Note to Charlie: Have to say that the zip line is incomplete, as are the ATV race track and golf holes you’ve suggested. You’d better get up here and have a word with your grandfather about this delay.

Meanwhile, just to give you all the idea: This is Muddy Creek from the bridge across it (him? her? Is there a convention about the gender of streams?) on Llewellyn. Muddy all right, with little respect for boundaries.


We’ve gone down to meet with Donna Schmitz of OWEB, Jarod of F&W, and Steve Smith. On his arrival, Steve handed me a cardboard box. A present! he said. Inside were what appeared to be desiccated earthworms, but were, in fact, milkweed roots. Asclepia, to be precise. We are to plant them somewhere, sit back, and wait for the monarch butterflies to visit. A little research suggests that the plant will want good drainage and full sun. (Keep that thought about good drainage as we proceed today. And full sun? Ha!) Seems asclepia is a little like “good” tansy-ragwort. That is, wildly poisonous, the sap highly irritating to the touch. “Do not get in the eye,” says Google. For sure. Seems this plant is the monarch’s only food, and they depend on the toxic bitterness to dissuade birds from dining on them.

Donna and Jarod are preparing our application for a grant to fence the tributary streams on the property. It’s due in early April, but we’re not to expect to see any money until next year. That’s okay, we still have Mark’s cows this year, and while we’ll keep them away from the Muddy itself, they are free to trample the little streams one more year.

Larry and I pulled on our boots to walk Mark’s fence, to be sure the cows won’t be able to get into the oak copse, where the wild flowers are beginning to blossom. Here is a sample of Lemon Fawn Lily (nice name!)


It’s great fun to slosh through the wetland area down to the creek:



Yes, I was there, too:


Back at the house, Steve, a new friend to this report, was at work finding, then patching leaks in the line to the buried propane tank. Here’s where you should question the drainage any milkweed can hope to enjoy. Dave sure wasn’t. Said he’d slipped into the earlier-dug hole, up to his waist. (That was a little exaggerated, but I’m sure comprehensively unpleasant):


The finish carpenter, Dale, and Eric and Doug are busy inside putting up trim bits and pieces, wishing the rain would stop so they could put up the railing on the porches, do whatever outside jobs are in line for completion. Yeah, me too. Peter will be here for a few days next week to help his dad with some heavy lifting. Should be great fun. Bring your boots, Peter!

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