Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Watching Erosion

Just standing there for a brief moment you can literally see pieces of the earth break loose and roll down the cut face of the slope at the top of my drive. It did not move much at all with the rain we had all summer. Now in the thawing cold, pieces of earth that have been lifted by ice fall when their support disappears and leaves them hanging in the air. It is much slower than a landslide, but certainly faster than slow motion. It's living erosion.

Definitely faster than watching bark grow.

Meanwhile anti-erosion forces have been busy placing chinking stones into the wider gaps in the face of the wall.

I may have gone just a bit cold stone crazy. Yesterday after the latest big freeze while placing small stones in the wall's face I swear I thought the wall had moved. Oh Lord! The wall was now hideous and I was ready to knock it down and start over. Good thing it was too cold to do that.

I scoured the dozens of pictures of the wall during construction and looked again this morning. No this wall has not budged an inch. It was just bad lighting. This wall is beautiful.

Yesterday I thought there was an 80% chance that this wall wasn't going any where any time soon even if it had settled just a bit. Today I have that up to 95%. It ain't goin' no where. I think it's a keeper.

The addition of all the smaller stones into the wall is giving it a much richer texture and hopefully a little additional support.

Part of this cold stone crazy is the much closer examination of the wall. On this cold wet muddy slope it was a bit hard to step back and look as it was being built. Plus the rain and snow and wind and warm and cold is washing all the dirt off the stones. There was more soil on many of them than I thought so the gaps were growing in some spots.

I am getting to know my wall.

On this next wall I need to spend more time with each stone and a good stiff brush. I'll also have a level patio floor to stand back and look from.

That remaining 5% of fear is from the unknowing of this cold force, this absence of quantity as some would have it. This soil was smooth and flat not so long ago and now it looks like it is going for a ride.

One nice thing about this cold is that it has been revealing lots of small stones that are good for chinking.


Anonymous said...

I love comparing the textures in the top three photos. Very nice!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens

Christopher C. NC said...

There is a very brownish grey tonal quality to my world right now and the textures, to me at least, are very complex and fascinating in their own right. This time of year also really exposes the contours of the land itself. Having lived in the west and the leeward side of Maui, the land, the earth, to see it is comforting.

chuck b. said...

The wall looks much closer to the pilings in the head on shot than it does from the side. I feel no fear when I look at the picture from the side, but I do feel a little when I look at it head on.

"The wall was now hideous and I was ready to knock it down and start over."

Too funny. While I have never built a wall, my garden has given me this now familiar feeling many, many times.

chuck b. said...

Oh! I like your icon very much.

Frances, said...

Watching you deal with the cold brings to mind this blogger you might enjoy who also lives in the Asheville area;

isn't there enough to keep up with?

if this post is out of line, just delete it and accept my apologies


Anonymous said...

NOTHING last forever. To believe otheriwse is Hubris.

Even the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the United States, in Washington State will be taken away by the next glaciation.

That said, your wall looks good. If, in a few seasons, it cracks and begins to blow out, then get out a shovel and repair the fault. Not a problem. We are caretakers of our gardens and caretakers of our walls.

And it is so damned attractive...

You know... all you can do is all you can do.

Life is good.

Christopher C. NC said...

Life is good. In most things we spend our lives opposing erosion.

Francis that was a nice site. The navigation there is a bit different with what appeared to be no home page. Someone you know?

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

I love the new 'identity' photo
Looks like you are wearing a broad rimmed chapeau which is decorated with little stone and pebble flowers.
how appropriate !

keep rock'n


Frances, said...

re isn't there enough to keep up with, there is no home page, the writing does not seem to be archived, and yes someone I know very well, the last born. Thanks for giving it a look. He does love winter. In the guestbook I am GG.

lisa said...

I'm sure glad that you didn't knock the wall down and start over! Sounds like it's time to step back and ignore it awhile, and I see in subsequent posts that you did. Them rocks'll make ya cross-eyed after awhile, y'know? :)