You may or not remember I promised to talk about the stone wall we moved a few weeks ago. First, here's some history on how we came to find this stone:
|Close ups of this fascinating stone|
Carl and I took a look at them one Friday afternoon and thought they were the strangest stones we'd ever seen. At first glance, they looked like a pile of broken concrete sitting in the weeds, but when we looked closer, we saw all the odd formations in them. The stones ranged in size from a medium potato to the size of a laundry basket; and they were all different; some with moss growing on them and many of them with bits of concrete attached. The stone was extremely porous, very abrasive to the touch and lighter than any other stone of its size. I was smitten with it immediately, but surprisingly, Carl was not.
"It's ugly," he said.
Well, that amazed me! Normally Carl was thrilled with any stone, especially if it was free. I gently suggested we could take a few of them home and see if we could use it for something. (Ok, I nagged.) We filled up the Mighty Buick's trunk and back seat (Carl's 1991 Buick Century---may she rest in peace, such a wonderful vehicle--was useful right up until 2008 and almost 200,000 miles) until the car hung down alarmingly and headed for home.
After looking at the stone at home, we weren't sure where we would put it or what we could use it for. It wasn't until Carl tried dry-stacking a few of the stones and discovered how well they stuck together that he was excited about it, we could make some garden walls! He told our friend we would take the entire pile. So, every night after work for sixty days, Carl brought home a ton of the stone on our trusty homemade trailer pulled behind the Mighty Buick.
That is how we came to be the owners of over sixty tons of weird rocks which, after a bit of research, turned out to be tufa. I wish I had a picture to share here, but it turns out our tufa was once a beautiful stone grotto for a Catholic church. The grotto stood for decades near the site of the pile it ended up on. I'm not sure why or how or when it was dismantled, but the picture I saw of it was truly amazing; it had been a huge structure.
The first thing we built with the tufa was a wall in front of the house and up and over the culvert for our driveway. I wish I had the time to fish out all of the old photos, because things looked SO different then, but here's what it looks like now:
|The first wall we built in 1993.|
|The other side of the driveway culvert|
|Wall moved from one side of our yard to the other: September 2009|
|West side of yard, new lawn where geothermal was put in, poor tufa wall, being eaten!|
|Not Too Thrilled Carl, loading up the first trailer|
|This is where I wanted to rebuild the wall|
|Getting a good start|
|Leaving the old area and headed to the new area|
|More wall in place|
|Getting farther along ......|
|View from opposite direction|
|Heading south and making the corner|
|Around the corner--looking back north|
|Joining up with the wall we moved last fall|
|Slowly leaving the former site|
|On left: Old wall in place 1993. On right: New Wall relocated from west side of the yard.|
|Seen from road (wish I had dead-headed the 'Surprise Lilies'--the stems look like reinforcing, but they're just lily stems!|
Poor Carl has handled this rock so many, many times, and he's not getting any younger. In 1993, when we first brought the tufa home, he was 35 years old and I agree with him, gravity is getting heavier every year, not to mention rocks! Now, at 52, I am asking him to move this stuff again, and though he puts up a token grumpy front, he still obliges because he says he likes the way it looks, too. If Ann hadn't been available to help him out, I would have been, I didn't expect him to have to move all this alone. (I'm not that much of a nag....well, not quite...!)
And this leads me up to our present CAC-------(what, you didn't think I was done with my nagging yet, did you?) what to put in place of the tufa we just took out on the west side. Look how bare it looks!
|West side of house where the tufa was located--hmmmmm...........I think we need some big limestone in and around this area to match the Pachyberm..|
So, tonight we began the next step, putting more big limestone in on the west side of the thouse. It should be fun! (Trying to cheer Carl up, ha ha) Here's the first BIG rock to arrive Tuesday night:
|What a beauty, and very, very heavy, the old Manley Wrecker is doing it's best, but it's a lot to ask|
|Tires are pretty squishy!|
When the mosquitoes got too bad behind the quarry, we decided to move some stones to the Pachyberm site. We really don't know what we're going to do yet, though we did limb up one of the blue spruces in the area, only to find it looked hideous, so we pulled the entire tree down instead, cut it up and ended the night with a campfire and hotdogs for supper. Ann joined us after a grueling 14 hours of work at her job, I don't know how she does it.
We're in for more rain later this week, but tomorrow I will spend the day hauling stone from the piles to the area if the rain holds off. If I can get it all over there, then we can pick and choose and decide just what look we're striving for.
I'll end this long post with a coupla shots of the Pachyberm now that my annuals finally are starting to show some color.
|Plants and rocks go together so well (and I can sit on the rocks while I weed!)|