Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Very Own Woods and Magical Stream

I'm a towny, always have been except for a few years living in a very small village as a young child. I'm used to being able to walk downtown whenever I need to for a shopping fix. I'm also now able to walk to a coffee shop, Wal-Mart and Home Depot due to the land being available at our end of town. It usually takes me twenty-five minutes to walk to the bridge over the river downtown and from there I can access my doctor's office, dentist's office and my optometrist all within another ten minutes or so. I have even ventured on occasion to walk all the way to our Zellars Store at the opposite end of town but it's a feat I don't tackle anymore. There are many hills in this town, some very steep and if I can avoid them I do.

This past weekend the temperature here has been minus 26 degrees with the wind chill making it feel like -37. Since I find that way too cold to go walking outside I have set up a jigsaw puzzle to challenge me. Actually I'm on my third one, they all involved flowers of some description. These flower puzzles made me think of spring and spring made me think of May, the month we hope to return to Prince Edward Island to start our renovating process on our over seventy year farmhouse.

Thinking of our farmhouse put me in mind of our wonderful property. To some it might look like just a bunch of fields bordered by trees. In the spring the fields will be planted in potatoes but to an old towny like me it looks like paradise. To think my husband and I own all those fields and the long, deep woods behind them is so exciting to me. Last year along with my sister-in-law and her husband we grabbed a pair of long handled loppers, a small axe and headed into the woods. Several of the first dozen trees had a yellow plastic ribbon tied around them so we figured that's the trail to follow. It was tough going after awhile. It was very dense with small trees trying to reach towards the light of the sun, dead trees, old logs plus branches reaching out to halt our progress.

But the charm of the woods was the lovely, deep moss covering the forest floor, hearing the birds sing and finding all sorts of different mushrooms, none of which we knew. One particular mushroom has the reddest top I've ever seen. It was so beautiful. Jim's brother placed it on a tree branch so we could get a good photo of it. We knew from the deeds of the property that there were several streams on the property. Plus the owner had told us as a small child she fell into one. We tramped through the dense woods for nearly two miles it seemed, ducking here, dodging there to escape a branch in the head. One small clearing made me exclaim with joy as there were stately maples growing there. Some small enough I hope to dig up and transplant later.

When we finally reached what we thought should be a stream it seemed to be dried up, no water was flowing but the moss was very spongy and wet. We trekked on, up hill and down dale and finally found the most magical little stream I've seen in a long time. I was beside myself with joy. Bouncing around with delight at this narrow little stream with clear, sparkling water flowing ever so bravely on. I suppose to some it wouldn't look like much, but I have a vision of fairies dancing there in the sunlight when no one is around. I envisioned cleaning up the stream, pulling out soggy logs and branches, clearing vegetation away near the edge and even putting little benches here and there to sit on someday.

There will be so little time to go exploring in the woods over the next few years as we renovate the house and barns but hopefully we can set aside one day each summer to go exploring. Even the fact I caught my right foot under a log and fell headfirst on the soft, cushiony moss, really hurting my foot and ankle won't deter me from searching out treasures in the woods again. I was limping for several weeks and lucky I didn't break my ankle so instead of looking UP next time I will try and look for twisting roots or old logs that want to trip me up.

I shall feel like Anne of Green Gables or the Girl of the Limberlost when entering my dear woods. Loving, admiring every tree and bush. Listening for the birds and marveling at Mother Nature's bounty and goodness to a towny part of the year and a bonafide "country girl" the few weeks we get to spend on the island until we retire there permanently.

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