Friday, April 22, 2011

Rain Mud and Stones

We had the opportunity to completely redo a circular dry stone wall this week. The weather was so cold and rainy on the last day we had to take several breaks just to dry off and warm our hands while we sat in the truck. Ontario spring is slow getting off the mark this year.

This project which I wrote about in a previous post ( see..Gravel Travels ) was a bit of a challenge. The wall had to be widened and the shape reconfigured to ensure that the wall would not fail the way it had done before with the pressure of the circular patio pressing out. This required bringing in a lot more of the same kind of limestone fieldstone to add more mass to the new wall. I knew of one farm an hours drive away that had a similar looking stone dotted in the fields and piled all around the perimeter. I phoned my farmer friend and arranged to make the trip up there on Friday to get a pickup load of stone.

Stone picking is usually a lot of fun. The stones in all the hedge rows on this farm are lying around crying out to be picked up to be used again in a wall somewhere. Much of the farm is shallow soil on bedrock while other parts have a soggy bog-like terrain. I cautiously drove onto a field that looked fairly firm, filled up my truck with choice stones and then tried to drive away.

Even with 4 wheel drive the truck got stuck as I began to drive away. There was mud flying everywhere and the truck eventually managed to crawl its way out of the mushy field looking like it had been in some sort of grueling off-road event. You can just make out how dirty it was in the photo.