Last March, we had a pine tree fall very close to the house:
For obvious reasons, we made cutting it up and getting it away from the house a priority. There are still big chunks of the trunk sitting in the side yard, waiting for us to figure out what to do with them. The current plan is to use the big ol’ stumps as seating around our (seldom-used) fire pit in the front yard.
Months before pine tree threatened the house, another big tree fell in our side field:
Quite a supply of firewood there. The smart approach would have been to cut it up in the winter, before the grass grew up around it. Unfortunately, that task fell below finish a version of the film in time for the cruise on my priority list, so I didn’t start dragging my chainsaws out there until June. I’ve been cutting it up a bit at a time since then – with the grass growing up all around it, of course.
I finally finished cutting it into chunks last week. (Sorry, I neglected to take pictures.) We figured we’d drive the van into the field, load up the chunks of wood, and drive them over to the barn to be stored until we rent a splitter.
That idea lasted until Chareva said, “These stumps are covered with ants. I don’t want them in the van.”
Our girls have a well-deserved reputation for using the van as a combination clothes closet and garbage bin, so I replied, “How would you know the difference?” But I had to concede the point.
So we ended up piling wood into a garden cart, with each load weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple hundred pounds, then pulling the cart out of the field, up onto the driveway, out towards the barn, through another field, and finally stopping at the barn door. Then we tossed the wood into the barn. Lather, rinse, repeat. By the time we were done, I’d already given myself permission to skip my weekend workout at the gym.
Also last weekend, we made progress on building the new chicken yard. We got the fences up and strung some Paracord atop the 10-foot poles.
This weekend, we finished stringing the Paracord from pole to pole.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Paracord is there to hold a net, which meant it was time to figure out how to unfurl a giant net and get it draped over the cords.
The net comes in a box, all rolled up.
My plan was to take the net into the nearby field, unroll it, start raising it over one end of the chicken yard, then work our way across. Chareva’s plan was to not go with my plan. She said we needed to start by tossing the net over the pole and cords in the middle of the yard, then work our way out. I didn’t see how that was feasible, with the net still rolled up and all.
She tried it explaining it to me, but it had something to do with vectors she learned while working with Adobe Illustrator, or female intuition, or something else I couldn’t grasp. As a result, my role was reduced to holding the ladder steady while she worked the net outwards. I was also allowed to offer as many suggestions as she cared to ignore.
Slowly but surely – and obviously due in no small part to my ability to hold a ladder steady on hilly ground – she got the net unfurled and draped over the poles and cords.
We still have some work to do before we’d consider the chicken yard a safe haven at night. The net has to be tied down on all sides, and we need to attach chicken wire along the ground to deter predators from digging under the fences.
But the net is up, and as you can see, it’s way above our heads – just where I wanted it.
We also got a door attached to Chareva’s signature cattle-panel archway, so the yard is safe enough during the day for the chickens to run around the yard and look for bugs. They seem quite happy about that.
I’ll be happy as long as a raccoon doesn’t figure out a way in.