Traditional Gardening

Your mind is garden soil; carefully fertilized and sown with the right seed it is capable of growing something beautiful. I just finished reading 1491, by Charles C. Mann, per recommendation of the “keeper of the springs”, John Hrobar. Its New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, chronicle the incredible legacies of the indigenous, native, peoples of the Americas north, central and south, in a way that, like a superb mulching legume, “fixed” the oxygen feeding my brain allowing new conceptions to take root. Thanks John (below on the left, in a literal sense only of course).

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The earth was their garden and they worked the soil and landscape to suit their purposes, which, per a deep understanding of Natural Law, were typically in harmony with the Will of Nature’s God; The Creator. Those cultures that violated natural law, e.g. the non-aggression principle, eventually fell to the murderous onslaught of their “neighbors”. Cultures that recklessly harvested the earth’s bounty in the same rapacious way we often see around us today, i.e. coal river mountain, failed as well. Without a doubt however, the main decimators of the Native American populations were the infectious diseases that accompanied the pale faced European Invasive Species.

Politically, they reached their apex in the Five Nations confederation of the Haudenosaunee, of whom Cadwallader Colden, vice governor of New York and adoptee of the Mohawks said, they had “such absolute Notions of Liberty, that they allow of no Kind of Superiority of one over another, and banish all Servitude from their Territories.” This is the heirloom seed we need to sow and nurture in our brains!

The book helped me reconcile the fact that my work at The Springs is not sustainable. The restoration of the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve, indeed, the whole Scuppernong River Habitat Area, will always need the hands of caring people to cultivate its natural beauty.

I spent a care-full day at The Springs last Friday pulling spotted knapweed on the sand prairie and trimming cattail and phragmities seed heads in the valley along the Scuppernong River headwaters.

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Join me on a stroll through the sand prairie before we get started.

I’m encountering a lot of stubby spotted knapweed that I cut with the brush cutter back in July to prevent from going to seed. The scope of the invasion is thorough in some areas and will probably require hand to root combat with shovels and forks to defeat. It’s not sustainable, but I’m determined to give it my best effort; this is my garden.

Here is what the west side of the Scuppernong River, just across from the observation deck, looked like after I did a little pruning with my hedge cutter.

Later I took a walk around the loop trail to admire the new sign posts that correspond to the Scuppernong Springs Trail Brochure that Melanie, Tara and Jim finished installing last week. Nice work! It motivated me to take another look at Robert Duerwachter’s wonderful book THE PONDS OF THE SCUPPERNONG, and I noticed the real location of the Old Hatching House. I added a new blue #9 on the map below that conforms with the maps shown on pages 155-156 of Robert’s book (shown below) and conforms as well to the old foundation, infrastructure and spring physically at that location.

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Ron Kurowski supplied these maps to Robert.

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When Lindsay, Pati and I uncovered the springs that begin to flow right at the location corresponding to the old #9 on the map above, I thought, per the description in the trail brochure, that this was the site of the Old Hatching House, hence The Hatching House Springs. Here is a good look at the Old Hatching House site and the Real Hatching House Springs, which just began flowing again this past June. (I make an incorrect reference to the Emerald Spring at the end of the video.)

We’ll have to come up with another name for the set of springs that I previously referred to as The Hatching House Springs. Any suggestions?

A Scuppernong Summer Sunset.

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See you at The Springs!

5 thoughts on “Traditional Gardening

  1. Oops, the first version of this post that was sent to subscribers via email incorrectly stated that the Old Hatching House was located on the North side of the DNR 2-track. I meant to say SOUTH side and have corrected the post above.

  2. I uploaded a new version of the Scuppernong Springs Trail Map with the new, blue #9 on it and reworked the text that explains the change. Hopefully, it is easier to understand than before. I hope to scan and display the maps from pages 155-156 in Robert’s book, which will make it very plain.

  3. really nice photos in this edition. looks like something out of The Shire. You are a bit of a Tom Bombadil, with Pati as your Goldberry. Hey, note my new e-mail address….

  4. Pingback: Scuppernong Springs Meadows | Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail

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