Little by little, I had been working my way towards the junk pile. With a litter of kittens living in it, it was not as high on the priority list. Still, I’d been clearing access to it, and had even gone digging into it to find scrap pieces of wood.
The junk pile is actually a wood pile, with lots of junk around it, too. The wood had been neatly stacked and covered with tarps, which have long since torn up and degraded, which means the wood at the top has a lot of rot happening, but the further down it goes, the better the shape of the wood.
Unfortunately, in sorting through the pieces to find the least rotten ones, I also discovered that many were also full of nails, screws or staples. I’d set those aside to deal with another time. With having to go through it so much more today, and having to set aside so many pieces, “another time” was today!
While trying to get at the wood to find better pieces, I ended up having to move the remains of old tarps to access it, and finally had to move the grey tarp that was draped across the end of the pile.
That was my first surprise.
It turned out to be huge!
I then had to remove the even more torn up orange tarp, though I found another, smaller orange one (it actually looks more like the remains of a larger tarp). There are also the remains of a blue tarp on the pile of wood, but it’s so disintegrated, I didn’t even try to dig it out, yet.
I also finally dug out the yellow tarp I was seeing just bits and pieces of. This one was so brittle, I could hear it cracking as I moved it.
When it came time to do something with the wood I’d set aside, I was a bit at a loss. I didn’t want to just make a pile on the ground. I also wanted to stack it in suck a way that no critters would hurt themselves on all the nails and such.
After thinking about it for a bit, I went over to the garden shed and hunted through the stuff we’d piled around it while cleaning out the maple grove.
I ended up bringing over an old metal bed frame – one of three I found in the maple grove. It has metal slats held in place with springs, so I put the longest boards I placed the first few boards in such a way that none of the weight was on the slats. After that, I layered the pieces in such a way that all the pointy bits were facing down or tucked away somehow. Critters can still get under it, without the risk of scratching themselves on rusty nails.
Once the rotted and dangerous pieces were stacked, I started to pull up the disintegrating orange tarp that was mostly on the side, tangled in the things that had been leaned against it to keep it from blowing away in the wind.
That’s when I started to see wheels.
By the time I was done, I’d pulled out all of these.
That’s a metal dump truck in there! Too bad it is so rusted out. The paint is coming off in chunks, too.
I think these might have belonged to one of my nephews.
All of my nephews are adults now.
I ended up tucking them part way under the pile of rotted wood, to partially cover them. I’ll figure out what to do with them, another time.
As I was pulling those out, I also found this…
A rather large white tail deer antler! The discolouring shows the parts that were in contact with debris that would have gotten wet, regularly.
While I was working, I was eventually able to get closer to a tree stump than before. Which is when I noticed something odd.
There were nails in the stump!
Looking closer, I could see the board on the ground. Assuming that was what the nails had been holding in the past, I’m wondering if maybe this had been a platform bird feeder at some point? It’s too high to be a seat, and too small to be much use as a table.
Once I’d done as much clearing as I was going to today, I put the partial tarp that was still useful over the wood pile, having thrown out the torn up one. Then I spread out the big grey tarp.
I’m not sure it’s actually a tarp. It might be a canopy cover of some sort. Whatever it was made for, it’s really big! It’s unfortunate it was left out the way it was, and got all torn up by the elements.
I ended up folding it up and setting it aside. It’s not much use at full size, but it’s big enough that, folded in quarters, I might actually find a use for it for one more winter, before tossing it.
At some point, I want to finish cleaning up the junk around the wood, then go through the wood itself to sort out the rotten pieces from the ones that are still useful.
Somewhere in there is a space big enough for Butterscotch to have a nest for her and her babies. I’m curious to see it!