Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fence line

Partial Trim

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The weather yesterday after work wasn’t conducive to getting a lot of mowing done with the tractor, as storms bobbed along in the thick atmosphere and brought frequent rain showers to the region. As a result, I opted to get out the trimmer to clean up some fence line because that tool is quick to start and easy to maneuver if/when precipitation arrives.

I barely made it through one tank of gas when rain clouds interrupted my progress, which left the back pasture fence line only half done.

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Getting caught up with all the mowing and trimming that needs to happen will occur in small steps this week, between occasional showers and thunderstorms. My plan is to take advantage of short blocks of time by doing a little bit of work whenever I can fit it in.

Oh, and to also stay home all weekend to maximize my availability for getting things done.

Even if it is only partial progress, it is better than none at all.

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Written by johnwhays

July 26, 2017 at 6:00 am

Growing Hope

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Our hope is growing for the maple tree we transplanted to the center of the labyrinth. If you are keeping score, this is the 4th time we have tried to move a maple sapling from beneath one of the character-filled old giants lining the driving path along the back pasture fence line.

This tree is currently holding its leaves longer into the summer than any of the previous attempts did. Between our extra effort and the favorable weather conditions this year, I’m finally allowing myself to hope this one will take, maybe even flourish!

It’s funny how much I want certain things to grow, while at the same time wishing others wouldn’t. It would be just great if the weeds currently sprouting in the hay-field would just take the rest of the summer off. I’d love it if the tree-climbing vines would cease and desist. And the poison ivy that is thriving here could make me very happy if it would just shrivel up and die.

Maybe I should try to transplant the things I don’t want. I could do a mediocre job and watch them wilt away.

Do plants fall for reverse psychology?

The growth along the fence lines has been neglected for too long and has become both a nuisance and an eyesore. Cyndie, back when she had the use of both arms, was doing a heroic job of landscape maintenance using the Stihl power trimmer. In her absence, the fence lines have been ignored, as I’ve been putting my focus on the lawn and the main part of the fields.

As it is, I haven’t even kept up with the fields. There is still one section of pasture that I haven’t cut all summer, and it has gotten about as overgrown as possible.

Even though I am behind on the mowing, it occurred to me last night that we shouldn’t feel too bad about the state of things. Over the last two weekends, we have given up over 4 days to entertainment activities which borrowed entirely from time I would have been tackling chores on the property.

It appears that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to interfering with my ability to get things done. I better review Wintervale’s time-off policy and see if there has been a violation of the guidelines.

Now, if I could only figure out where the HR department is around here…

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Written by johnwhays

July 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

Goal Achieved

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I was wearing a short-sleeve tee-shirt and mowing grass in the warm afternoon sunshine on November 1st. Whaaaaat?

It’s for real. Of course, I also then went inside and watched some baseball on television afterward. It’s like a summer with no end. Something tells me it might make winter’s inevitable arrival come on with an abrupt switch when it finally hits.img_ip1764e

So, my main motivation to get out on the lawn tractor was to test out my latest landscaping efforts and see how navigable the path around the southern fence lines is.

It worked! Not flawlessly, but it did work. I have wanted to accomplish this goal for a long time, so this was very satisfying.

There are two spots in particular where I needed to get off the tractor to lift it over a too-steep hazard where there are runoff trenches across the path. If I want to be able to drive across these, I’m going to need to modify them to create much more gradual sloping edges.

That can be done, but it’s not imperative that it happen right away. I’m kinda hoping our grass will stop growing and the snow season will arrive soon enough that I won’t need to be driving around there again until next spring.

img_ip1772eAfter I completed a return trip along that fence line, I turned the corner and was headed toward the labyrinth garden. There, I discovered two deer casually grazing the variety of growing treats within. They looked up at me with mild curiosity, surveying my approach. It surprised me a bit that they didn’t act alarmed or run off.

So I just kept rolling toward them, pulling out my phone to see if I could capture them in a picture to share with Cyndie.

They’re there, but the natural concealment of their coloring is very noticeable, because they are mostly not!

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Written by johnwhays

November 2, 2016 at 6:00 am

Unchecked Growth

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It had been a while since I made it down to trim the fence line along the south border of our back pasture where it runs through a grove of trees. Some of the weeds were as tall as me. Yesterday, I made it back down there to finish what I started on Friday, before being interrupted to get hay.

The task was made a bit more tedious than I wished by the presence of some monster thistle stalks, which defy the nylon line whipping away at it. More times than I can count, I had to stop and remove the spool from the trimmer to re-feed the line.

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When I made it through to the end of those trees, it was time to mow the lawn. I didn’t want the growth in the yard to get out of hand. However, there were other influences at play which hampered my completion of the job. The mower engine began to balk. Instead of trying to analyze that situation, I parked the mower and returned my attention to the unchecked growth along the far fence line.

I pulled out the diesel tractor with the brush mower to cut down pasture weeds and then moved to the stressful task of mowing between the fence and a drop off to the drainage ditch, a space that is barely wide enough to fit. I also needed to navigate driving down into that ditch without tipping the tractor in order to knock down the growth that can obstruct the runoff we have worked so hard to facilitate.

Succeeding, with only a couple scares where my weight was shifted to the brake when what I really wanted was the clutch under the other foot, I had the worst of the runaway growth on the far fence line knocked down and the ditch opened up just in time for last night’s wild, windy and rainy thunderstorm.

There are leaves and tree parts shrapnel scattered everywhere this morning!

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Written by johnwhays

July 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

Future Fence

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Long ago —two years, in fact— I started a project to put up fencing just inside the old rusty barbed wire fence that defines our property border along the perimeter trail through the woods. The bulk of my effort at that time was getting posts in place. I did try hanging some plastic snow fence on a short section of posts as a temporary measure, but the ultimate goal was to re-purpose rolls of woven wire fence which were pulled out during early renovations to create our paddocks and pastures.

In the ensuing two years, that snow fence was revealed to be less than adequate. It failed under the abuse of weather and animals, as it stretched and sagged under the forces of wind and snow, and was chewed through by critters that refused to alter their favored route of travel.

DSCN4026eFinally, yesterday, Cyndie and I took a shot at seeing how difficult it would be to move, unroll, lift into position, and then attach the old metal fence to the posts. It went better than I feared it might and served to provide a more robust support for the snow fence that we put back up to make the barrier more visible for our horses.

Beyond the obvious financial incentive to put this fence up ourselves, what drives us even more is the fact we are willing to put this up without clearing out every growing thing within 10 feet of either side.

There is no questioning the reasons fencing professionals don’t want trees near their work. We are willing to sacrifice the ultimate quality of our finished fence to preserve as many precious trees as possible.

Of course, we only have this one property to maintain. The professionals are responsible for an always growing number of fence lines. I totally understand their motivation.

We have visions of continuing this re-purposed fence along key sections of our property line where the trails come close to the old barbed wire. These areas also happen to have enough trees that we would like to keep, that the project will not be a quick one. It’s likely that it will remain a “future” fence for a long time, but at least we have the first section in place to give us hope that our vision is possible.

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Written by johnwhays

October 11, 2015 at 9:36 am