It’s past 10am as I start this post, and we are still surrounded by fog!
The camera automatically cleans up images, so this photo does not reflect just how dense the fog was when I took it!
Not only does fog normally disappear quite a bit earlier than this, but it’s also pretty breezy out there. I’m used to winds and fog on the coasts. On the prairies, a stiff breeze usually blows the fog away in no time. Not today!
I just had to share this high traffic zone picture!
There are deer paths cutting through the old garden area, but most of the tracks are all long here. When we first moved here, you couldn’t walk under the spruces, because of all the overhanging branches. The deer seem to be very happy that it’s all cleaned up!
Down the middle of this area, between the spruces and the crab apple trees, we are planning to plant Korean Pine Nuts. They need to be kept shaded for their first 5 years (the transplants are typically sold at 3 years), and this location is prefect for that. We will still put covers to shade them more, but also to keep the deer from trampling them. After 5 years of being really tiny, they are supposed to have a sudden growth spurt. It would be another 5 years or so before they have edible pine nuts. We are hoping to buy them and get them started next year.
This is another high traffic zone for the deer. The open space in front, past the ring for the compost pile, is also where we plan to build the outdoor bathroom.
Not getting that started last year, as I’d hoped, may turn out to be a blessing. While taking this photo, I took a good look at the spruces in the background. There was one I had already identified as needing to be cut down, but looking more closely, there seems to be at least 6 or 7 dead spruces that we’ll need to cut down. Possibly 8 or 9, if I count the ones closer to the house (we’ll be hiring someone to take those ones down). I wouldn’t want any of them falling on our shed after we build it! Plus, if we cut them down before they fall down, the wood might still be usable for projects. Usually, by the time they fall, it’s because ants have made nests in the trunk and they are left basically hollow.
Once the dead trees and some of the underbrush (mostly spirea!) is cleared away, that is where we will be planting the mulberry tree we will be getting this spring. It will get full sun, while still being sheltered by the other trees. This is one tree we’ll have to make a point of wrapping up in the fall, for at least the first few years. A mulberry tree can start producing fruit by the second year, so that will be exciting! In the future, we plan to get a variety native to the more Eastern parts of Canada. It is becoming rare, so we will have to make sure to plant it away from any others we get, so they don’t cross pollinate. That might be 2 or 3 years from now, though.
One of the things I love about doing the morning rounds is looking at the progress made. Even though we are “behind” on getting this area in particular cleared out, it’s reached a point where it no longer seems as overwhelming, and I can get excited about the things we can do in the increasingly near future!