"This is so cool back here," exclaims neighbor David Armitage, as he arrives to chainsaw some wood on The Land.
"Have you had this property long?"
"Since 1973," I answer proudly. (See photo#1 taken in 1973 from the hill on the south side of the lake looking down on the lake. See how small the pond looks.)
""Did you dig out the pond when you bought it?"
"No, it was a small sand and gravel pit. In 1983, a company came in and took out gravel for the I-39 overpass on Beemerville Road, making the pond into a lake." (see photo #2 taken in 1983)
"Was it covered in woods when you bought it?"
"No, there was nothing here when Jack and I bought it - just open areas around the pond. "
He nodded. He and his wife love it back here. And who wouldn't? It IS beautiful! (see photo #3 taken in 2003, 30 years after photo #1)
David is here to cut the downed trees into firewood (photo #4) and then I'll burn the rest. Aaron, his brother, will continue to drag the scarred earth around the lake, smoothing the sides and readying it for grass seed. (Photo #5)
I''m grateful the box elder trees sprang up to save the soil when we first bought the Land, and again in 1983 after the sand and gravel company left, but now it's time to remove them (over a period of time) and replace them with much better trees.
Yesterday I purchased 2 crabapples and one autumn maple from Randy at Ekana Nurseries in Mendota. Since Randy's visit here last winter, he purchased a new house near LaSalle on 2 acres with huge oaks and hickory trees... and gotten married! Congratulations, Randy and new bride!
I tried out the new beach. (Photo #6) Not bad! Life here is hot, hot, hot, but still a great place to be! Or should I say "bee?"
The heat builds up during the day, beating down with no let up. The sweat rolls down my back. Just as I think its almost too unbearable, the sun slips lower in the sky... and I feel the first hint of relief from the intense heat. I rest in the screenhouse looking at the bright red impatiens around the cottage. Birds sings happily by the run-off creek. Squirrels rustle in the underbrush. Tiny cymbal crescendos tell me the locusts are back in full force. Theirs is such a tinny sound! The little woods by the creek keep this area of the Land relaxing and fairly comfortable.
It is the middle of summer. What do we expect? I take a deep breath, enjoying as best I can - this hot summer day.
May you,.dear Reader, enjoy these hot summer days in the Midwest!