Remember those tires I told you about?
Kind of picturesque, huh? Green, mossy? Nestled into slimy mud 2 inches deep, filled with rotted leaves and dead mice? Okay, have you ever tried to empty an old tire that has been resting outside for decades-at-least? Can’t be done. The devilish shape means that the water et al just sloshes from one side of the ring to the other. So the homeowner, Larry in this case, has to deadlift the things out of their mud cradles into the ATV. Good thing he’s been working out — hey Aaron?
From the ATV into to Bob-the-Truck. All twenty-three of them.
And from Bob into the Coffin Butte landfill. Guess what? Tires cost $9.00 each to dump. Plus the environment fee, it was over 200 bucks to dispose of these things which SOME IDIOT dumped. I was all sensitive last week, tough being a farmer, etc. Now? Right. IDIOT. We now think it was probably the former owners of this property, not neighbors, who chose this route. And this is exactly where the spring seeps out of the ground to become Winter Creek.
While at the dump, a friendly man drove up to inquire about disposing of tires. Seems he’d been denied last month, and now had 40 plus derelicts on his property looking for a resting place. We chatted for a while about human nature, and when he drove off I saw the legend on the side of his truck: Hubby For Rent. Hmm. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the phone number!
From the dump we headed north to scout out a sign we’d seen advertising mint compost. Which Larry wants to have for his veggie garden. What we found was a sagging old barn, a couple of swayback horses, and no answer to the posted phone number. And next door, a 100 yard border fence made out of — old tires! Overgrown, of course, with blackberries and ivy and what not. So it seems we have a problem here, because not everyone will find such an inventive, if perfectly ugly, solution.
On to lunch, at a place we found in Albany by following our noses. Bricks and Mortar, great atmosphere, good food. Getting to like Albany for the restaurant scene there. Don’t raise your eyebrows at me. I’m serious. Better than Corvallis anyway.
Next day Larry spent playing golf. I don’t know why. He hates golf. I’d gotten an invitation from neighbor Terri to come muck about in the swamp on her property. Wow. There’s an invitation! She wanted to show me where the water becoming Tributary Creek crosses her land. “There’s a huge sink hole,” she promised, as inducement. So of course I accepted. Here’s what that looked like:
We could hear the creek as it neared our property, but couldn’t penetrate the thicket of blackberries. Terri had thoughtfully provided me with a pitch fork as walking stick which, I must say, I can’t recommend. But as I wasn’t too keen on stumbling into the sink hole, I was glad to have something to test the path ahead with when it was my turn to lead. We were joined by Darwin, a beautiful husky, who’d just had oral surgery to remove a broken tooth and was not his usual frisky self. Here he is by a piece of the stream we ultimately found:
Another nice day today! Larry spent it corralling some oak lengths from earlier projects, delivering them to the barn, and then burning some blackberry canes piled up since last fall. I went down to supervise the fire and found three baby somethings curled up, exposed, hearts beating. Voles probably, Larry said. Sure enough, a little gray furry creature flashed out of the leaves across my feet. But those babies? I didn’t want to just leave them to a slow, sunburned death. But couldn’t kill them, either. I kind-of buried them, thinking they live underground anyway, and maybe the mom will find them. I can believe that if I want to.
Earlier I had rescued a hummingbird who had come into the garage and couldn’t find the exit door, so it seems life on the farm is returning after the cold winter. But no chickens. Not this year. Ha!