We have diggers. Bud digs and now Zinnia digs too. So the area behind the house and in front of my studio, where the dogs spend time, is full of holes. And around them, the ground is turning from thick grass to hard-packed dirt.
Yesterday was a day of rest for me. I spent most of it reading Lousie Erdrich’s new book “The Night Watchman” which has me in its grip.
(Last week I finished reading A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. It’s the true story of Virginia Hall an American spy working for the British Government to help organize the French Resistance. The information that she sent back to Britain helped win World War II.
When we first began sheltering in place, I decided this would be a good book to read. I wanted to know how this little known and incredibly brave woman dealt with the horrors of WWII. I don’t believe I’ll ever forget her and how her story gave me perspective and inspired me during this time.)
After all that resting yesterday I was ready for some physical work.
My plan we to turn the soil in a small area between the back door and my studio, plant grass seed, cover it with old hay and put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs off it so it could grow.
But the first time I drove my pitchfork into the ground it hit something harder than the densely packed earth. Soon I was using a shovel to scrape off about two inches of dirt from the surface of a large flat stone.
After digging the first one out and finding another next to it, I realized that I was digging up an old walkway. There were four stones in all each just under three feet long and about a foot and half wide.
It’s mostly during mud season that I wish for a walkway from the back door to my studio. Now was my chance to at least get it started. Once I had all the stones dug up I shimmied them back and forth or toppled them end over end to get them where I wanted them.
I dug a shallow flat hole so they’d sit flush with the ground and placed each one snuggly in the earth.
The stones didn’t even reach halfway to the back door, but they’re a start. We have plenty of flat stones around the farm for me to eventually finish the job.
I knew after moving the stones, that I’d be too tired to turn the rest of the soil, plant the grass and get a fence up. So I planted seed on a smaller area than I planned and didn’t get the fence up.
Until I do, I’ll just keep hoping the dogs will dig someplace else.