I was down there last week but all the rain has created a huge growth spurt in the late summer plants. We climbed the hill to the other side and made our way through the border of trees that were left along the entire edge of the 5.5 acres. From this side it looks almost normal - though we could see light through that border for the first time since we have lived here. But on the other side it looked like a battlefield, or a mass murder. Tree stumps littered the entire area as far as the eye could see. Many smaller-trunked trees were taken down and left behind, their only crime being wood not valued or their proximity to the larger trees.
This forest was so thick before being cut the ground was pure mulch. Soft and cushiony, now strewn with branches and trees, chips of wood, and the tracks of the big cutting machines.
It was sad to see but we focused on the line that will be drawn and I busied myself walking what I hope will one day be our perimeter trail. There's a natural path that runs just on the other side of the tree border and I think it will be a nice hack on horseback or walk on foot.
It was further than we imagined along that straight line to the far edge of what we would own. Once we got to it we cut across the grassy area to the "near" side of forest that directly adjoins our current line. The walk from that furthest edge back to November Hill took a lot longer than we expected as well. It's a gorgeous woodland section of land, with huge old trees but plenty of room for walking. There's a rock outcropping along one side and on the other the fence that marks the 11-acre wood that is beside us. It too was cut (3 years ago, on the day Salina died) but now it has 10 and 12 foot trees already. I have a parallel dream of buying it too.
We have never walked that area before today and it was nice to see what might be ours - the little woodland path I made behind our back field would extend into a true nature trail if we get this parcel. There's a perfect spot for a little cottage too.
Just as we crossed over the line onto November Hill I had a little sensation of ownership of the new parcel. I hope it's an omen of success in this venture. It makes me happy to think of November Hill growing and the November Hill deer herd having refuge no matter what might come to the larger tract of land.
It felt so much bigger than what I've been thinking. I'm excited and happy we made this trek today.