I’ve resisted writing about our latest projects here at Timber  Butte because up until now most everything we’ve done has had some sustainable purpose.  The agriculture projects, building the barn and other outbuildings, the animal projects, the energy and conservation projects have all had sustainable merit but lately we have invested a lot of energy doing things simply for the joy of satisfying the creative longings of the hearts.   

If you’ve been following our blog you may recall that we chose the sight for our home on a granite knob for primarily three reasons; one because it was central on the property and has a vantage point where we can keep our eyes on the livestock; second, because we wanted to situate the house and yard on solid ground where there was good drainage and thus no danger for flooding, and finally because it was the least fertile ground on the eighty acres allowing us to use the better ground for grazing and hay production. This was all great until it came time to do a little landscaping which we have dedicated much of this past summer to.

Nancy loves flowers around her home and we both really like grass. Grass not only provides a wonderful fire barrier, but it keeps things cooler in the summer and cleaner in the winter.  Up until now we have been surrounded by a yard of decomposed granite which is constantly being tracked into the house.   A good deal of the summer has been given to putting in watering systems, pouring hundreds of feet of concrete curbing  to hold top soil in and building flower beds.  Our good neighbors Craig and Joan again came to the rescue by  giving us three dump truck loads of decomposed cow manure to enrich our granite soil.

Although these projects have taken up the better part of our summer vacation time it hasn’t seemed worthy enough to journal about when the point of my journaling has been primarily focused on sustainable living.  That is of course unless you consider that art projects are an essential part of sustaining the creativity that God has implanted into every human spirit.

Nancy loves the sound of running water.  She has always wanted to live near the sound of a creek or stream, something that living on top of a dry granite knob hasn’t accommodated.  There are two small seasonal creeks on the Timber Butte property but both of them babble far out of earshot from her kitchen window.  For this reason I decided to construct a small cascading waterfall that would run down the side of the root cellar into a catch pond hidden in a flowerbed below.  We gathered large flat thin slabs of lichen covered granite which I arranged in such a way that the water could fall from one to the next.  This not only looked natural, but created the soothing sound of a cascading stream that could be heard from the kitchen window. It was more of an art project than something built for utility value, but sometimes you just have to do things simply to satisfy the creative longings of the heart.