Monday, July 20, 2009
Update 8 from Germany!
Heavy thunderstorms knocked down many branches into the roadways crisscrossing our forest so much of my time this week was spent clearing up the mess to make the roads accessible again. When clearing one road tucked into a back corner of the property I had not spent allot of time on yet we came upon the remnants of a large bunker left over from World War II. The massive walls of the bunker where collapsed into the interior in a way that could not have been caused simply by erosion. Either it was hit by a bomb back in the fighting or, more likely (and a bit less exiting), it was destroyed by allied forces after the war ended. I spent a good time exploring the bunker overgrown and long forgotten before I remembered I was expected to help clear the road. My interest must have been obvious because Mr. Brecht gave me a brief history lesson on the area as soon as I returned. This place was one of the last fighting fronts when German troops where retreating and, in his words, “only a few desperate idiots where left fighting” on the German side.
After we were done with that road Mr. Brecht led me into another part of the property that I’d worked at before on a seat. We went a bit farther into the brush and right there in our serene woods where two giant crater holes. Lots of water and mud had collected at the bottom and where now obviously being used as Suele by the wild boar. Mr. Brecht then went on to tell me they were aiming for the Germersheim Bridge. A good 2 miles short of target. A bit of a miss. He told me that bombing back then was basically dropping a cluster of bombs while flying over an area that was target and that far worse misses where common back then. He told me a story of a US bomber that used a river to lead them to a German industry area but mistakenly took a side stream that led them “slightly off target”…to Switzerland. Where they promptly dropped their bombs on the first industries town they came upon. That in his mind was quite a miss.
In other news Feh, Mr. Brecht’s excellent hunting dog almost lost an eye when she cornered a large Nutria that did not want to be cornered. Nutria’s look like a cross between a beaver and a rat. They have the very large front teeth like beavers and these where used to put two severe gashes around the dogs left eye. They had to be stitched and were extremely swollen all week but towards the end of the week all signs where pointing to a healthy recovery.
We are still keeping very busy putting up fences. It is a process that has not been helped by the frequent summer storms that have hit us of late. Today the weather is great so I will try to make some good progress this afternoon.