Saturday, March 24, 2012
Second Friday at Burtown
Friday morning was rainy and mucky as we got ourselves together with a pot of coffee and headed out for the day. Sean, Clara and me were working with James and the gardener Giles to plant several bags of trees including common beech, ash, oak, and elders. We started in an area near the main gate along the drive btween the main high traffic road and the property. A large area had been cleared and tilled the two days before in the dry weather to prepare for the trees. We were suited for the rain, but it didn't help the muck and grimmy roots cover out hands and clothes and we dug and placed each small tree into the dirt. We each had bundels of a given variety which would be alternated in small groupings across the area to an area leveled for a car park near the end of the lane. I had beech which had a bright oragne leaf throughout the cold season and a dark green foliage in the summer and fall. The are used a lot around the Burtown property for hedges and large accents in the landscape. We planted close to five hundred trees between the five of us that morning between that field and a strip of grassy area across from the main gate. After lunch, Clara and I helped James with the rest of the beech to plant a boarder around the outter fields. The rain was nonstop so James had told us when we finished the boarder we would call it an early day and go in for showers. The first strip was a barrier between the first and second tillage fields, where we planted a birch every ten meters to replace the present trees that had grown too tall and become a mass of vines and ivy. The back boarder was much larger, surrounding a large multi acre field of rapeseed which is produced for its organic oil. We alternated between Beech and Ash trees from the back gate beside a plot of willows around to where the tree line meets a creek bed, using another few hundred small trees between four people. We finished around half past three and walked back to the house with soaked clothes and water filled boots from a day of solid rain digging and bending in the muck. This is the type of day that I am most thankful for a hot shower and dry clothes before a warm meal. We all ate, packed and organized before James gave us a lift to Kildare to catch our train west. I got my round trip ticket and waited anxiously for the train to take off into the dark countryside towards the lively city I have heard so much about. Sean and I were up in the air about a place to sleep that night with most of the hostels being booked and no word from friend for extra space. Luckily, the girl we met at the train staition which Clara and Lindsay would stay with had two couches in thier sitting room we could use if needed and no affordable hostel was found. We had a small to go dinner after dropping of our bags and then headed to the main pedestrian street to find a pub and some live music. The first place we tried, called The Ques was very crowded and had too many people moving in and out from the bars but had a very good band playing covers of some well known punk and classic rock. We only stayed for one pint and headed off to another pub and lounge where we got a booth big enough for all of us, but lacked a live band. We had a good night with plenty of laughs and great people watching. We stayed until the music stopped and the crowds started to thin and went off for a cheap place to sleep. The next day we would head to a grocery store and prepare drinks and lunch for the girls that would be hosting us that night. It was a good start to a great weekend.