Heat, water, and work

July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

My goodness gracious, it is hot.

The dog and I have been in the river twice today, once with iced coffee in hand. Otherwise I sit in here and sweat, and she sits in here and pants so heavily I can hardly think. Just now we are still damp and sprawled about the office/living room avoiding awareness of the air’s heat.

This week has been a doozy!

We began with a day and half ecology inservice at my job, where we spent time learning the native plants and birds of this region. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterward, I remembered to renew my Audubon Society membership.

Today while sitting in the cool, shallow flow of the river I listened for birds. It is like getting to know one’s neighbors. Learning their names brings you into relationship with place. I smile to walk past common milkweed, daisy fleabane, and orange hawkweed and to know their color, the shape of their leaves, the creatures that like them and the purposes they might serve. I am tickled pink to recognize the “fire-fire, where-where, here-here” of the indigo bunting, the “chhrrrrrrrr” of the clay-colored sparrow, and the “chip-chip-chip-chip-chip” of the chimney swifts darting above my roof.

Halfway through the week we brought in an expert to teach us how to build a ferrocement tank.

This involves pouring a cement pad, building up the structure with rebar, mesh, and EML in the shape of a short silo, and mixing sand, portland, water, and glue to sling mud onto the structure. The purpose of the ferrocement tank is to catch rainwater from the roof of the polebarn and redirect that water as needed for agricultural use.

Guess who helped a bunch? Or rather, supervised with affectionate brown eyes and a good deal of panting?

The work was fascinating and sometimes tedious, and by the third day with the heat of the sun beating down, our relief upon nearly finishing was significant! We ended the workday by unloading hay into the barn, eating a fine late lunch, and heading to the river for a swim followed by a nap. Keith (our instructor) gave us a brief information session on how to finish putting a roof on the structure, and then we went merrily on our way to an early bedtime. Though I made brownies and ate ice cream first.

And now, thank heaven, it is Monday. I am doing small work tasks like marketing workshops, updating facebook, and switching water lines as needed. But otherwise, this is a rest day to make up for the week’s hard work and large amounts of people time (I am one of those sorts who need a balance of people time and by-herself time). It is a satisfying kind of day, one where you feel you’ve earned your rest, and are excited for what’s coming next.

Life is good. Even in summer’s heat.

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