I woke up this morning counting out five sink holes dotting my property. I understand counting sheep will put you asleep, so why not counting sink holes to wake you to the morning? I wondered how many and one by one they revealed their number. Strung along the road like a string of pearls they inhabit the land we call our home.
Most of them have been filled with whatever was at hand and topped with soil to smooth them over. One next to our house I’m sure is a sieve that deposits water below our house in a rush when we have rain. It’s a wild waterfall on the wet and woolly days on the farm. Unable to hold water they’re a dip in the topography that gives you pause when you see a horse standing at the bottom of one. A sea horse without the sea?
Recently, while clearing out a short area to put a round pen to work my horses and me we discovered the last sink hole to the west of the property is deep and craggy. I wish it wasn’t holding the flotsam of old buildings and farm implements. It’s beautiful in a rugged way and makes me think of the Mammoth Cave sink holes seen from the bottom up. I saw the radiator of an old tractor lying on it’s side. Later that week, a trio of fellows showed up at our door asking if they could take the major pieces of metal and I agreed of course. They told me they lived in the house across the street for many years and were familiar with all the holes and their contents. They cleared a path that revealed an old drive down to the sink hole. Walking down the leaf strewn path I thought, it looks like this might work instead of getting a bulldozer to flatten out a spot near the workshop and risking hitting the bedrock so close to the surface, I measured by foot falls a 50′ circle. Hoping for 60′ we got the 50 without cutting down the Sycamore tree. It will suffice.
Once the decision was made to put my round pen at the end of the string of pearls, the Bob Cat cleared a beautiful circle in the amphitheater, the 50′ across it’s the same area I had to work with at Churchill Downs. The downed rotten trees were pushed to the edge of the sink hole. Four inches of Class I sand was laid down and patted down by the Bob Cat completing the white circle. I never thought I’d been working a horse in the bottom of a string of pearls in Kentucky.