The Way to Japan, and Beyond

Yesterday Randall Bogle cut and restored the ‘old road’ to what was once a small house on the NW end of Yellow Bird, and is now evidenced only by a stone chimney, and a stone fence surrounding a more or less circular plot. The mystery is that only parts of an old road were at all obvious, and we had to forcibly invent bridging sections. I have ventured there a number of times, and a few years ago planted bamboos both on that site and further down the wet weather creek. Two huge osage orange trees had fallen down, and, with some roots still feeding the fallen giants, it had shot up again vertically with new trunks. I had thought to accommodate these monsters artistically, but the dozer-power we had was too much to resist using and Mr Bogle lifted and drove these hulks off-site, with much splitting, crunching and crashing of limbs, and huge branches waving their protesting green tops in the air. We had thought that cutting the road might involve compensating for immoveable rocky shelf by moving soil around, but in fact there was good soil depth everywhere and the dozer work went very smoothly. Buoyed-up by our success I resolved to plough on, and we opened up a way through the strip of bottom land, below SS Rd, and on through. Tomorrow, I will ask Randall to bulldoze up the hill at the far end and reconnect to the road inside the entrance to Sunny Slope. This will give us an entirely new walking/4-wheeling-off-road driving loop, and some beautifully different scenery. I call it Japan because of the bamboo I planted down there. [This conceit is stolen from Osgood Mackenzie’s Scottish Garden at Inverewe, Ross-shire, carved from windswept moorland on a rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe, one section of which is called ‘Japan’ (another ‘America’!)] Bogle says it’s ideal copperhead country, but I have yet to see these snakes. And now there will be a 9′ clear path through the area, with bamboo leaning overhead. The old house site, which Joe D recalls was deliberately burned after becoming derelict in the 40s or so, will make a perfect place for a pagoda, and a particular quality of peace. There is debate about whether this is the house in which a young boy died in the tornado in the 30s, or whether it was across the road I must ask Louise Melton, who was born on YB, and whose long-term memory is as good as her short-term is bad. There is said to be a spring on the corner of the plot. Who would build a house without a spring!