Peregrine Too

The watershed for my lake at Roundrock is a little more than 100 acres. Most of that is forest, and while most of that forest is not very old (less than 50 years), it’s had a varied past. My little bit of forest on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks was once part of a large cattle ranch. For some reason, my 80 acres was fenced off from the rest of the ranch and the trees were allowed to grow. Thus the 50-year-old forest, but within that were some much older trees that must have dotted the pasture land it all once was. And as is sometimes the way in such land, ground fires had swept through. We still find the charred stumps of ancient trees here and there in our woods.

One of the things within the watershed that washed into the lake was a burnt remnant of a tree. This blackened log floated in the lake for a long time, and it was our little task to find where it had drifted to each time we visited. We named it Peregrine (at the suggestion of another blogger because it traveled around so much). When we would swim in the lake, I would sometimes push Peregrine from near the spillway to the other side of the lake so it wouldn’t wash over the top. As the months and years passed, Peregrine rode lower in the water. I guess it was getting waterlogged. One long-ago time as I was swimming it across the lake, I gave it a push and it slowly sank out of sight. I suppose it is now somewhere on the bottom.

When the beavers took down a trio of large shoreside trees below the cabin this year, I cut up what I could (because it spoiled the view of the lake from the shady porch), but the heat of the summer (and the sloping, rocky hillside I had to stand on) always seemed to rob me of my motivation to finish the job. Also, the trunk was resting on the rocks in such a way that cutting it would pinch the chainsaw, so I had to do some muscling of the thing to change the physics.

But last weekend I did (mostly) finish the job. At least the bit that was visible from the cabin porch. I cut the fallen tree into liftable sections and then carried those sections into the forest. I managed to get about half of those logs moved, but the rest will have to wait for a return visit. (They were heavy!)

I cut one part of the trunk (the tree forked and there were two long, thickish section) into a longer piece and rolled it down the slope to the water. I intended this to be the new Peregrine, and I’ve named it Peregrine Too.

I want to say that I intended all of the artistry in this image: the reflection of the sun on the water, the scattering of water plants, the swirl of the mud where the log had rolled. But it was really just taking a shot before the log drifted away. (That green dot is an artifact of the process, I suspect, because of the sun in the photo; there was no green object in the water.)

So now when we return we can look for Peregrine Too somewhere in the lake and marvel as it drifts around.

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