You know how you decide to do a thing that should be pretty straightforward? Then you start the thing and it ends up being more complicated than you thought?
Yeah. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure! 😀
That was how it turned out for the job I just finished.
Since we only have the riding mower, when I do the driveway, I’ve only done the driveway inside the gate and as close to the gate and fence lines as I can. I didn’t go outside the gate at all because I wasn’t sure how clear it was. Plus, I don’t usually carry the gate key with me when I’m doing yard work.
Today, after mowing the areas by the storage shed and to the other driveway that I wasn’t able to do earlier, I decided to grab the weed trimmer and an extension cord and clear by the gate, and the driveway outside the gate. The grass there was starting to encroach into the gravel a fair bit. There is a heavy duty power line running from the side shed of the garage, where I park the mower, to the gate. It’s for some Christmas lights that are on the fence line.
Now, I’ve seen where the cord ends by the gate, and I could see where the Christmas lights started at the gate end, so I figured the plug was somewhere hidden in the bushes there. With that in mind, I grabbed the 30ft extension cord for the weed trimmer, instead of lugging one of the 100ft cords. 30ft should have been enough to do the areas I wanted to. Maybe a bit tight on the south side, though.
Over I go with the weed trimmer and cord, plug the power cord in at the garage, open the gate, then go to where I knew the Christmas lights started to plug it in. I was impressed to see the lights were actually working, too!
That’s when I discovered I wasn’t looking at the start of the Christmas lights.
I was looking at the end.
Hmm. Okay. I’ll just follow the lines. Both the string of Christmas lights and the power cord were woven along the top wire of the fence, wrapped around posts or tree branches along the way, until… there it was! I found the plug in!
This picture was taken after I moved the outlet box, which was carefully set facing downwards, so no moisture could get into the plugins. (Yes, I did remember to put it back that way when I was done!)
What you can’t see is the broken light bulb, right by the plug in. I’m sure there are plenty more of those along the two strings of lights!
This was about 30 feet away from the gate.
Back I go to the house, where I know there’s another extension cord that’s 50ft long. I also grab gloves, saw and pruning shears, because there were things that needed to be cleared before I could start.
First, I cut away some dead stems from a bush by the gate. Then some little trees that had seeded themselves along the driveway that were big enough to mess with the trimmer line. Then I cut away a poplar that was growing outside the fence line and was half blocking access to the power. You can see part of it to the left of the plug ins in the photo. I had to move some just to get the picture.
Then I could finally plug in my extension cords (I used both) and start trimming.
This is the first area I finished.
This is the south side of the gate. The old barbed wire gate was still there and, after finding the loose barbed wire with the weed trimmer, I wrenched it all out and over the fence.
Those orange things? I’m pretty sure they are to mark where the culvert is on either side of the drive way in the winter, but they would fit over pre-existing posts. Which I don’t see anywhere.
Then I started clearing the north side.
When mowing on this side, I don’t try to go all the way to the fence line with the mower at all, because it is very rough and I don’t want to break the mower. So I trimmed by the gate to match the mowing line.
While clearing between the gate post and the wagon wheel, my trimmer found this.
The black pieces are the remains of some kind of bungee cord type thing. It has a hook at only one end; I’m guessing at least half the cord itself is simply gone. Someone just hung it there, rather than throwing it away. The ball of twine was completely hidden by the tall grass. The wire was partly hanging on the bottom wire of the fence, its other end buried in the grass for me to find when it got tangled in the trimmer line.
Finding stuff like this is why I don’t want to use the mower out there until I am sure it’s clear!
Here is how the outer part of the driveway looks now. First on the south side;
And here’s the North side.
The eventual goal is to clear the fence line of trees completely. When I get to working on the spruce grove, I want to open it up enough that we can see the gate from the house, so we know if anyone is there and needing us to open it.
That will probably not be started until next year.
Before then, though, I am think it would be nice to replace the strings of Christmas lights. I’m thinking some LED lights all in one colour, and then using them all year. 🙂
Now that we have the power. 😉