It had to happen eventually….I took a walk in the Little Woods. For whatever reason I had not yet walked up our small slope in the back and wandered into the Woods. I’ve spent many an hour staring out my back windows and dreaming on my master plan. I’ve watched the seasons change from winter to spring in the short time we’ve lived in the house. I’ve seen it go from bleak and bare to green and alive. And today was the day to see it up close.
Now, let me put it in perspective. When I say LITTLE woods, I mean really TINY! Our entire lot is 1/2 an acre and the woods make up maybe 1/4 of that. My math skills are not that stellar at this stage of life but I think that means about 1/8 of an acre is actually wooded. And when the leaves were off the trees I could see a glimpse of the house behind us, but now that it is fully leafed out I am VERY happy to say that I can’t see that house one bit! Which doesn’t sound very neighborly, but my plans are for something private, all mine. Yes, I’m protective of my Little Woods. Call me a woods snob. And I’m pretty sure that my tiny, little woods will be just my size, just enough for me to manage.
So, ok, back to my walk. Can I say disappointing? Well, maybe not disappointing but more like WOW, have I got my work cut out for me. First of all, it’s sticky, meaning the ground is covered in sticks. Little sticks, big sticks, whole limbs, dead trees, rotten logs, and so on. Lots of woody stuff. And pine cones because we have some really, really tall pine trees and they’ve been busy dropping their prickly cones. And rocks, a few big ones, but also some smaller ones, but that’s ok because I can use rocks in my master plan. Of course there are weeds. Lots and lots of weeds that will need pulling up. But the most unusual feature in my woods is a teepee. Yes, you read that right, a teepee. Ok, not a real teepee, but a teepee shaped structure made from some of the aforementioned dead limbs. The previous owner had small children and I’m imagining that this structure was built to entertain them in the woods. (And not a bad way to use some of that sticky stuff). I’m just not sure yet if my master plan includes a teepee.
After my short stroll, though it was more like a careful stepping over of all the sticky stuff, I decided I needed an action plan, and what better way to start than to gather up the sticks. So I donned my gloves and got to work. Picking up sticks. And more sticks. And more sticks. I was diligently making piles of sticks when my husband appeared with a shovel. Now, let me pause and say a shovel was not the tool I needed. I desperately could have used a rake, something we still have in storage along with most of our other garden implements (and that’s another whole blog post by itself). But my husband, bless him, took the shovel to some of the bigger weeds while I continued to pick up sticks. We made pretty good progress until hunger and heat finally sent us indoors. But it’s begun…. the Little Woods project is underway!
So at this point you might be asking, “what IS this chick’s master plan?!” Well, it’s a work in progress, but I envision a stone-lined meandering path with lots of shade-loving plants. I’m a southern girl who, of course, adores hydrangeas and ferns and impatients and ferns and hostas and ferns and dogwoods and did I mention ferns. But I also want to plant some things I currently know nothing about. I want to experiment a little. This chick is also the proud owner of a fair bit of shabby junk that could find a perfect home out in my little woods. And maybe someday I can have a little shed in the Little Woods, a she-shed of sorts, though I would welcome my he to visit it since he’s willing to dig up weeds. I envision a seating area or two with cozy benches. I’ll have birds, lots of birds, because I plan to welcome them with feeders and bird baths and houses. My parents gave me their love of watching our feathered friends. It will be a sanctuary, not just for me, but for God’s little creatures. (though I’m not a fan of the slithery kind!) I can see it all so perfectly in my master plan, someday. But today….I picked up sticks.