Thursday, April 25, 2013

Look what's come to Bliss Haven!

and suddenly a house was there!

Things are happening fast and we want to chronicle the transformation.

pad before

Shimmy over the culvert

Half There
The other half, backing onto the pad

We went into the back half Thursday evening and it was REALLY weird with only half the house, just a wall of black plastic. Gave me a bit of vertigo, to tell the truth.

What a fabulous job the guys from Village Homes did! They were very attentive to the care of the oaks that had to be trimmed.
Village Homes crew -- sterilizing the cutting tools

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The old oak tree-eees

Live oak, post oak, red oak, white oak... by any name, the oak trees -- and others -- are some of the most precious treasures at Bliss Haven. Much thought went into choosing a path for the road to preserve as many as possible.

The road has lovely branches arching over as it winds through and around the woods. When the mobile gets moved on to the land, however, some limbs might have to get trimmed.

The topic of oak wilt is a problem that is new to us. It's not just the golden cheek warbler that has to be taken into consideration every step we take toward moving on. Almost all of the clearing and cleaning we intend to do, was done last fall -- in the safe period -- but to protect our oaks now in the spring, every cut has to be done clean and the wounds sealed immediately. Apparently it's OK to remove dead branches that do not involve living tissue, because the beetle carrying the oak wilt fungus is only after fresh oak flesh.While I don't want to worry unnecessarily, it genuinely concerns me how vulnerable nature is.

We removed the juniper at the home site when we cleared, opening up under and around the oaks and elms. It's truly lovely; but every shrub removed, all the detritus "cleaned" away, destroys habitat. "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home," and the rotting leaves and other debris are bugs' and other critters' palaces. Landscaping here is nothing short of bittersweet.

These are the two big trees that are the center point for the main house and our temporary home site in the mobile.

Spring 2012 from the southeast - "Granny" is the tallest

Spring 2013 - same angle

Granny has been freed of dense undergrowth

Early March 2013 from the northwest

The pad for our new house in just in the corner above. This image is taken from where our gardens and chicken house will be. We call the tree to the right the Granny Tree and to her left is the Auntie Tree, two regal old ladies who are just putting out new leaves for this year. I have many herbs to lay at their feet. Can't sleep at night, what with all the planning what to do next, what to put where...

Purslane, peppers, and ...


Last year's potted plants wintered over well, ready to go sit under the Ladies.These sweet silver-blue hens and chickens are direct descendents from my grandmother's, which she had since I was a very young child. The pepper plant already has peppers on it! I thought it had died, just goes to show...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Second Spring

Little Barrel Cactus Flowers - so sweet - and right in the middle of the guest house footprint

The road is finally COMPLETED!! Culvert and water meter issues were sticking points, resolved without much complication. Today we marked the driveway culvert with our address:

Antelope Horns
We are in a severe drought, Stage III restrictions. It's cooler than past Aprils, which is absolutely lovely, but with only enough rain to coax the wildflowers and grasses to grow.

The BIG NEWS - Our little house is bought today!   They will put it on the site this week. Now to push ahead with electric, septic, and water installations. We have great consultants, but there are so many steps and contingencies. Let's see how quickly this goes... I want to move out there before it's too hot.
Little House
It will look so sweet next to the Granny Tree. I hung one of our tubular wind chimes under the Granny Tree today, to set the stage.

            Now we're cleaning up around the Cattleman entrance, thinking how to landscape. Where to put the mailbox? What kind of fence and gate?