We've tried pretty hard to send our builder over the brink by discussing each of the trees on our property as though they are our children. It feels a bit like deciding which ones get to stay in the life raft and which have to be tossed overboard to keep it from sinking. After much debate, many trips to Saddle Ridge, and umpteen walks down the proposed path of the driveway...we're off and running.
The excavating crew started work on Wednesday (6-10-09). We have a "driveway"...well, not really a driveway, but a path of destruction representing progress! We were able to snake out a path between ALL the large hardwood trees. Several smaller ones and a few stands of mountain laurel gave their lives for the cause. And there was one pine tree, but for some reason it's really hard to get worked up about a pine! Why do you suppose that is? Am I some sort of tree bigot? The result is a meandering drive through the woods to our as yet invisible dream home. Way more fun than some boring straight shot driveway established with total disregard for the land and the trees!
The spot where the house will eventually be built is almost completely cleared, as well. There is a substantial oak tree graveyard on the property. I think the count stands at 7 mature trees that had to go. But...the good news??? Looks like we'll be able to have the oak logs milled into lumber to use for kitchen cabinets or other projects within the house itself. Makes Ann and I both feel a little better about having to sacrifice them.
Jason, our builder, thinks we're looking at about three days total for excavating. Thanks to lots of rain and some really scary storms, the three days may stretch across a span of several more days. But, it'll get done.
Progress is exciting. After walking that little piece of land for more than three years it is surreal to see things happening now...and happening relatively quickly! I called my bro-in-law last night from the muddy path of destruction just to make sure it was really happening and that I wasn't just having some sort of fatigue-induced out-of-body experience!
The photos will still be boring to most folks for now. Unless you are intimately familiar with this piece of ground, they won't mean much to you. I think my favorite depicts the "air-space" above the home site. Instead of the blue sky being filtered through treetops, it's wide open! Strange, but beautiful in its own way.