Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Newest Vehicle

The thing about starting a project is that you end up acquiring so much more than you bargained for. This is the first of two pieces of heavy machinery which now live in our driveway. I was equally  surprised to learn that our landscaping project comes with a lovely new bathroom addition -- otherwise known as an outhouse!

The contractors have planted more flags on the lawn than you'd see at a touch football game. Blue for water, orange for gas, pink for Comcast cable, yellow for electrical, and I'm not even sure what the white ones are for.  Next to be delivered: septic system D-box with leader line.

This is what comes of reading those lovely gardening magazines. All I wanted was a few flowers. Really.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We have some truly magnificent white pines. Some of them have been on the land for more than two centuries. They have the massive size that goes with all those years, and they are truly part of the charm of the place. But trees and hurricanes do not mix, and at the height of yesterday's storm our son Gareth heard an almightly crack and felt the ground shake as the tree, seen above, came down. Our daughter Andie had parked opposite the orange cone and had just pulled away minutes earlier. 

The tree fell on power lines and that, in turn, led to the inevitable power outage -- along with 15 seconds of unexpected fame. The downed tree in front of our house brought out the Boston Globe, and while watching the work crews, I was interviewed briefly for a video segment.

Here's the link:  The Metrodesk story has a side bar with the video interview under the heading: "Trees Down in Norwell."

The irony is, we are about to undertake a major project to install a semi-circular driveway and some of the trees were going to come out anyway. In addition to power trucks in the front yard, the contractors just parked, if that is the right word, a giant caterpillar tractor in the side yard.  Our own little version of the Big Dig is about to begin.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Today we are watching the drama of Hurricane Sandy strip the lovely autumn leaves from the trees, but just a day ago, at dawn, the mist rose up from the North River, softening the landscape edges. Although the marsh grass had already turned golden red, the predominant color was still green.

Not so today, as successive waves of rain and wind blow across the river.  Pine cones are bouncing off the roof and there is a constant, almost motorized sound of wind grinding in the background.

As the storm moves closer, the pine cones are the least of it -- entire branches are now flying across the yard. These are followed by period of stillness. But then, almost like contractions, the space between the gusts shortens and more dead and weak wood is ripped from the trees. The power cannot last, but Gwyneth's brownies in the kitchen smell as if they are done.