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Burn The Brush Pile: Take 1

July 23, 2014

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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A better plan next time. More water, too!

Blocked!

July 22, 2014

Blocked by a chert berm!
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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!

Removing Trees To Bring In Electricity, #2

July 16, 2014

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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.

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Black Walnut Trees are all over the property…just 2 were removed.

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This was a Red Elm, the largest Jesse had ever seen.

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Lots of unusable limbs were left…gonna make a great fire!

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DH wanted to check out the brush pile.

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I was getting a closer view of the Red Elm.

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Removing Trees To Bring In Electricity, #1

July 15, 2014

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The representative of Duck River Electric Co-op says we have to remove trees so utility poles can be placed & electrical lines run.

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But these are seriously old trees, some with trunks over 2 feet thick. Doesn’t matter. A 40-foot corridor is required.

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“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.”

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“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?

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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.

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Just 2 men, a backhoe & a chainsaw.

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Mute Monday: Critters In The Grass

July 14, 2014

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Bush-hogging Tall Weeds

July 11, 2014

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Since the Fox Brothers told me “ain’t no grass, them’s jes’ wades,” I have to determine how to best exchange the weeds for good grazing grass.

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First, the bush-hogging must be completed to give us a fighting chance. Maybe when the weeds are cut down this time they won’t grow back so fast in the July heat. I hope.

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Yes, this is a small tractor, but some of the weeds are well over 6-feet high! Because DH & I have never mowed this property before, we are not sure what is under the tall weeds nor know how the land rises & falls.

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With DH out of town, I got to get this show on the road by cutting the top of the hill & around the barn. That’s where I learned how to use the tractor.

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Next, I cut the front pasture & part of the center pasture. That’s where I found out what they meant when they said, “go up & down hills, not sideways.” No kidding! The problem – this property is almost completely hills! Driving straight up, or so I thought, until all of a sudden I’m sliding sideways, hanging on to the upside of the tractor to keep from turning over. I am so glad we have a roll bar!

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I did enjoy the wildflowers & critters in the pastures.

The Lay of the Land

July 10, 2014

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Time to figure out the lay of the land for the purpose of building a house.

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There is an 11-foot drop from the crown of the hill to the edge.

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Staking the approximate perimeter of the house, Dale was able to finish installing the water lines & the septic system.

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