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!YES! FENCE ME IN…

Our Island’s deer population is increasing since there are few predators… excepting automobiles. Any suggestion of introducing cougars seems unpopular… while my favorite fantasy of a “bevy of bare-chested bow-hunters” has proven complicated as well! After gardening here for years with only minimal damage, the past several seasons have seemed to educate their palates to a boldness which I can no longer tolerate… I vowed this summer to not garden until they are fenced out!  I took inspiration from our neighbors’ having recently enclosed their garden with recycled fish netting.

Because they now are nibbling many plants in our landscape beyond the potager kitchen beds… even ornamentals which have been “safe” for many years… I wanted to fence the entire property, meaning almost 400 feet of length. A project made more daunting given the steep slope & uneven terrain through the woods from one cliff edge up to the road & house then down & around to the cliff edge again.

Fortune smiled when a young man named Tom arrived to help me realize such solution. He’d gravitated to our bell booth at our local Strawberry Festival in July… with a charmingly wide smile. At 19 he has finished his Associate’s Degree & is heading to Evergreen College to begin studies anticipating his becoming a farmer… how could we not put him to work?!?!!

Tom wore this wrap of the netting so as to carry it down through the woods to keep it from dragging & snagging on  the brambles before it got hung & fastened…

Here he contemplates throwing a line to fell a small tree for a fence post…

But we first needed to have some major tree work done, a clump of huge, too-old & diseased Alders were required to be brought down, before another fell as inopportunely happened last winter… blocking the road during a big snow storm.

The cherry tree which has always reclined will remain a character.
In this part of the yard has long been a shade garden…
Now the light has broken through… to our mixed emotions.
Aaron has done such work for us before, although not at such scale
The result is now much more open…
Even as the trees fell crashing into heaps below…
Piles of wood were bucked into lengths ready to  split…
Stephen consults with Tom about the work he will do…
He contemplates the task…
 Answering with his predictable attitude…

Those random piles became some 6-7 cords of fire wood,  split & neatly stacked by this young man’s energy… now curing until next year… clearing space we needed for completing the fence line.

A large pile of debris awaits the end of our unusually long dry spell’s  burn ban.

While he certainly did the major part, he also put me to work. He’s small & wiry & energized in a way quite unfathomable, with all the necessary experience & tools to make improbable work seem easy. He’s regular & reasonable.  He’s bright & creative. We worked well together, having good mind connections wrestling with the problems we tackled. I became his go-fer & assistant, while maintaining an eye toward design.

We used as many standing trees as possible, filling in with fence posts as necessary. We acquired a quantity of salvaged netting & rope we found for free in the city.

The north end of the fence begins down at the cliff to the left in this view 
… continuing along the road approaching the house.
Looking back from closer to the house…
down, around the wood piles, to end at the cliff on the south..
The aesthetic mostly works…
Looking south, the coil of extra rope will be gifted to some other…

Tom ultimately gave me one last of his deliciously big hugs… habitual to our hellos & goodbyes… on his way to his next admirable adventure… leaving me quite wallowing in the blessings of a fine Platonic love.

Such definition of territory protects & gifts me with new richness.