It was a journey. 34 hours. BWI (Baltimore-Washington International Airport) was not the best place to have to wait 8 hours while the temperature rose enough to where Zada could fly. Miami, however, was great, and extremely canine-friendly – lucky, since we had to spend a whole 16 hours there! But finally, finally, we made in to St Croix, with myself, Zada, and all the luggage in-tact. There are no photos of that ordeal, so it can be left far behind, and I will say, American Airlines was great about finding a way for us to fly with minimum delays and no extra cost!
So here we are, in this disgustingly fabulous weather, on this beautiful island, with fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden in every meal. Wait…not so fast…unless you want to come hack bush, comprised of nettles, thorny shrubs, vines large and strong enough to easily hang someone with, and jack-spaniards nests (ferocious wasps, which got Mandy three times yesterday, causing her entire hand and arm to swell)…and with a machete, the only tool that can cope with that combination of flora. Upon surveying the property on my first day here, I found not only that parts of the property are severely overgrown, but that sadly there have been several blights, wiping out most of our citrus trees and some other plants as well. Between the blights and the lack of upkeep the food production on the land has been significantly reduced, but gradually that will be remedied as plants are pruned, weeds and vines are abolished, and the vegetable garden is more intensely managed. There is much to be done!
Yesterday was spent bush-whacking through the rear part of the property, which has not been cleared or managed in over 20 years, seeking the ideal spot for my Tiny House. On my first round I looked at the spots I’d originally had in mind, and while perfectly fine, they didn’t entirely grab me. On the second time round, I cut through a corner of the land that has been largely ignored, and found my perfect building site! Located behind an old ruin, next to a large Saman tree that creates a lovely dell, on a slight rise above the level of the gut (storm waterway), and with easy road access, it is a dreamy, amazing spot, absolutely ideal for what I plan build.
This morning, after dropping Mandy at the airport for her 3 week trip to Haiti, I took a machete and started hacking through the dense net of vines and small trees that have taken over the entire area, enveloping the Saman tree and making it difficult to even walk through my potential building site. After about 45 minutes of sweat and toil there was a good sized path into the patch, and a good sized blister or two on my hands! Progress shall be slow but steady, as I also attempt to fill in the vegetable garden, settle myself into the main house temporarily, and try to get Mandy’s bread oven up and running so that sourdough production may begin.
All in all, it’s good to be back! More soon on the first heating of the oven, and progress with the clearing!
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Glad that you made it back safe and sound. Yes, unfortunately there has been a lot of blights down there. Pretty much all of my grandfather’s oranges which he had planted in the 50s are gone… Very sad. Luckily this new pest doesn’t seem to bother pamelos though, so a few citrus have survived.
So far as I can make out all that we have left are the sour oranges. At least those are left.
OK, I’m trying to picture the building site; from the kapok tree, a hundred feet away in which direction? I don’t remember a saman tree. Towards the road, or away from the road, or off to either side?
West and a tiny bit south of the kapok tree. There’s a saman tree that’s been hiding in there, completely hidden by vines. Better photos as I gradually clear the area! Or feel free to stop by and see for yourself!