5 acres of the property are woods. There's nothing spectacular about that little parcel aside from the stark contrast it strikes against the 10 acres that roll out before it to the east. A soils report we pulled shows a distinct line at the edge of the woods where the soils change. Clay turns to sandy loam. Mesquite disappears and oaks suddenly shoot 40 feet into the air.
The ground is sliced with deep, dry creek beds. Berries and vines creep around the elm, crawl along the ground, slither over roots. This place is alive. Originally, we did not want the woods. We showed up to view the 10 acres listed in the real estate ad, but while on our "tour" of the place, the agent just kept walking - up a hill and into the dense woods, announcing that "this is for sale too," and "it's actually 15 acres I'm selling." Ooops. It's real important to proof read those real estate ads.
We actually tried to negotiate for the original 10 acres proclaiming, "Woods??!? Who needs 'em?" Now I can't imagine being out there without that patch of trees, the sideways stumps standing crooked from the ground, the wood pecker nests, and the oak leaves that swirl down and crunch underfoot all year long. We're building our house in the woods.
This weekend we focused on cutting and burning in the homesite area, making way for the septic field and "front yard"; the notion of which seems pretty silly out there. (At the end of the day, we're still fairly conventional people.) This means of course that Jer cut, and I pulled a limb or two into a pile before slipping silently into the woods when the tractor needed repair. The dogs followed along, running and sliding down the slope of the creek beds. It's their favorite place too, this new backyard. If not for the realtor's typo, the property would not have come up on our land search. The fortuitous omission of "5" led us out there in the first place; the missing 5 becoming home.