In which Fiddle takes me out for a trot, and we see what we can see

On an overcast day in the Swampland you can't exactly see for miles and miles.
The Swampland is a murky place, and it's not just the mud. Sometimes the rainclouds fly so low here that the top of Mount Ebey at elevation 1600 feet isn't visible from the pasture at Haiku Farm, a mere 3/4 mile away and 1250 feet lower. Yesterday was like that, but since the rain was lightweight (by comparison to recent heavy cold and "bloppy" rain), I decided that Fiddle and I should see how much further we could get on the road up the side of our neighborhood mountain.

The last time we went up this direction, I found a gated logging road branching off from the main road. I still haven't explored that yet. Instead, I wanted to see how far that "main road" went. The old USGS maps and satellite photos show it spiraling up to the peak above our house.
Here's something the satellite photos (which were taken summer 2008, as near as Jim and I can tell) didn't show:
Yes. A housing development. Srsly?
I cannot figure out who the heck would want to drive 30 minutes from town, up the side of a gravelled logging road so that they could live in a housing development. The lots are about an acre each, very swampy, not fit for any agricultural pursuits....
except, of course, for the plant life that was ripped down to build this little bit 'o strangeness:
The truffula-tree cutter operator didn't see Fiddle and me as we followed a little trail around the edge of this clearcut. Because, you know, together we stand only about 8 feet off the ground, and wear bright purple clothing and tack, and were thus nearly invisible?
Oblivious, I tell ya. And not just oblivious to watchers in the woods.
The trees being cut down are cedars, which grow in very wet soil. Does anybody bother to think ahead to next winter? The wet soil held in place by cedar trees will be anchored by a house with a 3-car garage.
Which is to say: not anchored at all.

Yep. It may take a year or two, but sooner or later the whole thing is going to start slithering downhill. Stay tuned: someday this is going to be really, really interesting.
As we headed downhill from Oblivious Acres, the sky was starting to lighten up in the west--not exactly sunshine, but a bit less rain.
Here's my nice clean horse, wearing a nice clean blanket, just turned out into the pasture. And what is the first thing she does?


Get all that cleanliness off! Quick! Before the other horses see it!


  1. your comment about anchoring a house with roots reminded me of the time the beavers screwed up, and their entire pond slid down the hillside in fall city.

    remember? the pipeline trail was washed out by the pond going by. i still have a scar on my knee from trying to lead my horse around that crevasse.

    i wonder what it was like down on 202 (203?). was a portion of that highway underwater and blocked by all the fallen trees carried by the water? hm.

    p.s. we have a mole community too, just, you can't tell under all the snow. i can't remember what it's like to touch earth.

  2. Around here, we wonder the same thing about people who choose to build on the flood plain. Sooner or later, Ma Nature WILL reclaim it, and your kids' swing set WILL be underwater. Geez, people, it ain't rocket science. Why do you think that land was so cheap and no one has scarfed it up before now?

  3. They should plant kudzu to prevent erosion! Snicker.

  4. Lytha: I remember the beaver slide, what a mess. Now, compare the weight of a beaver dam (couple hundred pounds?) to the weight of a suburban house (couple hundred tons?). I don't know when it will go, but I can guarantee it WILL--the physics are obvious.

    LeahFry: we have flood-plain builders too. In fact, there's a lovely house for sale again down by the Snohomish airport. It is posted for sale every February, when you need a skiff to get to the garage. In May, when the water recedes, some dingbat from out of town will buy it for a bargain (!) price. Then in February next year, it will go back on the market. Duh.

    Funder: I hope and pray that kudzu won't grow here. But fear not: we do have kudzu's ugly brother: BLACKBERRY VINES!

  5. What a dreary day! If that is what passes for sunshine in WA, I think I would probably shoot myself before the winter was done! I bet you are one of those unfortunate places with MONTHS of winter. LOL (most of this said tongue in cheek so dont' tak em too seriously) Glad you were able to ride. Interesting about the housing development. I find it very weird where some people chose to live. to drive all that way up a montain just to have 1 acre and have close neighbors? weird.


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