Monday, April 13, 2009

Damn chickens...Holy *!*!****....or Gift from Above?

Easter started with us going to our place of worship - las cuevas - for a really nice dive and capture of a nice lobster for dinner. We got home and it had been raining a little bit and continued a little after we got home. I looked in the yard and something was not quite right. One of our plants was leaning and some of the purple plants were torn up - "damn chickens" I figured - they like to take a dirt bath there.
As I looked at the damage I noticed one of the blocks had been misplaced - hard for a chicken to do unless they used pulleys and made a little chicken tug of war game or something.

On closer inspection it appears that a block was kind of crushed. Confused, I looked to my left and saw it...

What the #$(*&(@#%&@*/. I looked to make sure there weren't any smashed cats (all accounted for) and then trudged up the hill to see where it came from.
Way up top near a Flamboyant (that I planted from seed - look how big it is) I see a hole.
When I get up there I confirmed that yes, that rock came from all the way up top!

It is a good thing it was not a round rock - it is flat on all sides. It still managed to go down the hillside in a little runway, hop my flat path with built up sticks, roll over the vetiver (which popped back up into place) and then catapulted down the drop taking out a couple plants, dislocating a couple and settling just inches away from the newly painted walkway outside the kitchen! (Look at the nice clean, newly sealed roof.) Imagine solar panels up there...

Here's the view from up at the vetiver - the hillside is taller than the roof of the house.
As always the cats decided this new arrival was a new toy - they mobbed around it like meercats and played king of the rock for a while.


Anonymous said...

Jeff and Katrina,

It must have been our kids' commotion when we visited that got the boulder loose, LOL!

That's the second time in 30+ years we see a rock that size travel that far. The first I remember was when we lived in Lucy's house. It was about the same size and it made it to the back area of the house, its probably still there. The mountain had not been modified yet for your house.

I remember exploring the Santos' family finca and I found another boulder about the same size that somebody (maybe a couple of generations older) had placed a couple of pieces of train rail in front of it to hold it. The old train system in PR was stopped many decades ago. If you ventured into the bosque (a machete may help) you may find it not too far from your fence. The Santos family finca used to be a beautiful hacienda with horses before the white trees took over. You may find the old road, dunno.

Think of it as a gift from above to be added to your beautiful landscape somewhere as an accent!

Thanks again for letting us stop by the other day. It was a pleasure to meet you in person.

Take care,


Minerva said...

that's a big gift, lol... now the question is what are you going to do with it

stefan said...

That could have been really bad...lucky no one was in the yard and it didn't roll far enough to hit the house!

Anonymous said...

I think it could easily have knocked a big chunk off the corner of the house if had more speed - hopefully our little wall slows anything else that comes down! I'll be scouting out new potential boulder problems but if they are as big as this one if we try to move them it could dislodge them and send them down. Maybe we leave nice tall grass clumps around them to help secure them in place! Vetiver? Rebar? For now we have to figure out how to move this one somewhere...katrina

Anonymous said...

Hamilton - I assume the train was for sugarcane harvest? What are we looking for? normal train tracks? a wide flat railbed with pressure treated wood? What else up there is of interest? When we first got here Jeff explored to get a view of the water but got lost and I could hear him calling but he didn't hear me). The horse people roam around up there but it just looks like land and no houses or structures or anything. We found orchids and birds of paradise and odd root vegetables hanging from above and an occasional lemon tree. Sounds like a treasure hunt to me! katrina

Anonymous said...

Hi Katrina!

Yes the train was used for sugarcane, but also to transport a lot of goods and even passengers mostly around the coast (not through the central mountain range). San German (as well as other towns) still has an old train station which was restored up by the "Cuesta Vieja" area.

Here is the Wiki link that describes the old train system:

One way you could start exploring the Santos finca is if you start by Amparo's house and start walking from her driveway on the old road heading up. You may find a few horse fences, but stay on the road and use your machete very carefully.

If I remember correctly, the boulder is somewhere between your fence and the road which runs parallel to your fence up above. Again, if I remember correctly, the pieces of metal train tracks are very similar to the ones you find here in mainland.

Here is an old photo that I found of the train tracks in San German:

The pieces I remember look just like that and where hammered right in front of the boulder.

I'll write more later, my kids are beckoning.


PS Here are a few older pictures that I found of the old San German, aren't they cool?

Sorry, I digress!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katrina and Jeff!

By the way, my dad used an old piece of train track to reinforce the wrap around balcony on top of the marquesina.

Yes, the structure I remember finding up there was the old house of Luis Santos. It was his second house and was all wood. You may find remnants of the old cement pillars that created the crawl space. The house was up about halfway up the mountain sitting by an old quenepa tree. I remember appreciating the nice old spanish architecture of its deteriorating doors and shutters. It had an old "tormentera" structure where people would hide during a hurricane. You will find it if you follow the old road as it lead to it. The road kind of zig zags from one side of the mountain to the other instead of going straight up.

I was told as a kid that Luis Santos was killed by lightning and he is the progenitor of all the Santos' descendants (remotely including Amparo) that live not too far from you.

I told you his first house was up near the very top. There is a new "swiss chalet" type of house up at the very top now. Rumour has it that the new structure is owned by an american. I doubt the land was sold up there to build the structure so it must have been negotiated as a lease. More likely there is no electricity since nobody around the barrio remembers seeing any lights up there at night. As a kid I would climb all the way up there and was able to see the whole Lajas Valley and La Parguera area. Incredible view indeed!

Take care,


PS BTW, you will not find that people in general like the non-native "white trees" since they have ruined a whole lot of old haciendas, however, they will tend to slow down any boulder that may decide to dislodge! So if you find any rock, plant a big white tree in front of it!!!