Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Rocks

The rocks around us are granite, lots of granite. And throughout Vermont, people struggle with this pushing up into their fields each spring when the frost action heaves new rocks up to the surface.

On our property, we have a unique situation. We have sand- lots and lots of sand. We can dig a twelve post holes and plant twenty trees and only hit a handful of rocks, all smaller than a fist. To put that in perspective- we have friends in many different households who feel lucky to hit only one rock any time they dig any hole.

So, I feel gratitude for our soil. It has it's problems; it dries out fast in the summer (although that's a boon the rest of the year), it is not terribly fertile, it lacks much in the way of humus, it's pretty acidic. Many people with a world more experience than I have say these problems are minor compared to the complications of clay soil that is prevalent in Vermont.

I look around and try to figure out why there is all this sand right in this spot. Our property is sort of a shoulder of a hill. There's a fairly steep drop down to it and then another fairly steep drop away from it. Erosion is a steady concern. But what erodes from above is sand. And the trail that runs down below is sand. I figure Old Dame Nature put the sand on this somewhat flat spot, but I do not quite understand why our hill is sand in the land of clay soils. Maybe that hill was already ground up at some other point and deposited there by moving water?

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