“It’s hard to be random” and “Creation is chaos”

Quick Summary of WWDT

We worked out front today, preparing the holes and pipe for this year’s planting – 3,500 trees slated. The god’s tower over us – mountains named after each deity of the Pantheon. They oversee our efforts, white caps pulled down low this time of year.

“It’s hard to be random” said Marian. Rob didn’t understand at first, and then remembered that in digging holes for a future forest they were trying to be random. Duh! But Rob had an excuse – he breathed in too much G360 (weed killer) yesterday and was toxic, but nothing an hour run wouldn’t cure.

Chasing

The rabbit. Actually it was a, ready for this?  A “hare.” It’s like a horse. Kangaroo maybe. “Not quite a horse,” interjected Sandra.

We sure did some chasing today. There were sheep in the paddock. One very pregnant ewe rammed the fence but just could not kneel down low enough to get under. All her companions had made it through, leaving her all alone, facing a terrifying quad bike, a dude and two screaming chicks. I’d be freaked out too. The cacophony chased the poor mother out the gate and all was well. But running later, Sandra, Eve, and Rob were sure they saw the same mother still running along the road trying to find a friendly paddock in which to relax.

Back to the rabbit. Rob got off one shot – missed. Then the gun jammed. But these rabbits, the ones that are left, run. They just run and run and run. The ones that would run and stop all were killed, so in this micro-evolutionary step, only the ones that run have survived.

Back to Planting

Speaking of evolution, the process of planting has evolved over the last five years into what it is today. And now it takes another step – put a bamboo stick in the hole once its filled back in. Then theres on guesswork about the hole’s location. We used to lose a few holes every year. No more, thanks to Sandra and Marian.

Bald patch on the hill: A section of five-year-old trees with nothing growing. We went wild. The patch had bothered Rob for years and years. Actually, it was Rob who went wild – no divots, no scraping away grass – he just drilled the hell out of it. Fifty holes later and hair plugs are ready. AWESOME!

In conversation, Sandra learned there’s an evergreen oak, which is really a semi-deciduous tree, replacing its leaves ever year without ever becoming completely bare. This, of course, is exactly like our own southern beeches of the nothofagus genus–”not fagus” or “not the northern hemisphere variety of beech tree” to be exact. (And Fagus is also the god of beech trees at whose altar we worship daily!)

Back to Eating

For lunch, Sandra picked watercress from the creek. Watercress tastes good. Yes, our creek is filled with wonderful fresh watercress. And Marian wants you all to know we had it as part of a proper, country-club lunch. She cut off her crusts but we ate ours.

So Much For Letting a Ten-Year-Old Drive…

Rob had to stop work to take a delivery. Over dinner he told us this story:

“Jesse delivered six massive culvert pipes today (these bad boys deliver water under our tracks). He had 15mm African rings in each earlobe and a pierced nostril with a large copper hoop dangling down over his upper lip. How was he able to eat without ingesting an edge of it? Or at least get copper poisoning…? Whatever that is.

“He looked a little shy of ten when he stepped out of the driver’s seat, and you might wonder how he got the job as delivery boy for the plumbing supply company, but mainly how he was able to drive at all.

“That out of the way, I piloted for Jesse, driving my quad bike up the track to the Hollows. He parked and unloaded the heavy pipes and then he tried to back up the truck. He was on ground sloping no steeper than 2 degrees downhill, and by some horrible stroke of Murphy’s luck his wheels spun on the first try. Again and again he struggled, spinning the grass into a muddy slush and only succeeding in moving farther downhill, away from where he was intending to go. He finally stopped, exited the cab and looked around. Spotting a pile of derelict timber, he started tossing 8x1s over to his rear wheels. Each one he placed carefully on the ground behind the tires, but every one was riddled with nails, all pointing upward. As long as he didn’t turn he’d be okay, but if his wheels nudged a degree to the left or right, we would’ve had a bigger problem than just being stuck.

“His truck hadn’t been able to move an inch backward, so how it would have a chance in hell of getting up on the first board, let alone leap across the lot? And as expected, his next attempt was yet another display of spinning and churning, more mud and less grass, again…

“I backed up the quad bike to Jesse’s bumper and he started wrapping the strop around his toe bar. He had no idea how to secure it, but a quick reversal of the loop he’d finished with did the trick, and then a clove hitch on the quad’s bar and she was out and uphill. All ended well and he was on his way, smiling like a kid after an ice cream cone, and we had our culverts for the new track through the woods, and he had his job well done.”

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