Almost clear

I was able to pop outside and work on the willows a bit more. I really wanted to get that power line clear.

After clearing a bit more from where we left off last time, I moved to the outer yard and worked on the willows behind the junk pile.

I’m going to be so happy when we can finally have that junk hauled away.

I used the wide angle on my phone to get this photo, which is why everything looks oddly distorted. The willows aren’t actually bent like that in their middles.

The power line is now clear of willow branches. What you see on the ground are the vines I pulled down from the trees in the process. After this picture was taken, I also cleared some of the branches that were growing over the junk pile. Working back here was a pain. The vines on the ground were a tripping hazard. The maple tree on the right was in the way of some cutting angles. I actually expected the junk pile to be more in the way, but it wasn’t. An unexpected problem was burrs. They were mostly hidden by the vines. I was pulling those off of my clothes by the handful!

The branches have been set aside for now. When it’s more pleasant out, we’ll go over them later to gather and strip the longest, straightest branches for wattle weaving. The rest will go onto the burn pile.

There are still some maple suckers that will need to be cut away, as they are getting tall enough to reach the power line. That will require different tools and more time. At some point, someone wrapped fencing wire around the maple, likely to protect it from cattle. The suckers have grown through the wire’s mesh. Since I have to work around that anyhow, I figure I may as well clear the tree enough to take out the wire completely. Hopefully, no sections of tree have grown around the wire itself anywhere.

I will also need to cut away those vines, and they will need to go into the burn pile, too, so they don’t root themselves and spread. This section of chain link fence is the only place we’re allowing vines to grow, but it still needs to be kept under control.

I feel much better now that the power line is clear again. Those willows grow back fast!

The Re-Farmer

This is me, having a “heart attack”

High winds last night.  Lost the internet a few times.  A bit of a storm, later on.

Several times, I took a quick walk around the yard to check on things and picked up downed branches (one of the apple trees in the west yard lost a big one).

I paused to take a short video, during which my heart was in my throat.

Can you see those power lines?

Can you see those branches, whipping about at the power lines?

When we can finally get those cleared, it’s going to be so much better for my blood pressure.

The Re-Farmer

Beach Views and Power

After dropping my daughter off at work this morning, I went by the beach and took a bit of a walk.

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I was able to catch a whole lot of seagulls, just as they were taking off!

This morning, our power was hooked up to the garage and barn.  Yay!

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In order to detach the existing line from the old pole, the old pole had to be pushed down.

Despite being broken already, it was not easy to do!  That core was still hanging on pretty hard.

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That platform that broke off the top of the pole once held a bird house.  My late brother built the birdhouse, then scrambled up the pole to install it, many years ago.  We didn’t have a ladder tall enough to reach all the way, so he climbed the pole itself for the top few feet – somehow bringing the bird house and the tools he needed at the same time!

The new pole is even taller, so no normal vehicle going under there will ever get caught!  And there’s almost no sag in the middle at all, either.

Then the power got hooked up to the barn, which meant new line from the main pole to a secondary pole, then to the barn.

So happy it’s finally done!

Unfortunately, there seems to have been an unexpected victim of the power being shut off twice while the work was done.

My husband’s CPAP no longer works.

It wasn’t on while the work was being done, but there is still power going to it.  Perhaps a fuse got blown?  No matter.  It’s dead.  And he just got replacement hose, nose piece and filters for it!

Thankfully, now that my husband is sleeping on a hospital bed, he can adjust it to sleep in an upright position; he should be able to breath that way until we can replace the CPAP.  We do have insurance that covers most of the cost, but we’d have to buy it first, then send in a receipt.  So that will have to wait a couple of weeks!

*sigh*

The Re-Farmer

This is concerning, plus progress

Not a lot was done in the yard today.  We made a much needed dump run with garbage and recycling – including a lot of garbage from cleaning the sun room out, then my younger daughter and I went into town to run some errands (plus play some Pokemon Go for community day, while we were there 😉 ).  It was almost evening when we got back, but I still wanted to get at least a bit more clean up done today.

As I headed over to the Eastern end of of the bushes and trees I’ve been clearing out, I found something very disorienting.

In the false spirea I was planning to clean out was a large branch.

Funny, I think to myself.  I thought I’d cleared away the crab apple branches I’d cut.  Did I miss one?

Except this branch wasn’t a dead branch.  It was mostly green.  I didn’t remember cutting a green branch in that area and leaving it there.  Also, it wasn’t apple.

Then I started to pull it out and saw the end of it.

At which point, I stopped to take pictures.

Here is the branch I found.

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It’s a maple.  Aside from a couple of small dead side branches, it is in full leaf.

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That’s burnt wood right there.

What the heck?

I started looking around to see where it came from.  Then I called my daughters out to look, too, just to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions.

This is where we think it came from.

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The arrow at the top is pointing to the end of a branch that we think it came from.

The double ended arrow is between the two power lines.

If my guess is correct, some time during the night, the branch hit the live power line, got burned, then broke and fell down.

Now, I can’t say for sure that this is where it came from, but it must at least be close to the source.  There just aren’t any other maples close enough.

I am not feeling confident about this.

I had asked for the electric company to come out and check the line a second time when, after the first time they came out, the woman who followed up with me could not see anything that said they’d checked more than our own power line to the house.  The second call, I basically was told the same thing as the first time; whenever we hire someone to clear the lines, let them know and they’ll cut the power for us.  I don’t know when anyone came to check the lines a second time; this was after we had to put locks on our gates, and we did not get a call from anyone to let them in.  However, someone could have stopped on the main road and simply ducked through the barbed wire fencing.  The locks just keep vehicles out.  People can get through easily.

I’ll be asking some advice from family who works with the electric company before I call them again.  There’s no point in calling again, if they expect us to clear their lines.

After clearing the burned branch away, I cut back the spirea completely.  Here is the before picture from a few days ago.

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All I did was cut away the spirea, plus break off a few dead lilac branches that were overhanging them, so I wouldn’t stab myself in the face or something.

Here is how it looks now.

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To the right of the lilacs was the beginning of a path to the big garden.  It is now almost clear and open again.  At least at this end.  The other end has dead spruces partially blocking it.

Here is another look at the lilacs.

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You can see where I broke off the branches that were overhanging the spirea.  Most of the lilacs appear dead.  These lilacs used to be so thick with greenery and flowers, you couldn’t see stems and branches.

It should be interesting to see how they recover, once all this is cleared up and they are getting sun and space again.  It might take a few years, but lilacs are so resilient, I am sure they will grow back well.

There is still lots of work to do, but it doesn’t take much for it to look so much better.

The Re-Farmer