much trash we've found in our back woods, particularly since the only access to the area is from our yard. The trash had to be dumped by people who lived here. Some of the debris was so heavy it had to be broken up with a sledgehammer before we could move it.
We were also able to clear most of the stumps of their ivy-twig-wigs (which were surely providing homes for rats- about the only animal that will live in ivy- reason enough to remove all ivy everywhere).
A huge thanks to Jonathan, Tayler and Lexi for all your hard work! Have a great time in California and see lots of birds!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Today we learned that goats really don't like snow. Nor do they much care for sleet, hail, or driving rain, all of which they suffered through today. It's pretty funny to these former Vermonters to hear how much Seattlites whine about snow in March, but I do feel badly for the goats, who bleat plaintively at us when we approach. Also, they don't eat as much when they are unhappy. Hopefully the weather will be milder tomorrow.