Monday, August 11, 2008

Rock walls

I am obsessed with rocks.

It’s a love/hate thing.

When I first moved to the mountain, I liked rocks in the “wow, what a pretty rock” kinda way. This included the boulders in the 3 rock walls holding my property from sliding down the mountain. I loved the natural look of them. I stuffed dirt in the crevices and planted flowers. It looked great. I liked them a lot. I still do.

There is a but coming…can you hear it?

Then wanting to put in flower beds, I started to dig. Everywhere I plunged my shovel; I would hear the distinctive ring of metal against unyielding rock. Grunt. Sweat. Huff. Grunt. It was not uncommon to hear grunts and swearing rising like a floating miasma in the clean mountain air. Not all of that was coming from me, the neighbors were equal contributors. I tried everything. Thinking I didn’t have the right tool for the job, I bought a different shovel. Then I bought a pick axe. And a mattock. Then another mattock, with a sturdy yellow plastic handle. I even got a special pointy shovel that has teeth thinking it would maneuver around the rocks. All to no avail. Digging rocks is plain hard work. I have dug out dozens of rocks over the years and I think I have gotten pretty good at it.

As a result, there are now burgeoning stacks and tottering piles of rocks sitting around the property. I use them to stuff into groundhog holes, to level the birdbaths, to make garden paths and shore up the rock walls. I have extolled their virtues to rock-less guests who have taken some of them home to display proudly on their own lawns. My family has even hauled some back to the flatland.

Whatever you do, don’t buy rocks. There is no doubt someone with a pile that would gladly let you haul them away. You can certainly have any and all of mine


Sparverius said...

I would love some of your rocks! When can I come by?

Anonymous said...

Down by me where apparently people used to use the back yard as some sort of dump, we not only grow a bumper crop of rocks, but also glass shards in a rainbow of colors! (If that rainbow were clear, green, and brown.) At least rocks are less likely to draw blood...


Anonymous said...

This is what I don't get: In our vegetable garden, my husband and I rake and sift, finding rocks and taking them out of the soil. But in the spring, when we start again, there are new rocks. Where do they come from? Guess the earth is shifting and tumbling and doing its thing. - Pam

deejbrown said...

I gave up on moving mine around. Let 'em live where they are, I say.