Friday, 23 September 2011

Rock jockeys

I can't believe it's already fall, as of today, and it will be soon time to close Priscilla up for the winter. That's a very sad thought. It seems like just last week that Priscilla rolled onto the lot and the whole summer was ahead of us. We got the things on our priority list achieved...dock, internet and hydro. The last item on our wish list for this year was to make the walking path to the dock a little less treacherous. I suppose the path is not that scary if you're a squirrel or a chipmunk but we have all ages and agility levels walking, sometimes running, to the dock and all it would take is to step on one acorn to roll you over the edge of the rock and it's 911 time. The pictures below show the path as it was. On the right, the grass at the top of the rock is the same patch of grass that Holly and Gary (Holly's hubby) are on in the left-hand picture. Gary's chair is on a good tilt there. Add some tequila to this mix and for sure there will be some spills in the future. This cannot be allowed, for the humans nor the tequila!

To solve the problem we had another extraordinary gentleman with a backhoe do a little digging for us. He uncovered a whole pile of rocks of which he made into a new pile of rocks but his pile of rocks was not nearly as pretty as Mother Nature's pile of rocks. what do we do?

First, I asked my sister for help. She loves landscaping with rocks...and she's as strong as two men, as my mom always says...and she has a dolly to help move the big rocks around more easily. Holly was a great help getting the flat stones in the ground for a walkway. Thanks sister! The walkway will be a work in progress as we find more flat rocks.

Next, we decided to build a retaining wall to use up the rock pile and disguise the exposed earth left behind by the excavation. Ras began by digging out a section of the remaining hill area where we want to have a bench. This is a perfect spot to enjoy the morning sunshine with a coffee. It's the perfect spot for getting out of the sun in the afternoon on a really hot day or the perfect spot to get out of the wind when it's too chilly to sit on the dock on a blustery day. It's just an all 'round perfect spot for a bench.

Ras worked like a trooper to dig out the bench spot, encountering numerous rocks and roots of all shapes and sizes. Half way into clearing the space she hit a monster rock which may have stopped a lesser woman...but not Ras. She and her trusty hammer pounded and scraped away at the dirt around that rock until she achieved her goal. The rock was too big for us to move from its place by the time it was finally unearthed because we were pretty tired so we waited for Holly's next visit. Who needs a backhoe when you have my sister, Holly? She didn't even need to use the dolly!

Ras was the search and rescue girl throughout this mission, finding and lugging nicely shaped rocks from all corners of the if there weren't enough rocks in the pile already from the excavation. I had the fun job of stacking...and unstacking...then re-stacking until the fit was just right. There was more than one occasion for bad words to escape into the atmosphere as I repeatedly smashed my fingers between the rocks. You would think after the first time I'd know enough not to do it again. Kids just never get tired of the things they love!!  Here's the result of the worst of the smashings. The index finger is doubly crimson because it got smashed twice. Double the bad words!

And here's the final result of all the lugging and finger smashing. We'll replace the one chair with a tete-a-tete bench of a similar style in the spring. Although I will have my lovely crimson nails for months, it was all worth it. The walkway to the dock is much easier to manage and the time spent overlooking the water from this viewpoint will bring many years of joy. To use one of my mom's quotable quotes, "It's a thing of beauty, and a joy forever."

Looking forward to seeing the fall colours from here,

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