Sunday, January 15, 2023

Two Kind of Piles

I closed on the new place on Wednesday, but the elderly couple we bought it from did not get everything out until Friday noon, so today was my first day grinding through my list of stuff to do.

A 10 by 12-foot shed was ordered for yard equipment, and it comes in 2 weeks. 

I located two of the corner stakes to the property, and strung a line, and sussed out the approximate location of a third corner, for the second line, which let me know the spot I staked for the shed was going to be fine.  Next I have to level that area, which should not be too difficult, as visually it appears level now.

The previous owners (in their 80s) tried to grow grass under the trees behind the house, which was not too great an idea, as it launched a 25-year war with the leaves, which the leaves eventually won when the owners started living most of the time in Florida.

Mother Nature always bats last, which is why it’s always best to cut *with* the grain rather than against.

To that end, I’m having 20 cubic yards of mulch delivered, to be spread over the area that failed as grass. I will then plant deer-resistant light shade-loving plants like Ostrich Ferns, Sweet Woodruff, Skimia, dogwood, etc. in that area. My aim is to attract birds and other wildlife, which seems easy, as pileated woodpeckers and bluebirds are everywhere.  Creeks run on two downhill sides of the property, with a small pond about a quarter mile away on the third side.

The previous owner’s war on leaves resulted in his vacuuming up huge piles and dragging them into the woods on plastic tarps which he then left in the woods with the leaves.  I suspect that as he aged, it was easy to load a tarp with leaves using the DR leaf vaccuum, but much harder getting them off as they weigh a lot. 

This morning, I dug out all the old tarp and plastic wrap, as well as detritus likely dumped in the forest when the house was built 26 years ago — corrugated drainage pipes, a wrecked wheelbarrow, tree tubes, metal fence posts, PVC pipe.  It’s all collected now, and in a loose pile about 100 feet inside the forest line from my long driveway — to be picked up and carted away at the same time that the hardwood mulch is delivered and spread. 

There are several good piles in the woods too.  There are several cords of stacked and rotting firewood, as well as two big brush piles that no doubt serve as winter homes for things that slither, hop, and scamper.  Lots of oaks and beeches in this forest, as well as pines and firs. Perfect habitat all around.

I may buy a new chainsaw in order to cut through a few downed trees whose massive trunks will block rolling access to the shed.  No problem, but certainly future work to add to my growing list.

I hung the first bird feeder today, stocked with oil sunflower seeds, and I will hang a few more tomorrow. I’m also setting out two game cameras, which should prove interesting!

I’m not moving into this place for a month or so — maybe two — as painters, floor, and bathroom people will be polishing things up.  Talking to contractors now, and took a first stab towards selecting paint colors.  More focus needed on that.


M said...

If you find yourself just an occasional user of chainsaws for limbing and the odd down smallish tree I can't recommend the newer electric battery pack ones enough. I find myself using a dewalt almost exclusively the last few years and being very happy with it's performance, price, noise level, weight, and lack of fuss.

Porter and Porter Fields said...

We use the electric saws as well....they work, though I'll always have my small Echo ready to go (they are so light and easy to wield). Good luck out there my friend. Can;t wait to see the creatures that live around you. Any place for a vegetable garden?

Richard Gilbert said...

Agree on electric saws. Check out the Project Farm channel on Youtube for great tests of them. And everything else you want or need to buy.