Sunday, April 3, 2011

Camp Stranded, plans and schemes

With one of the first hurdles overcome on Friday, we have a couple more this week. The survey and the abstract. And land laws in Iowa are fun.

One of my criticisms on the acreage is that there aren't enough trees. That can be remedied with a little effort, but we won't see the benefit for a few years. Some of the trees on the place can use a little surgery or removal. (The current owners dropped a young cedar, healthy as far as I can tell, and were cutting it in chunks - Dad would be crying if he saw that. I know I am.) There are a few walnut and hickory on the south and the nuts will be planted in the "reforestation" efforts. A big cottonwood sits below the pond but I expect it is nearing it's life span.

Which brings me to the pond. They cut about 10 feet of the dam to drain it. As the realtor stated, the current owners were in the middle of leveling the property off in the thought that it would sell faster. (On the market 5 days when we made our offer.) It fills by way of the neighbors field tile and according to the GIS map, it makes up 1.2 to 1.3 acres when full.

Draining it was a blessing though. It will allow us to get in there to scoop out the sediment and clean up some of the brush that rooted in. And maybe give us a chance to put in a deck or nesting boxes. I'm still mulling it over.

Wrens are somewhere nearby and I'll do my best to keep them coming back. Adding bluebird boxes and other bird houses is also in the grand scheme. I'll honor my mother by increasing the songbirds on the place with houses, ground cover and trees. We'll have to make a good try to bring hummingbirds over since that was Mom's mission in life. Dad will be remembered by the number of hardwoods I'd like to get started. As a carpenter, he liked using the different oak varieties first, but cedar, cherry and maple were on the list. Years ago his hands started to swell when sanding walnut and had to wear rubber gloves after that.

I don't think I'm jumping the gun, counting chickens before they're hatched, although mixing my metaphors is another matter... The only thing that stands in the way is the lawyer's opinion on the abstract and abstract laws are stupid in Iowa. Financing is a go. We scraped, scrimped and saved for years and our investments have done well and the banker I've known for years has confidence in me (and my credit score.) If I have to sell a few of the toys for the cause, that's okay.

In the mean time, I have a roof to finish on the current house. A new water heater is needed, a new kitchen floor and bathroom cabinets to be built... Besides the late nights at the job.

Here I am dreaming up plans for an acreage instead of working.

I'm either one lazy son of a gun or a crazy loon.

Or both...


Ben said...

Hope you get it. Sounds like fun.

Bawb said...

The wife and I really are very happy for you. There's nothing like your own place and doing with it what you like.

I always thought I would come back to the family farm in Iowa someday and in my head I had all kinds of plans for "sacrificing" tillable acreage for wildlife habitat.

Now, though, I don't think I could ever leave Montana.