Chop, block & roll

My entire life is filled with yard work. ‘Tis the season. If only we were able to finish one project before having to start another.
Last weekend was spent clearing some trees, only about 15 feet worth off the side of the house, but enough that we should manage to get 2 months worth of heat out of the wood next winter. That’s if we’re able to get it blocked and split and stacked early enough to get it dried before this  winter. Probably not going to happen. The trunks have been limbed and the branches stripped to make garden trellises, but the majority of wood is still lying in the space. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except I think I might have plans for that space (as if I don’t already have enough “plans” to fulfill) and not much can get done while it’s full of tree trunks. There’s been some discussion about whether we should “use” the space or just leave it for the saplings, thereby farming wood again in twenty years.

I’d like to say we’ll clear the rest of the brush to make it a productive spot on the property, but in all honesty it will probably be left to the saplings.

There’s another 15 or so trees on the other side of the house that need to come down this year as well. Including one enormous 4-trunked oak tree who got caught in a windstorm a year or so ago and had its fifth trunk ripped off and tossed up into the tops of neighboring trees. I wish I had taken a picture of that before we pulled the trunk out of the treetops because it really was an amazing sight to behold. The wind was strong that day, but who knew it was strong enough to rip off a 2 foot diameter trunk and toss it 40 feet in the air.

The trunk hung horizontally and many a passerby stopped to stare. It wasn’t unusual for me to venture out into the driveway to find Paul and four or five of his friends standing there just staring. It might be inspiring to think they were standing there contemplating the rockin’ awesomeness of the wind, or the mighty strength of the trees holding the trunk up, but really, it was a gaggle-fuck of he-men planning destruction. The trunk HAD to come down. The conversation revolved around whose truck was strong enough to do the job.  It was my intention to just borrow the excavator from the farm down the road, the one that would nicely pluck the trunk out of the treetops like a pickup stick, but what do I know, I’m just a girl. In the end the 4×4’s came out and our trusty 1987 Toyota 4-Runner made the final tug. Said group of he-men descended on the trunk with chainsaws, like a pack of hyenas on a downed elephant.

The remaining four trunks need to come down as they pose a hazard to anything  within the immediate area, as do the other trees marked for harvest.

But that will have to wait.

Yesterday, the township dropped four dump truck loads of clean fill that needs to be moved before we can accomplish anything else. The fun part about this situation is that the fill was dropped at the front of the house and it now needs to be moved to the back of the house. This might not sound like a daunting task to most, until you consider the distance one has to travel to actually get around the house. The easiest way is to load the soil into the back of the pickup and drive it out through the trees, up over the rocks, down the ridge and then unload it. It takes about 15 minutes to get the truck through. And it has to be shovelled by hand. Did I mention there were four dump truck loads to be moved? Where are all those he-men now?



  1. Lisa said,

    June 1, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I can honestly say “better you than me” on all of that. Though sounds like life is far from boring, which is a plus! And also makes for interesting blogging too.

  2. willowbatel said,

    June 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    What’s all the dirt for? Not your worm mound is it? All you have to do is start baking like crazy, then invite everyone over for cookies (while mentioning to them that they need to bring their shovels) and then hold the cookies as ransom until the dirt is moved. And then sit and watch everyone struggle while you enjoy the cookies. Haha.

    • June 1, 2010 at 11:02 pm

      No, unfortunately, not the worm pile. I don’t think I could get ANYBODY to shovel if that were the case! We are trying to level out an area just behind the house. It’s on a downward slope which is a bitch during the spring thaw. Really, it’s just an outcropping of large rocks right now, covering it with dirt, as difficult as it sounds, is easier than trying to move the rocks, but something that needs to be done.
      The cookie idea sounds feasible!

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