Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another trip down memory lane...the river and "down yard"

but I need to make this fast because our cable/tv/phone has been going off all day long. The disruptions make posting rough. But, that's what you get when you live in the woods!

We moved in here and the river didn't flow behind our house, it swooped around an "island" made by two dams. The dams were condemned and failing badly- and behind our house was a swamp- partially filled by the fresh water artesian spring behind our house and partially filled by the overflow run off from river floods that never really went away....

We got lucky- the DNR and local grant money were used to remove the two rotting dams and to get the river back to where it used to flow..right behind our house.

Now, the swampy pond is a natural fish hatchery (although it still gets a little scummy in the summer) and the river is a trout stream.  The old, unusable island is a city park.

When we got this place, the backyard was just as abandoned as the river was. I had a hillside of lilac trees right by my living room that totally blocked my view of the river from the deck. They were spent, spindly and just plain awful. One night after a few gin and tonics I got fed up with them and took after the hillside with loppers and a saw.

This is the before picture. Well, not really before, see the pile on the bottom right? I had already started hacking when I took this picture.... here is how it looks today, one year after the "great lilac massacre"

Same hill. There are a few lilacs left, mostly periwinkle now on the ground, some lilies of the valley and iris I planted this year. I figure it's going to take a few years to get it the way I want it- but it's better than a wall of overgrown shrubbery....

The rest of the "down yard" as my son calls it, is just grass and pine trees. Lots of room ...
for soccer, badminton, softball and water gun fights...

Have a very happy 4 of July and LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE- where ever it is!

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