I headed out to see how much I could do for clean up, before the weather drove me indoors.
This is the area we decided we will put the outhouse we are planning to make as a cordwood practice building.
The double ended arrow is a dead spruce that will need to come down, before it falls down. There is another spruce we’ve identified as a risk, near it. It’s still alive, but already starting to fall, with roots on one side torn loose from the ground. Likely from high winds. Getting rid of those before we build is on the to-do list. The last thing we need is to build what is intended to be basically an emergency outdoor bathroom (because we discovered a need for this!), only to have a tree fall on it.
The other arrows point to tree stumps hidden among the underbrush. The ones I’ve spotted so far, at least. I’m sure that, as we clear things away, we will find more. Hopefully, the roots of these trees will not be an issue when we start clearing away sod to a depth of 6 – 8 inches.
This is all the progress I managed to do.
Basically, I cleared a bit of an old tree stump. Some of the stuff I cleared last year was starting to grow back, so that had to be gotten rid of. Then there were some cherry trees that are spreading. The cherry trees in this area have still not started to bloom yet, unlike the one near the house, which has already completed it’s flowering stage. I did keep some larger pieces of cherry.
I checked the weather about an hour after coming inside, and it was 26C/79F, with a “real feel” of 32C/90F, and a humidity of 62% – and it would have started to cool down by the time I checked!
They’re predicting thunderstorms again. Go figure.
While trying to clear around the old stump, some grasses pulled away much easier than I expected.
It turns out that there is an ants nest in it. We have two common types of ants here (though I don’t know what their proper names are). Black ants, which build their nests in the dirt and in open areas, like lawns, and red ants, which like to build their nests of spruce needles and in trees. These ones are NOT carpenter ants. That much, I do know. But they will take advantage of a dead tree stump, if it’s rotting enough.
The other thing I was able to do was clear away the piles of old boards we’d used to mark out the garden beds and hold down the protective plastic. I didn’t want to just stack them on the ground, where they will just rot, but where to put them that will keep them off the ground?
Well… there are these two old dog houses by the old outhouses, that we will cover in the fall again, so little critters can use them for shelter.
May as well use those!
We are going to need to clean up the rest of the wood in the junk pile, so I figure we can add more of the better boards onto here, to create a sort of roof. Who knows if they’ll stay here, but it’s one way to keep them off the ground, and that’s all I’m really after, right now.
Once I got inside with my chunks of cherry wood, I went into the cool of the basement to debark them, and keep the babies company.
I misjudged my ability to work with them around.
This would be Big Rig, under Leyendecker, both of whom got all sleepy on me. As I was trying to maneuver my phone to take this picture, Big Rig’s head just flopped over like this as she feel asleep!
Then Beep Beep climbed up, waking them both up, so she could curl up on my chest and demand attention. !!
For I while, I had Saffron perched on my shoulder, just watching the world go by, Big Rig, Leyendecker and Beep Beep, curled up on my arm and chest, snuggling and falling asleep, while Turmeric climbed my leg and tackled the tip of Big Rig’s tale. Only Nicco left me alone, preferring to explore the table behind me, then curl up for a nap on the platform bed frame they like to sleep under.
Thankfully, since I was able to reach my phone, I was able to let the girls know about my predicament, and they came down to assist me after they finished making supper. I did manage to detach most of the cats off of me – temporarily. Saffron was just sitting on my shoulder, so I left her be, but even as I worked on a piece of cherry with a large knife, I soon had kittens back on my lap to watch!
Thanks to the girls distracting the kittens, I did manage to debark two pieces completely – and even get the bark off in one piece!
The thicker, shorter section was only partly done; more than half of it seems to have been in the process of dying or something. You even see where the colour changes in the photo, from fresh to dry wood. The bark just would not come off, and with my wrist still giving me grief, using the knife to take off the bark was not a good thing!
My daughter looked it up, and it turns out cherry is poisonous to cats (except the pulp of ripe berries), so all the little bits and pieces went into my sawdust bin, which has a seal-able lid. The pieces of wood are now drying in the rafters, and the bark I was able to remove all in one piece are now laid out on a shelf in the sun room, drying next to my seed trays (where a single squash of some sort has germinated!).
I do hope it we finally get a solid rainfall, instead of having the systems swoop right past us again! It’s not like we’re dry right now, but it would be wonderful for that humidity to finally be reduced! I would love to be able to work outside for longer! There is just too much to get done out there.