Dale had pushed the brush pile earlier in the week, but because of urgent appointments on my calendar I was unable to get down to the property to finish the burning job.
DH & I headed down early Saturday morning, with the plan to finish by noon & head back home since I had Carole’s birthday cake to bake & we were going to a concert at Evermore Farm that evening. (That’s not a good site; the best one is on Facebook. Evermore Farm is in Lyles, Tn. & they have gospel music concerts.)
What’s this? The power poles are in & the power lines strung! With the brush pile directly under the brand new power lines. Uh oh! Hey, who cut down that Black Walnut Tree?
Well, the lines are up & that was the big hurry for burning. Maybe we could just leave this & let it rot until winter then burn it away. So we worked on top of the hill pulling the 1000 feet of water hoses back up the hill, erected a cover for the tractor to protect it from the weather & did some burning & bush-hogging. Tired, sweaty & ready for some lunch, it was already noon, we locked the barn & headed for the Prius.
Up the hill drove Dale the digger. “Hey, fire bugs, y’all ready to burn that brush? I can push it off the right-of-way & I have my chainsaw.” “Sure!” I hope I sounded more enthusiastic than I felt.
Do you know the best way to start a brush fire? Duraflame logs! The only trick is finding the silly things in the summertime! DH ordered some from Home Depot online – they said they were in stock. Well, a week later someone finally found them & texted me to fetch them. Boy oh boy am I glad I did!
We stuffed 2 logs on either end of the small pile while Dale began to push the big pile. He made it look easy.
With the flames beginning to rise, Dale drove the bulldozer right into the fire shoving the logs around until he & the dozer disappeared in flames & smoke.
When nothing else wanted to move Dale parked the dozer aside & got his chainsaw out of his pickup.
DH met Darrell the Electrician who happened to be driving by.
I watched Dale carefully, especially when he started climbing on top of the pile to cut some limbs that were keeping the whole pile from moving. A log shifted, pinning his chainsaw. Using a wedge & a 5-lb hammer he was able to dislodge it. This happened more than once & I had to toss his wedge & hammer up to him.
Finally clear of the power lines it was time to start burning the back end of the brush pile. Dale held the pile in place while DH lit 3 Duraflame logs & set them in the center.
If this had been January, it would have been a lovely, warm fire on a crisp day. Instead, it was a stinking HOT fire on a July day with temperatures in the 90’s! But I am so grateful for Dale & his expertise, chainsaw & bulldozer!
I do have a question – Dale is in his 70’s. When we finished working for the day, why was I so exhausted & Dale chipper headed to his farm to bale hay? I work out. I’m in really great physical shape, but I cannot hold a candle to this former member of the Forestry Service when it comes to doing physical labor on a farm!
DH & I went home to shower, cook some hamburgers & battle leg cramps. We’ll catch the next concert at Evermore Farm & Carole’s cake had to wait!
Dear husband joined me for the 2nd attempt at burning the towering pile of tree waste left when the large trees were harvested.
Gasoline, matches, cardboard boxes – yep, they burn, but the brush is stacked high & not consolidated enough to get any real heat going not to mention “green.”
Lucy with us, we worked for about 4 hours before DH decided to bush-hog a while & Lu went for a walk up the road to visit a neighbor. She received a stern talking-to when she finally returned!
Hot, sweaty, covered in dirt & ashes, thirsty – I looked a glorious sight when Dale the digger drove past, backed up & walked down to the small fire I had successfully maintained.
“You’re wasting your time. It’ll never burn unless it’s compacted down & the larger logs are cut to size. Do you have a chainsaw?” “Yes, but it’s electric.” “Let me get the bulldozer over here & push it a bit & we’ll fix it so it’ll burn.”
Tired, frustrated, we gratefully accepted. Loaded Lu into the Prius & drove home. We’ll finish this next time…I hope.
The potted Black-eyed Susan outside the apartment window was dancing as though being blown by a stiff wind.
Wait a minute – there is no wind today!
Then I saw them!
A Goldfinch couple had discovered the seed-bearing Rudbeckia hirta which I had brought from our old house to plant on the new property when I decided where.
They are difficult to see in the photos because I was trying not to scare them away so I left the blinds the way they were.
The brush pile left by the removal of trees was unexpectedly large.
If I had realized how big this was going to be I would have worked a better deal with Jesse!
Duck River Electric says they will not install the power poles and electricity lines until the brush pile is removed. Burning seems the best & most efficient way to accomplish this task…or so I thought!
Before I start a fire, I must get a water source nearby. All of our old hoses were connected to the new water faucet at the future building site. I added 300 feet of new hoses & still didn’t get down the hill.
Time for a WalMart run to purchase 400 more feet of hose.
I am very grateful for the weights, pulleys, bands & workouts Greg, our marvelous trainer has had me do over the past two years! Just try to untangle garden hoses with weak arms & back muscles!
I started the fire in 2 places, running back & forth continuing to feed the flames. Praise the Lord the temperatures were below normal & the humidity significantly reduced due to the lovely Canadian air.
I worked for 6 hours & barely made a dent in the pile. Too much air space to build up enough heat for the fire to feed itself.
Now the leg cramps begin. I drank a full gallon of water while working, but the leg cramps make it almost impossible to walk back to the tractor for the bumpy ride uphill.
A better plan next time. More water, too!
Blocked by a chert berm!
More rain has shown a weakness in the driveway near the road.
Dale is placing another culvert, 12 inches x 30 feet, in a wash area hoping it will stop another Grand Canyon from forming.
The good news – since I can’t get to the top of the hill (I refuse to walk!), I have some free time on my hands. No bush-hogging today!
Eleven trees made 21 8-foot logs large enough to cut lumber & a brush pile so big I’m going to ask the local fire department if they would like to use it for a training exercise.
Black Walnut Trees are all over the property…just 2 were removed.
This was a Red Elm, the largest Jesse had ever seen.
Lots of unusable limbs were left…gonna make a great fire!
DH wanted to check out the brush pile.
I was getting a closer view of the Red Elm.
The representative of Duck River Electric Co-op says we have to remove trees so utility poles can be placed & electrical lines run.
But these are seriously old trees, some with trunks over 2 feet thick. Doesn’t matter. A 40-foot corridor is required.
“Sure we can do it. $4500 & I’ll get to it sometime around the end of July. That’s going to take a lot of chipping.”
“Can’t you use the trees for something? It seems such a waste.”
“Nope, but they’ll make a ton of mulch.”
“Well, I can get over here Thursday, but it will cost about $200 to move the equipment.”
So how much total?”
“$200. I will use the trees for lumber, at least the trunks that are at least 12 inches across.”
ABSOLUTELY! YOU HAVE THE JOB!
Stewardship of the land & our bank account! When we get ready to build a pond & need to remove trees, guess who I’m calling?
His dad operated the backhoe that had a heavy-duty chain. The trees were not “felled” – they were brought down in a controlled fall using the backhoe. If they had been allowed to fall, the trunks would have split making them worthless for lumber.
Just 2 men, a backhoe & a chainsaw.