Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change" May 17th, 2010

"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change"

This phrase describes our mountain home. It’s the topic for today.

We have lived in our current mountain home in East Tennessee for six years now. We have discovered things do not stay the same, ever.

Every year is different. Our first year we wondered, ‘can we live here?’, because it seemed to rain ALL the time! Even the puppy, given to us on our second day in the house, was seen lying inside his dog house, looking at the rain, and growling!

We discovered this area is in fact, a rain forest! On our five acres we have plenty of water.  Our property includes a corner of a creek, a twenty-four/seven stream that came out of the mountain next to the house.  My husband dug a pond there and the stream helps keep the water from being stagnant.  At least three or more little streams flow most of the time, even in dry years.

Since moving we’ve experience a drought year, a rainy year and now a year that’s more average. The dry year caused the roots of the trees to be more exposed. The next year rains washed soil away from the tree roots. The first snow in mid December of last year was wet, heavy and deep. It piled up on all the tree branches causing evergreens to split in the middle, and some to break apart. Tree limbs split and fell to the ground. On a hill above our road, a very large oak tree fell, across the road.  It was up rooted.  The root ball is five foot in diameter! The tree trunk was at least two foot in diameter.

Trees all through this area fell this winter. That first storm was only a sign of things to come.  There were many snow storms which caused more tree branches to break, and trees to uproot. It was terrible, and it was quite amazing as well.

As spring came we noticed different plants blooming that we hadn't seen before.  More plants bloomed. There were more blooming dogwoods, and something I’ve just learned is crape myrtle, fuller wisteria vines, beautifully fragrant lilacs, and then the irises, peonies, roses and others.

A new spring is seeping up from the ground making a puddle down by the road. The slope of the hill in the back isn’t as steep, nor is the hill to the northeast of the house as steep as it was. The large rocks my husband placed on the hill in the front of the house, so he wouldn’t have to try to mow such a steep incline, are sunked into the hill on one side.

Some years spring plants begin to peak thru the snow in late February, and in other years they don’t begin to show up until mid March. Two years in a row there was a frost late in the spring, which killed some plants and trees, and kept the pear and apple trees from bearing much fruit.  Year before last the pear tree in our neighbors yard across the road provided enough fruit for four families and some still rotted on the ground.

There seem to be more animals and birds some years and fewer other years, seemingly depending on their food sources.

The land moves. It shrinks and swells with the temperature and water saturation. It slips and slides with seismic activity we cannot feel but is there just the same. Heat causes the surface dirt to dry and blow away, and then the rains wash more soil away. The mountain constantly erodes.

The one constant is change.

It is an awesome world God has given us. It’s more than beautiful it is fascinating, exciting and comforting both at once. We are bountifully blessed.

"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change"

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