I caught myself listening to a country song recently, about Ireland. Ireland is very well known for her fences made of stone. Very few who are not Irish, are aware of the fact that going back several decades, a passerby could tell which family owned the land, simply by the pattern of the stones making up the fence.
I recently visited Mt Vernon here in Northern Virginia, and was intrigued, about George Washington's burning desire to have living fences. Fences that would be similar to thick brush and shrubs, that would replenish and maintain itself naturally. Fence line repair, especially for a plantation the size of Mt Vernon, would have been full time activities, for several individuals.But living fences, once grown, would be extremely beneficial of keeping wildlife and predators out of the gardens and crops. They also add a beauty to the landscape. I wonder if we could be successful with that theory now?
What would it be like to have a fence line that would last for generations to come? I still remember standing at the top of the hills around the Cliffs of Moher, and being more hypnotized by the fields, than the Cliffs that had all the tourists clicking cameras constantly. These beautiful fence lines were just standing strong in all directions rolling along all the way up to the sea. Countless generations had been served. Of course there wouldn't be much predator protection from most of these fences. But they are still bountiful across the country side.
Rather ironic, knowing that during July, I will be walking the family property searching for damaged areas of fence line, that is typically made of only three to four strands of barbed wire. Not much to look at, and requires regular maintenance. Doesn't even do much to keep the cows at bay, as I watched quite a few shrubs become snacks this summer, since the cattle can just lift the bottom line of barbed wire with their thick hides, and keep on munching. Maybe I should stack some stones instead. Cow proof fencing.