Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where do you start with rocks?

“Rock solid” can have several implications, besides the accolade of a person’s dependability. In my case, it has meant over the past seventeen years the digging up from the soil of Windsong, by hand,  thousands of calcareous sandstone rocks. They range in size from a fist to three to four hundred pounds. They came my way up on the Cumberland Plateau, courtesy of ancient geological processes, and the product of formation fracturing due to folding in the Mississippian formation during the Paleozoic era . After digging up the rocks, I transport them to places on Windsong Ranch to control erosion. I have a couple of wet weather streams and a pond that overflows in heavy rain. I appreciate the gentle contours that the land has formed over the centuries and try, in the main, to leave them as I found them. In addition to the front fields and or
chard, I have about ten acres of deciduous forest that surround my “rustic” hemlock pine home. A nice feature of the Ranch that my son, Alfred, and I developed was the stream that has been “tuned” to sing as the water flows by rocks placed at appropriate spots. You can walk from one end of the stream to the other and get different pitches as the water accelerates over, between
and around sets of rocks. Of course, I also use them to make steps, and Stonehenge like, as vertical statements pointing to particular constellations on certain calendar days. Orion is my favorite and the star Betelgeuse my pick. In my novel “Bleed County,” I reference the star Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, high in the northern skies. In the coming months I plan on building a cairn to point to it on the vernal equinox.

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