Hillock Infrastructure: The Bench at the Hillock


The bench that I destroyed on a wild mowing spree, is now propped and primed for another ‘sit-a-spell’ moment to come.4wayBench

It’s been seven years now since the hillock bench was refurbished with new wood and then propped up on a boulder after I ran over one of the beautiful wrought iron legs. Now the treated wood has grown beautiful lichens and taken on the earth’s hue. And the middle board has broken through from all the years of use. It’s time for the powers that be to get more wood milled and holes drilled to replace the weathered and worn.

Meanwhile, there are other ‘sit upons’ nearby for the smaller visitors to The Hillock…Francklin often spots lizards sunning on the cedar relic near the pond. This lizard thinks he’s picked a landing high enough to avoid his 3-year old stalker, Francklin! Little does he realize that Francklin is like a two-pawed centaur when he goes for the high places!

Where’s Lizard?”

Mermaid Moves Into The Hillock

During our rainy indoor day yesterday, Alex and I discovered there was mail in the tiny mailbox down at The Hillock. It was addressed to The Wonderful Road Helpers, which we knew must be Nora and Andrea,

Here’s one of the tiny letters from The Hillock Fairies:

Page 1 of Fairies’ Letter
Page 2 of Fairies’ Letter

This morning, the girls ran down to The Hillock to look for the new Mermaid resident who had moved there! Then they laid the beginnings of the road to her house! Now she can have visitors! There are so many dwellings and new members of this community, that I may have to have auditions for next book characters! Already two frogs have moved in since we refurbished the pond, and hundreds of tadpoles!

Hillock Infrastructure: Roadways

In the beginning, at least the beginning of my relationship to The Hillock, which was about 14 years ago, there were no visible roads or dwellings. The Hillock looked like every other mounded island that had grown from piles of rocks, debris and dirt and then covered over and over with leaves, vines and grasses. Bits of moss were grasping for air and moisture at the top of smaller mounds around the larger mounds. For some reason on my walks with the dogs, Sadie and Sophie our two black labs that moved to Thunder Mountain with us, I was particularly drawn to this particular hillock. I began to clear debris off of the pieces of mounded moss and the moss began to spread. I weeded and pulled up any vines that had been hiding magical spaces underneath. Some of those vines stayed with me for weeks on my skin as reactions to poison ivy! This still did not stop me for wanting to dig down to the magic.

Surprisingly, two things appeared there that enhanced the magic of the occasional frog, salamander and turtle that would allow me to invade their private community. The first was a gleaming fairy hanging and gliding underneath the dogwood tree. The second was a mysterious stone door with a fairy carved on the front of it. The sculptured door nestled naturally in the crook and crack of the giant oak tree in the middle of the hillock, atop a magnificent and spreading mound of moss, surrounding the tree! That’s all it took for me to sense they were signs of the magic that was to begin to unfold exponenientally all around me!

What until a few weeks before had seemed to be a chaotic endeavor on my part, and very unclear focus of my energies of weeding mosses and clearing leaves and vines, instantly became strong intentions to create a space where mysteries could reveal themselves.

That’s when the individual mounds began to grown into ‘hills and dales’ throughout The Hillock . And of course, there needed to be clear pathways to get from place to place. On my walks I began to bring a rock or two create a ledge beside a pathway or support for a log. As more and more dwellings and areas began to define themselves throughout the Hillock, it became clear that there would be much more traffic and Pebblestone Way, the ‘magnificent pebblestone street’ as Martha Julia Agnes Adele called it, began to grow.

Pebblestone Way Underway! February 13, 2013

The year that it began to grow I also was going through added pain and fatigue while I was being intensely treated for Lyme disease and the shifty shrewd spirochetes that were wrecking havoc in my body. These had been hidden and undiagnosed for over twenty years and it was was time to weed them out of my system. Each day I would still trudge down to the meadow with the dogsbut would only make it as far as the hillock when I would need to sit and rest. What could I do that would be productive when I felt so tired. One day I grabbed a tiny bucket and began filling it with small pebbles and took them to the Hillock. I would plop down on one of the pathways and begin to press the pebbles into the mud from the rainwashes they day before. Step by step each day and pebble by pebble the Pebblestone Way was paved and along with it was pressed out all my pain and fatigue.

Pebblestone Way is First Underway! February 13, 2013
March 2013
September 2013

Over its first year, Pebblestone Way became well trafficked and loved by animals, children, slugs. On a beautiful September day, Martha Julia Agnes Adele came upon this little hillock and ‘tripped and fell’. Thus began her adventure all around The Hillock. Now that her adventure is over, in spring of 2020, and she has found her shoe, it’s time to replenish the pebbles and upgrade the road system. And WHERE did all the pebbles go over those 7 years? Many were covered with leaves, dirt and moss, and many were scuffed down the hills and out into the meadow. So once again, Mossy gets out her little buckets and begins to carry a new supply of pebbles down to the Hillock.

It’s almost like building a city on top of an ancient city! Marbles, fairies, and other artifacts are showing themselves, all eager to bring new life to The Hillock of 2020!

Refurbishing Pebblestone Way! March
Refurbishing Pebblestone Way! March 5, 2020

The most wonderful thing about this ever-changing and growing hillock are the happy helpers that come to renew the infrastructure and more grandly to renew the spirit that give The Hillock its magic!

Map of The Hillock

The story of Martha Julia Agnes Adele grew from a mossy hillock that is down in our meadow. It has been a place I have loved to visit for the last 15 years while walking our dogs. When it was time to begin this story I had no idea who the characters would be. They presented themselves to me as I walked and tended The Hillock. I took photos and made lists of the dwellings already cropping up along the pebble stone streets that I began to pave with stones I would bring there in a small bucket. Slug appeared one day, literally kissing a fairy. Slab was a natural to be there around all the clay soil, and Martha Julia Agnes Adele, well, what could I do? she lost her shoe? There were many other characters crying “pick me! pick me!” Yet they will need to wait until their time in future stories.

I had scruffed together a map to help me with my writing, and so it only seems right that it should have its place in the book. There are many more dwellings there than the ones here, which also will need to wait for next time.

Mossy Hillock Spruce Up! Slug Will Return!

CastleofHeart:Snail 1Usually, by the beginning of July, the Mossy Hillock is in full summer swing and has been tended and enjoys some extra mistings to get it through the July Jolting-heat! However, this year, the MossTender has been creaking along and staying more atop the mountain tending through her own jolts of tender aches and pains in more shady spots, working on hopscotch, swing areas and slides down the rocks for her Grand Guy and Girl! The Hillock has had to fend for itself! And I must say it has done a very good job on it’s own, even through these disastrous dry spells. Again I attribute it to THE RESILIENCE OF MOSS! and natural surrounds.
And now with the exciting news of being one of many moss gardens featured in my friend and mossin’ meimei’s upcoming book, “The Magical World of Mosses,” the fairies and mosses have appealed for my help! Thanks to my first ever ‘garden gloves,’ that I can stand (given to me by Cindy, my sister-in-law), I get on my knees and lovingly smooth all the fallings from the mossy carpet, and pull the many things that have rooted in it’s last holdings of moisture.
1/4 of the 200 square feet is done and back down to sweat and sweep as many square feet today as I can. And then, a little repair work to dwellings and amateur bonsai trimming. Lastly comes hooking up the miles of hoses and cleaning little inchworm measurers out of the misting spouts so magical mystical water can work miracles with its moss meimeis. The mosses then will not only come forth themselves….but they will call to it NEW LIFE from NATURE! On the display spread before them as brand new, they will all come! Enter Slug, Squirrel, Owl, Turtle, Snail, Snake, Worm, Butterflies will come forth from cocoons, and Damsel and DragonFlies will dance along with Toads, and Frogs and Waterstriders as even the Pond will teem with NEW LIFE! Worth a little sweat I should say!

Francklin at the Hillock

Francklin is really the muse that makes moments come alive down at The Hillock.  Or at least he’s the ‘prime noticer,’ the one of bigger consciousness in the process. Nothing is out of his reach nor does it sneak by undetected. Having already defied the 4-legged rule for dogs by being a Terrific Tri-paw, here he is moving on up to a Two-paw stance to observe his lizard friend by the PondHole.

Francklin on 2 legs!

Meanwhile, I’m working away at pulling the weeds and working through the wild happenings of my life to sit long enough to listen to Francklin and the Mosswhispers trying to speak to me of what to write next. I miss my painting and work on my books. Writing has continued but not in post mode lately. For now, I’m readying for my next big posting period and forgiving myself for my lapses. All the while grateful for each precious Mossy Moment with my grand-children, grown-children, and great-parents and Alex. Grateful for spring and trying to learn to accept or at least deal with these ticks in our meadow. Gotta love the whole journey! all that’s in it!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 17

I’m eager to keep going with Martha’s adventure, even though my health is holding back the intensity of my work for a few more days. So for now, I’ll post pages with photos of the actual places at The Hillock, and I’ll need to paint them later. I’ll miss not having the characters in the scene, but they’ll make it there eventually!

Martha17 with text

Castle of the Heart and the Diamond Trail

As I prepare to paint the next page of  Martha Julia Agnes Adele, I need to revisit The Castle of the Heart, Char the dragon, and the diamond trail. Here’s a photo of the trail left by a real slug (the one that kissed the fairy!) one day down at the Hillock. I need to work on how I want to paint it. Yesterday’s painting didn’t do the diamond trail justice.


Martha Julia Agnes Adele 15

Magical Messages Frozen in Time

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