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More than two thirds of the log siding is in place and the crew expert to have it all completed by Friday. We can think about how the land can look after settling down after all the construction traffic. And, after so many months of looking at Breathe EZ wrap it is a welcomed relief.

I am not complaining about house wrap, or the kind we have which is on the green side, but it is WHITE. Our house sits up on a knoll in a spot that is second growth following heavy logging about 40 years ago. We have trees but we also have meadow. Our lot is shaped like an U with a twist at each end and the road following the round end. We can see cars at three points, when they are coming around the first bend, then later when they pass in front of the house and a bit latter when they go around the curve past the house.

We see them and they see us.

With spring here the natural vegetation is coming out in full force. Last summer when we bought the land it you could walk around on it but you were constantly tugging at bushes as they snagged your pants or knocked off your hat. With construction some of the trees had to be taken out and the brush and small bush-like trees were covered over by dirt for the septic drain field or the places for trucks of the people working on the house had to park.

The house, even with log siding, is very visible from the road given that it is situated on the top of a 3 acre plot. When it was white it was glaring out of the forest at you.

We are getting ready for the final excavation when they will back fill the house and smooth out the land around the house. Our driveway will terminate in a “pear” so that you can make a full 360 turn of a car without having to back and fill. The driveway is in pretty good shape now with its serpentine curves that were cased by having to move the septic drain field lower from the original expected place and further the the right as you look down hill. The driveway got pushed over further right also.

looking down a winding dirt driveway with evergreen trees and rough spring ground on one side

The driveway is actually starting to work like a driveway.

We plan to landscape a small parking spot for two cars down at the foot of the driveway for those days when only a Subaru or huge crew cab truck can make it through the snow. The driveway is pretty long so when my spouse arrives in his mini van at the lower parking area, he calls me on the cell and I drive down to get him and the groceries in the Subaru. The parking spot was not planned but got created by people using the porta-potty as they entered or exited our driveway. Some of the delivery people use it all the time. I don’t know how they will make out when we take it away but I am sure they will miss having it.

When I stand on the deck looking down the slope that has been disturbed through construction I am overwhelmed. I know the septic drain field must be there and that it cannot have anything but grass on it. I also know that the spot above it where the septic field was expected to be can be replanted but both of these spots are the size of a good-sized urban lot so they are pretty daunting.

We had planned to have a profesional landscape architect and company do the repair but we just have run out of money so yours truly has a new project. I have been musing on a design but have come to one conclusion. I know exactly what to do for the septic drain field. I am going to a drought tolerant, deer resistant wildflower and native grass mix. That is where the plans stall out.

I have walked around on the area of our land that has not been disturbed by construction and found hundreds of potential transplantees. One of the important forestry management tenets at the “rural/wildland” interface is reducing the ability of trees to burn in clusters. Trees should stand with some distance between them and there should not be “ladder fuel.” Ladder fuel is when fire can burn up a set of trees hopping from one to the next like steps on a ladder.

As I trundled around in the thickening undergrowth I began to examine those places where three, four or five and sometimes more, small trees were growing in a clump. By removing the less hearty or vigorous trees the stronger ones can grow. Ladder fuel is also reduced.

As I walked around I realized that I could transplant the trees to other places on our land. It will be an arduous task that may not be completed this year but it will work. I can aid in reforestation and in reducing fuel for potential fires.

I am looking forward to the logs being stained a rich cinnamon brown and the trees starting to stretch to the sky. Soon the ground will be repaired and our home will settle into its land so that it looks like it belonged there all along.