Sunday, March 29, 2009


I'm not sure what it is about rocks. Texture, color, form, diversity. Permanence, artistry, architecture, aesthetics, history. I'm not sure what it is about rocks. My maternal grandfather was a stone mason.  He built houses and a number of buildings in the city where he and his family lived.

This Rock is on our property where the owner of the property behind us has paved a right-of-way.

There is a path along the right-of-way that we take to the woods. It has been a project of mine to build a stone wall along the path. Every time I take the dog for a walk I try to add at least one stone to the wall (except when all is frozen) even if just a small one.

I am reminded of a story my grandma used to tell. It is Catholic apocrypha, told with the slightest irreverence. It seems that Jesus and the apostles were out walking in the countryside when they came upon a stream. Jesus asked each of the twelve to pick up a stone, place it in the stream so they could walk across. He further instructed that the last one should pick up each rock and relay it to the front. San Pietro (St. Peter) whose name means "rock" was the laziest in of the twelve and he chose the smallest rock, barely large enough to step on. Once on the other side of the stream, each apostle stood, holding his rock. Jesus then blessed the rocks and turned them to bread. San Pietro ended up with the smallest loaf of all.

There are lots of loose rocks on the property. In the spring new rocks are poking through, having been frost heaved to the surface. I've been busy doing a few rocks each day. It is probably going on four years now that I've been adding stones. The pathway reminds me of someplace in New Mexico. I've planted prickly pear cactus along the wall, here and there.

I've also been adding flat stones to the walkway by the deck. Our landscaping is done with what is available as I cannot afford paving brick or expensive plants. Sometimes we acquire odd pavers or brick that someone had discarded. So it is a hodge-podge but when filled in with moss, it looks OK.

The back wall was a two year project. We went up back with the pick-up truck several times to gather stones. It is amazing how little wall you can build with a single load of rocks.

This is the stone path to the rock garden. In summer it is full of cacti, yucca, hens-and-chicks and various other rock-garden types.

And this is Bruno, at 15 plus, full of lumps and growing horns, but still just taking it all in (or all for granite)

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