It’s been a while, but I managed to get a bit of progress on cleaning up the old wood pile.
This is almost how it looked when I left off last time.
I didn’t realize I’d neglected taking a picture after we shifted the doghouse aside and I took away the pallet it was on.
Today, I started digging and pulling up what I could of the rotted out pallets.
It was basically a process of loosening or lifting things with a fork, pulling up as much rotted pieces of pallet as I could, raking away debris, loosing more with the fork, pulling up more of the larger pieces, raking away the debris, repeatedly, until I filled the wheelbarrow.
I got 2 wheelbarrow loads of wood pieces to add to the pile near the burn barrel, plus one of debris to go behind the outhouse.
Then, it got to the point where I figured it was time to use a magnet.
We have a couple of super strong magnets left over from our homeschooling days, when we got a kit to build a small wind turbine, re-purposing an empty 2L pop bottle, to light up a tiny LED light.
We had to use a hair drier to get it to spin fast enough to power the light. I think we had to buy a 2L of pop, too. The irony of that was not lost on us!
The parts and pieces have long since been used or tossed or, in the case of the magnets that came with the kit, hung on to for several moves.
Unfortunately, they’re kind of small. Here are two of them (we got 4 with the wind turbine kit).
The only way to separate them is to forcefully slide one off the other. They cannot be pried apart directly.
I figured I could stick them to the magnetic grabber I’d already picked up, that has much weaker magnets in it.
My thought was to maximize the surface area by putting one on each side of the magnetic grabber (after fighting to separate them in the first place).
I tested it out and did find a nail rather quickly – but the magnets were more attracted to other things than the grabber, causing them to slide far enough that one snapped onto the other.
So, I ran with it.
I just stuck them on the end.
Oddly, the magnets seem to be attracted to some of the root bunches I’d pulled up.
I got to test it out on the first piece of wood I tried to dig out, which crumbled apart. The part that stayed in my hand was able to hang on to the nails in it, but the part that crumbled dropped several nails.
Which the magnet was able to pick up.
The small size made it difficult to use, and the magnets kept wanting to fall off.
So I tried something else.
This is actually made to hold power cords in place. The magnets are much stronger than most household magnets, though not as strong as the little round magnets I started off with. It’s large enough to hold comfortably in the hand, and there’s nothing to fall off as I drag it over the soil.
Would it work?
I don’t actually know. I didn’t get much chance to test it.
Once I started trying to pry up old wood, I also started to pry up cherry tree roots.
So I started pulling them up.
On the one hand, that worked out really well, since pulling them up also pulled up old rotten pieces of pallets that I couldn’t see.
I kept finding more and more of them.
Roots, that is.
In the end, it was the cherry roots that did me in.
This is just a few of them, next to a raked up debris pile. At least one in the pile is a single root, folded in half. Another is a single root folded in thirds.
I added more to this pile, after the photo was taken.
Some of the roots ran under other roots, which also ran under old tree stumps (including one more that I uncovered in the process), and one ran past the little oak tree I’m hoping to save, almost pulling it up at the same time!
The soil in the area is pretty loose, but not that loose. Yet every time I thought I could stop yanking up cherry roots, I’d find more.
A few times, I’d use the fork to loosen some wood that was found, go to stab the fork into the ground beside me so I could pick up the wood, only to hit more wood with the fork.
I’d loosen and pull up the wood, and uncover more cherry tree roots that needed to be pulled out, so I could get at the wood under it.
I think I’ve got to the point where I’m done pulling up old pallet wood, but I had to stop. Not only was I tired from pulling all those roots out of the ground, I was hearing thunder in the distance.
No, we did not get rain. Sadly, another storm passed us buy.
Things are really crispy out there!
This is where I left off.
This is taken from next to the old dog house. There are still some stumps of cherry trees I’d cut back, though some of the ones left behind from last time got pulled up along with the roots I was finding. I won’t be able to just cut them to ground level, as I’d intended, because of how the roots branch off under them. I’ll have to dig them up a bit and cut the roots I uncover that are too big to pull up.
The kittens are just loving my tearing the ground apart. It’s like I’ve prepared a whole new, giant litter box for them! LOL They also loved it when I pulled up a section of root, then had to leave it while working on another. The roots are kind of springy, and they had a blast playing with them.
If you look by the handle of the fork, there’s an arrow pointing to a little kitty in the bushes.
Junk Pile kitten had come out to play with the others! He is still keeping his distance, but coming closer than he used to.
Still hoping we can socialize this handsome fellow (or lady; we still don’t know).
I won’t be able to work on this area again for a while, but at least I got a little bit done!
It is so close to being finished!