Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The four elements. In every place in the earth, it seems one prevails. At the heart of Havenwood lives the spirit of water.

When we first walked our southern woods, it was dry. We knew this was a wetland area, but in Indiana that can mean any place that gets muddy sometimes. The degree to which our lower woods would flood and the persistence of standing water have come as a surprise.

I had envisioned this forest floor planted with native ferns and wildflowers, a charming and green undergrowth providing beautiful views from the driveway. It seems we need to rethink the plan.

I don't know much about marshes or what, if anything, grows well in one. Most of the trees in these woods don't do well, toppling over before they reach maturity. Their roots probably rot over time. There is a kind of native pine that likes swamps, though we are just above its northern range. I'm looking into those.

Draining the place is not an option. There's nowhere lower to send the water to. And besides, wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem. I do want to preserve it.

If anyone has any suggestions for plantings or management of an area that floods and is often wet, please let me know? I imagine somebody out there knows what to do with a swamp of one's own. I'm all ears.


gina said...

i can't help you, but i can imagine the abundant wildlife you'll probably have opportunity to photograph! :) that would be a haven in itself to me.

sallyacious said...

I sent you an email with some thoughts on this. Just so you don't think it's spam.

I'm so glad to hear you're working on conservation/restoration. You're the second blogger I know who is doing that kind of thing with a large piece of land. It makes me very happy.

ramblingwoods said...

That looks like our woods do for part of the spring season...Hmm..let me think about any resources for that type of woods...

Your EG Tour Guide said...

It's wonderful that you plan to conserve the wetlands. We need more people like you!

MyMaracas said...

Gina, there certainly are a lot of critters in there, from deer and raccoons to mosquitoes and frogs. Some are more welcome than others.

Sally, thank you SO MUCH for the email! I'll share that info with everbody in my next post.

Rambling, you too? I'd be happy to hear your thoughts.

EG, thanks for the encouraging words. I'm not sure I really have a choice in the matter, though; I suspect that if I take on the land here, the land will win. Making peace with it seems a prudent course as much as a virtuous one.

MyMaracas said...
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