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

Posts Tagged ‘rope saw

Cuttin’ Wood

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The weather on Friday started out just right for getting outside and doing some work in the woods. The air temperature was comfortable, and the ground was frozen, so traversing our terrain was clean and dry. I decided to cut some wood.

DSCN4503eThere are a lot of standing dead trees awaiting my saw, and plenty of dead branches that could use pruning. I started with our apple tree. There were a couple small branches that were easy to reach with my pole saw, but one fair-sized limb up high enough that I needed to throw a line and use a rope saw.

The apple tree was a treat to cut because it smelled marvelous! It also offered a beautiful visual of enticing rings. Such an artistic depiction of the history of the tree. How can I not spend some time creating something worth keeping out of this? With any luck, hopefully something I would actually finish.

I cranked up the chainsaw and successfully dropped a standing dead butternut tree. It was a great victory for me because I needed to first get a line over a small tree in the way so I could pull it aside to make room for the felling. The butternut fell right where I wanted it.

DSCN4500eI had barely sliced the trunk into logs when the perfect day turned into a spring-like snow squall. It forced me to gather my gear and hustle indoors. When I got back out there yesterday, the temperature was hovering just above freezing and the wet new snow began to turn the trails into hazardous, muddy slip-slides.

It is time to minimize travel on our trails for a while in the afternoons.

Maybe that will give me a chance to make good progress on a few art projects in the days ahead. Sounds fun!

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Written by johnwhays

March 6, 2016 at 11:12 am

Melt Begins

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In a short few days we have moved from below-zero bone chilling cold to above freezing high temperatures. On Friday I removed the blankets from our horses and brushed out their shedding coats. The prediction is for a string of days with high temps in the 50’s° (F) this week. For each day that new bare ground becomes exposed due to loss of snow cover, the odds improve for the air temperature to increase.

That snow on the ground acts as a natural cooler, so even though the sun shines bright, the breeze flowing across the white landscape remains chilly. Once the snow is gone, the ground warms significantly and the air then follows suit.

DSCN2934eThe horses were quick to soak up the direct rays after their blankets came off, which put them in serious napping mode. I think Hunter was planning on getting a drink, but then just fell asleep when he got to the waterer.

Our friends, Barb and Mike arrived Friday afternoon for a sleepover visit, making the weekend feel like a holiday to us. We consumed massive amounts of all too sweet calories (think, Cyndie’s gooey caramel rolls and puppy dog tails, along with some birthday cake and chocolate covered strawberries), walked the labyrinth and wooded trails in the moonlight, communed with the horses, and enjoyed an extended visit with neighbor, George Walker.

We wanted to connect George with Mike so they could talk “flight-speak.” George is working on getting his pilot’s license, when not trimming horse’s hooves or tending to their CSA farm. To the rest of us, much of their conversation sounded like a foreign language with the acronyms and specific phraseology.

DSC03573eI was able to enlist Mike’s adventurous energy to help work on cutting down a long-dead tree limb that was hung up in the “Y” of an adjacent tree. We got most of the easier portions down, but the main trunk turned out to be too much for the rope-saw I was trying to use.

When George heard about our plan, he suggested we borrow his friend’s “state-fair chainsaw.”

Huh?

He said it is a “chainsaw on a stick.”

We couldn’t get the rope-saw to orient over the trunk correctly, teeth down, and in our unsuccessful effort to forge ahead with hope it would eventually get a bite and right itself, the connecting cord between the chain and the one handle began to fray. All we did to the tree was rub the bark off that spot.

I went to get my pole-saw and we took down the smaller branches we could reach, leaving the main trunk for another time. Probably a time when I talk to George about borrowing that state-fair chainsaw.

Today we are off to visit Elysa’s house to help with a bit of spring cleaning. I won’t be around to witness how the second day of big melting progresses. I expect to be shocked at how much ground becomes exposed, though that will be thrilling, too. I need the ground to warm enough to thaw out the drain tile we had buried last fall.

That has my full attention this spring, in hopes of learning whether we will achieve the improvements we seek.

Happy (grumble, grumble) Daylight Saving Time day.

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Written by johnwhays

March 8, 2015 at 8:48 am