Friday, April 29, 2005

spring 'round here

As this unusually wet spring continues its moisty way here in Sanpete, Drie made an observation this morning. "It wouldn't be so bad to live in this house if it was like this more of the year." Yeah, and we'd be living in northern Idaho or Wisconsin, too. This spring our grass is lush and the breeze cool, and the dryland pasture mix I scratched into the field soil seems to be coming up plenty more than last year.
Our little acre lot has been as neglected over the past twenty or thirty years as our house. There are old ash and coal piles here and there on our acre, as well as shallow grooves that used to be irrigation ditches. I've spent much of the past four years hauling off old engine parts, coolers, timbers and wood, wire and assorted debris and garbage from the fields. There hadn't been much water on the pastures in the last ten years or so, and during our four summers there hasn't been much more than a couple of sporadic sprinklings from the hose because our water shares were pirated away before we moved in.
There used to be a small orchard in the southeast quarter, the last remaining stumps were pulled out by a former tenant in around '94. Right before we moved in, a couple of outbuildings, a granary and a carriage house, were pulled off the property and to a couple of more affluent people's yards in town.
So we're left with this wonderful acre of ground that puts forth abundant sandburs, cheatgrass and stork's bill without much effort, but not much else. Even the sagebrush and junipers I've planted each year have a rough time.
I think our acre was a clay bank in some former eon, the whole area that Spring City sits on is an alluvial fan formed by the two or three canyons east of town, especially Spring City and Canal Creek Canyons. The different areas of town have almost as many qualities of soil as there are lots. Ours is, because of its composition, recent caretaking, and current circumstance, one of the more barren.
Nevertheless, we'll keep planting trees, trying to keep deer away during the winter and the droughts away during summer. As we get a bit more shade on the ground, we'll keep developing a bit more microclimate. And the natives I keep introducing are bound to take at some point.
I hope our family will be happy here, even though the weather isn't often this nice all year-round.

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