I spent my weekend scrubbing and sorting in my new home in West Virginia. The snow has finally receded and given way to a rich, wet, green spring. The pond is unfrozen. Fed by overflow from our spring, the water is deep, cold, and crystal clear. Looking into the deep, you can see the fish clearly. A couple of huge large-mouth bass along with smaller bass and perch have come through the winter, and there are signs of turtles and frogs in the mud.
From the room which will become my office, I took pictures out the window towards our pond and view to the east. When I took breaks from cleaning and went outside, I was so entranced that I forgot all about my camera. We assayed the clearing where the chicken coop will soon be built from the deadfall resulting from this past summer’s “dreche” storm. The main posts will be made from fallen red spruce, and the cordwood will be cut from other fallen trees on the property. In an area which was clear-cut by the previous owner, we found tiny red spruce sprouts coming back in. Spruce reclamation is one of our main projects on the homestead, and we are glad to see these coming in on their own in so many places.
Down past the pond, man-made by damming the creek running down from the higher springs, the overflow continues as a creek running down into the hollow. All along the sides, ramps are bursting from the ground, vibrantly green against the umber and browns of the forest floor after the long winter. Meeting up with other creeks, our overflow runs into a larger stream which runs along the northern side of our property. The whole area becomes the headwaters for the Elk River which flows below us a few miles away. Larger boulders, additional springs, and a beaver dam further up the stream create a small pond hidden in the woods.
There are so many more mysteries to be uncovered in this land. Wildflowers and apple trees appear at every turn, even in this early season. The “frost free” date is not until early June at 3,800 feet here. I am giddy to meet every thing that lives here! While I continue to prepare my current home for sale and my future home for occupation, my remaining time is limited, but in less than two months, I will be living at the property with my full time work complete. I can barely wait, but the mauves and celadons of spring make waiting worthwhile.