Forestry Day 2

Although we didn’t expect to cut down any more trees until September the boys had some sudden spare time and stopped by today.  We had them remove a few additional trees to allow more light into the garden.

Turns out that we were lucky we did.  Take a look at how rotten this one was.

I was originally going to drop these trees myself.  I’m glad I choose not to, that trunk would have made for a sketchy hinge.  Besides, just look at the precision these guys have.

That’s six trees dropped parallel to each other.  Nice work!

Hot

It has been smokin’ hot the last two days…finally.  The locals have been calling this month Junuary as it has been much cooler than normal.

Yesterday working in the yard I was amazed to see how dry it is already, even after cloudy and drizzly days all last week.  The forest floor is VERY crunchy.  I expect the fire chief will be putting us into morning shift any day now, where no power equipment can be used after 12PM.   I still have two fallen trees to buck up for firewood, so I better get to them in the next day or two or they will sit there until October.

The weather is not the only hot thing.  The ongoing gong show we call the USA has been getting hotter too.  Watching MSNBC the other day Kelly and I both had the exact same thought.  Do you?

Forestry day

We’ve been looking suspiciously at a tree beside the driveway for a couple years now, wondering about the wisdom of leaving it there. It is weeping sap all the way up the trunk and has a worrisome lean toward the house.

We decided to remove it and at the same times take down six others to made more room for a couple of fruit trees we are planting. The fallers came today and made fairly quick work of the task.

Sunny Days

The return of the sun means it is once again time to work in the yard. We got a reasonable amount done this weekend. The roof is cleaned and de-mossed. I finished installing the overflow on the cistern and sent in my rebate claim so I can get some of the cost repaid. Burnt the weeds in Muriel’s drive, weeded some of her beds, and got the mower running again. I even managed to cut my own grass, first trim of the year.

Hey, this wasn’t here yesterday!

 

I was taking some composting down to the garden yesterday and as I walked along I saw a tree laying down in the the woods behind the shelter.  “Funny”, I thought, “I don’t remember that tree there.  It is about 100 feet back in the trees and the leaves are just starting to bud out, so it is possible that I just noticed it now with the forest still in its winter thin state.

After investigating I find nope, it’s a new thing.  An 80′ Grand fir blew over in the night and took a second one down with it.  Not normally much of an issue for us.  Trees do periodically fall.  This is the second large one to fall in four years.  First one fell just a month after we bought the house and actually landed on the house.  Luckily this one is far away from any buildings.  Not that there was no damage though.  It managed to take out about 50′ of garden fence.

Just in time

Finished the cistern today, just in time for a half inch of rain if the forecast is correct.  Tomorrow I think we are headed to town, since rainy days are lousy work days.  May as well shop!

Live simply

Spent the last couple of days hauling away the contents of another estate.  This is the third one I’ve helped with this year.  There is something profoundly sad about loading someone’s valued possessions, items they picked out with care and thought and passion, and taking them to the landfill.

It feels like an insult.  Demeaning.

Many items are taken by relatives and friends.  Some items make it to local recycling or are donated to second hand charity stores. The lion’s share of the house contents however ends up  getting unceremoniously tossed into the back of the truck and taken to the dump.

You start to think about you own possessions and what will happen to them.  The fox statuette and whale milk pitcher.  The painting that was Kelly’s retirement gift.  The drawer full of watches I’ve been keeping (some even still work!)

Cleaning out someone else’s home can be a great eye opener.  It makes you really think about what you want to leave behind for somebody to deal with.  We have been downsizing fairly steadily over the past decade or so, quite aggressively at times.    We’ve gone from almost 4000 sqft of living and storage space to just under 900 sqft in the process. I like to think that in the end of days most of our belongings will find a second home and not simply tossed out.  Live simply and spare someone else the sadness and guilt of destroying the artifacts of a life.

Rain Water

Did a little more work on the rainwater cistern this week. Removed a couple trees and levelled the spot it sits on and finished putting facia boards on the shelter. Friday my gutter parts are supposed to arrive so I can finish the project this coming weekend, or I hope so. Sad to have missed the rain this week but you have to think in the long term.

Still trying to decide on the irrigation side of this project. The water is for the garden. I don’t have much elevation change for this to be an effective gravity system and there is no power run down here to run a pump. We are pretty sure we want drip irrigation, so I need to figure a way to get water at low flow and longer times to the drip lines. Thinking about either trenching power ($$$) or maybe a small elevated tank that would act as a water tower. I’m pretty sure I’m not interested in a solar solution. My experience at LaRonge tells me it is more expensive than believed and far less reliable.

Thinking long term again I currently favour trenching power as there are good reasons to have electricity by the garden anyway. We talked about a possible route that would also serve a future shop building that seems to make sense to me. Probably going to be a few thousand though, so might need an interim solution for a while, which could be a simple as running out the garden hoses from the house one more year. If we miss the winter rains I might have to do that anyway.