November 8, 2020

The old tractor path - phase one

This past year we've been plagued with high winds. I don't remember another time in my life when the winds have been so strong and persistent. It's our own fault. We keep clearing the land for more and more houses. Mankind is its own worst enemy. 

During one recent wind storm, we had a maple tree beside the lower stone fence fall and take down a couple of scrubby trees with it. That tangled mess has plucked my nerves all summer. I can say it bugged the hell out of me and mean it was the BUGS that kept us from cleaning it up until now. Mosquitoes, flies, ticks, ants, bees. You name the bug and we gave them the space for the summer. But no more. Now is the time of reckoning. 

Yesterday was a gorgeous autumn day, so much so that I started to work on the old tractor path while my partner mowed leaves. I started on the ends of the limbs and worked back, building a brush pile and then cutting lengths for firewood. I took my time and got all the smaller stuff sorted. Now it's time for a bigger gun - the Stihl 192.  

We've learned how to use the backhoe on the John Deere 1023 like a hook. My partner can lift and securely hold the larger pieces of the trees so I can cut them to length for firewood without having to bend over and tire my back. Using the pallet forks, he can lift the brush and haul it to where we burn. The 1023 makes life on the manor a lot easier. I wish we'd have gotten a tractor twenty years ago instead of six. 

I wanted to walk the old tractor path and take photos, but yesterday made me realize it's in worse shape than I thought. I'll need to clear the way in, every step of the way.  It's a bigger job than anticipated, but I feel it will be worth it. I haven't had access to that part of the property in a while, and I think it's important that I be able to walk the perimeter on a regular basis. It's all part of better managing the Manor and its resources. Who knows what I may decide to do with the sunny west bank once I can get to it. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

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