This morning, thanks to cooler temperatures that I was able to take advantage of, I was able to finally get back to cleaning up around the east perimeter of the spruce grove. It was only about an hour and a half before I had to get out of the heat, but I think some good progress was done!
Here’s where I started.
(photo heavy post ahead! 🙂 )
I pruned away some of the little cherry tree suckers, to get a better look at what I was dealing with. The pallets on the left are part of the “fence”, but you can see rotten pallet wood that had been hidden by the undergrowth – as well as some old firewood left behind! I had already dragged away the dead tree that was in here (you can see where it was lying), though the top of it broke off as I lifted it, so it’s still somewhere in the undergrowth in the background of the photo.
There are a lot of little things I’m going to need to cut away. This entire area is covered with old pallets.
I started off by trying to clear the most accessible side of the pallet fence. After cutting away part of the tree that was growing through them and dragging off what was on top, I uncovered this metal “fence post”, with another pallet wired to it.
After dragging off more pallets, I started on what was on the ground. These pallets are so rotten, they came apart in pieces. I had to use a metal rake to clear debris from what was left behind, and used my potato fork to try and lift the buried boards, most of which just disintegrated.
If I didn’t know the rotten pieces left behind would have nails in them, I would have no problem just leaving them there.
Well, that old rake finally gave up the ghost. This was one of the rakes that we found when we first moved out here. It was one of the better ones, that actually lasted all of last summer!
Thankfully, we had been able to buy new rakes last summer, including another metal one, so I was able to continue the job.
Oh, and under the rake is some wire I pulled out with the pallets. One of them was used to wire a pallet to that metal “fence post”. This wire used to be part of those little decorative fences that I’ve been finding all over the place.
After getting a decent amount of the pallets cleared, my next goal was to see if I could get that old tarp out, that was used to cover the wood.
I pulled as much as I could out, which gave me access to the space behind the back pallet fence.
I found that a corner of the tarp was fastened to a pallet with wire. Seeing that, I realized that there would likely be several other areas where it was wired in place, so it wouldn’t blow away when covering the wood pile, along with the various other items leaning against it to hold it down.
Like… an old bird feeder?
After freeing the corner of the tarp and moving the pallet and bird feeder, I found… whatever this is.
It might be the surface of table.
I had to cut away some dead cherry trees as I made my way down the back, removing things leaning against the tarp, and finding where it was wired in place.
I had to get wire cutters to free the rest of the tarp, as the wire was so old, it broke as I tried to untwist it!
Once I reached the opposite end, I lifted the tarp over the back pallet fence as much as I could, then started dragging it free.
When this pallet and a fence post got dragged along with it, I assumed I’d missed one of the wires used to fasten the tarp to the fence.
It was just hung up on the tarp and came along for the ride.
It took some doing, but I finally got the whole thing free.
Which is when I discovered it wasn’t one tarp, but two. You can sorta see the seam in the middle, in the above picture.
It was “sewn” together with short pieces of wire. The wire is old and rusty enough that a lot of it is breaking apart. The tarp is actually stronger than the wire at this point!
For now, I’ve kinda folded it up and put it by the house. It can be salvaged, and used to cover the area we mulched in the garden for next year.
This is what the back of the “fence” looks like, now that the tarp is gone.
Yeah, that’s a piece of tree leaning over in there. I took a closer look, and it’s just a log that was put there, though I did find a tree stump for a much larger tree as well – you can barely see it at the bottom of a pallet in the photo.
Of course, in the process, I found all sorts of things. In the above photo, near that log, is a tomato cage.
When I saw faded red as I moved the tarp, I went back to see what it was.
It’s a hose of some kind.
There’s a fair bit of it, hidden in the grass and wildflowers.
Near the hose I saw what I though might be another bird feeder, but it turned out to be a bird house.
I found some wire decorative fencing (we have lots more of those in the garden shed; I honestly don’t know where my mom was using it all) along with the bird feeder – I didn’t find the bottom of the feeder, yet. And the metal thing appears to be a gate? Maybe? That piece of wood along one side of it is solidly attached to it.
The pallets that were solid enough to carry are now near the junk pile outside the yard, and the more rotten stuff went into the wheelbarrow. All of this has lots of nails, so they will be burned in the burn barrel, when I have the chance.
It’s hard to see, but this is actually a pile of debris that I raked up from where I’d pulled pallets off the ground, trying to find the rotten bits underneath. There are bits and pieces of rotten pallets and other wood (I was finding pieces of old plywood, too), which means it might also have nails in it. This debris will also have to be burned.
The hardest part of clearing this area isn’t going to be the physical labour involved, though there will be plenty of that. It’s going to be trying to find all the nails, pieces of wire and who knows what else is in there, to make it safe.
Slowly but surely, I’m clearing my way to this table.
I’m strangely anticipatory about finally getting that thing clear, and getting a good look at it!
Which will happen soon after I can get at that dead spruce tree hovering over it.
I still can’t figure out why a table would be there at all!
This place brings up all sorts of questions as we work on cleaning and clearing it up! 😀