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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Our Bridges a Constant Battle with Mother Nature

 Indeed, living near a stream you face an ongoing battle with Mother Nature...
Such as seen here, our bridge and wood trail being completely damaged by high water and wind...
This was in March of 2003, when the entire bridge (our center bridge; one of 3 in total) got lifted up and smacked elsewhere.
You see all the debris, tree trunks and whatever that came in the water our way from God knows where.
Also there is a kind of a sandy beach created after such a flood, visible in photo above to the left and all along the stream's edge here below.
After a lot of work it looked neat again... Except for the heavy part of the bridge, that got smacked all the way to the left (seen in this photo), it still resides there!
Too heavy for moving it and our Spunky-Tiger girl often sits there, it is her 'throne' in the wood garden.
Here Spunky-tiger is on Wednesday, December 22, enjoying her sun rays after another miserable day of rain...
On Sunday, October 20 of 1996, Pieter posing proudly in front of his 3rd bridge and wood trail; all built by hand!
Along the stream we had a row of all varieties of Canna Lilies but when they got plagued by an insect, a nasty leaf-roller, we got rid of all!
That very bridge got several repairs and this was May 8, 2013.
The foliage you see below the part where Pieter sits on the bridge section are the leaves of Canna Lilies.
Once more our center bridge got beaten badly by high water and wind and on November 29, 2021 Pieter went to work on some repair.
Looking neat and safe again!
Old left overs...
Pieter had a hard time for removing the old 'rusted' screws.
But repair work is always more tedious than new jobs!
Our 1st bridge near to the road, also needed repair... So Pieter loaded up his tools.
Pieter had to exchange the left tire for a new one the other day...
Found it on line and it arrived fast, so he could pull his work horse along.
Oh, you see the ladder against the house on our driveway, top right, as the painters had started to paint the exterior.
A long wait since April, due to a wet spring and a wet summer and the autumn weather was also tricky.
Doing repair work and also discovering that the 'end' part got completely covered and hidden, by dirt from the flooding.
So, the spade had to be used!
Pieter unearthed a muddy 'sunken' part of the bridge...
Now it needs to be attached again... using metal brackets.
It is a heavy, and also a very muddy job!
But the end is in sight!
Pieter used part of the vinyl picket fence.
Treating the wood and a dirty job is once again DONE until the next toss up by Mother Nature with brutal force 😜


  1. So heart-breaking to see one's good work destroyed by rain and winds and by time. You are very dedicated to keep on repairing and Pieter is so skilled at this work. How wonderful for both of you. Well done.

    God bless you both always ... very talented both.

    1. Dearest Victor,
      It is often heart-breaking to see your work being destroyed like this.
      But always mustering the energy to bring it back in the same condition.
      Thank you for your words!

  2. Hello Mariette, Water is indeed the worst enemy of wood structures, especially small bridges that can be easily washed away. I am sure that Pieter actually liked the challenge of keeping the bridges in repair and attractive looking. They certainly add a quaint element to your grounds. In Asia there is a fascination about small bridges over very small streams or ponds in parks or gardens--they seem to create a focal point, and also add a man-made decorative element to a natural scene.

    1. Dearest Jim,
      Yes, wooden structures do look so much better than metal.
      Indeed, in Asia they know how to create beautiful bridges in parks and gardens!

  3. Hi Mariette - I've always thought how charming a little bridge crossing a stream, or creek, looks when passing a home lucky enough to have a water feature. Now I know just how much hard work in can be keeping it all together when the storms come! Pieter at the ready once again - he's wonderful! Glad the house painting has commenced, know you've be waiting a while.
    Yesterday I visited the neurosurgeon about my spine issues - he's so pleasant, quite charming actually, and very dapper dresser! He spent a long time with me talking about what we can do. I'll be trying injections first, then later, if necessary but hopefully not, he'll do a micro surgery. BTW - he was born in Amsterdam, grew up in Rotterdam, and then lived in Germany before coming to the US!

    Sending best wishes for Christmas - looks like a warm and sunny one here in the southeast - especially on Boxing Day, always my favorite day of the year (it's an English thing!).
    Hugs to you both, stay well, be happy.
    Mary xx

    1. Dearest Mary,
      Yes, we had been looking for a lot with a stream, knowing that there was water near the grounds. But it certainly is an ongoing battle! So far we've managed to keep our bridges working.
      The painting is not yet completely done, they were supposed to come yesterday but did not... But they're here now. Hope they soon will finish!
      What a small world it is for meeting a neurosurgeon that got to hail from my birth country. Pieter's adopted daughter lives in Rotterdam. Hoping that you get the right treatment and that it helps for you.
      Here it also is sunny on 2nd Christmas Day as it is called in Europe, outside of England where it indeed is Boxing Day. But here it does not exist...😒

  4. Replies
    1. Dearest Anne,
      Not new, just repaired and maintained.

  5. Liebe Mariette,
    die Axt im Haus erspart den Zimmermann... diese Worte fielen mir ein, als ich Pieter beim Reparieren der Brücke sah... ist so schön geworden... drücke die Daumen dass Mutter Natur sich etwas länger mit Hochwasser und Sturm zurück hält... Auf dem 5. Foto sehe ich so viel Grün unter der Brücke, ich tippe auf Tulpenblätter, könnten aber auch Maiglöckchenblätter sein?
    Heute kam hier gefrierender Regen vom Himmel, uii das war eine kleine Rutschpartie, aber nicht von langer Dauer denn es wird wärmer +5° ;-)))
    Nun wünsche ich Dir und Pieter fröhliche Weihnachten und kommt gesund und munter ins neue Jahr.
    Moin und herzliche Grüße schickt Euch Traudi.♥

    1. Liebe Traudi,
      Ja, gut gesagt und oft hat Pieter den Zimmermann erspart durch eigene Arbeit.
      Hoffen wir das es eine längere Zeit ruhig bleiben darf.
      Das Grün unter der Brücke im Mai war von die Canna Lilien die wir ganz entlang der Bach angepflanzt hatten. Jedoch ein Insekt, einen Blattroller hat es versaut und wir haben keine mehr... Maiglöckchen sind nicht so riesig und die tun es hier nicht, zu warm. Wir haben soviel Zwiebeln gepflanzt aber nichts. Tulpenzwiebeln werden auch alle aufgefressen.
      Bei euch ist das Wetter wirklich kalt... Gut aufpassen.
      Hier scheint die Sonne und es wird bis 17°C und -1°C.
      Ganz liebe Grüße und gleichfalls fröhliche Weihnachten!

  6. Buen trabajo de resturación, cada vez que el arroyo rebosa. En la última foto, se ve el puente precioso.


    1. Querida Antónia,
      ¡Gracias y sí, vale la pena hacer algunos trabajos de reparación!

  7. Mother nature can throw a right tantrum at times

  8. It seems to me that Pieter cannot sit still for a minute.
    I take this opportunity to wish you an excellent Christmas. May you spend this time in the best way, with lots of love and health.
    Merry Christmas
    Coisas de Feltro

    1. Dearest Christina,
      Oh, you got that right! He never has been lazy and cannot sit still.
      When he has something in mind, he is already executing the project.
      Wishing you and yours also a Merry Christmas!


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