The best season…

Or maybe the second best, after fall.  We were down in Five Islands last weekend and things are greening up very nicely.  The daffodils are in full bloom, the forsythia is rioting, and the grass has that you-could-just-eat-it look of freshness that always makes me wish I were a ruminant this time of year.  Of course it rained most of the time we were there, so our activities were a bit constrained.  My dad just bought a forestry winch for the Kubota tractor, a cool Norwegian device that makes it easy to twitch logs out of the woods without damaging the surrounding trees.  It’s the next best thing to a team of horses, and it’s just the ticket for managing and improving the weedy second-growth woodlands on the island.  I cut the PTO driveline down to length and fitted the safety guards, and we attempted to repair a damaged adjustable class 1 toplink but it was beyond repair so we cut it down and welded it fixed at 16″, the right length for the winch.  We also changed the oil and filters on the little excavator, and did some other minor maintenance.  I ripped some more used lumber down to make intermediate posts for the electric fence, and planned for the gate that we will be building.  I also built a new pump box for the wellhouse.  The old one was made of pine boards and it had rotted away from the damp over the last couple of decades.  My mom and I built a new one out of scraps of AZEK, which is a soul-less plastic substitute for wood trim, but perfectly suited for this application as it will never rot.  The old hand pump that goes in the wellhouse was also tired out; the leather had completely rotted away from disuse, but my grandfather has replaced it many times before and hopefully he will get a chance to work it up again soon.

We also made a door for the new outhouse for the upper cabin.  I am quite proud of this outhouse as it has been constructed entirely of scrap, used, and reclaimed materials.  The entire undercarriage is made of treated lumber, and it’s diagonally planked with used 1″ boards which makes it almost as sturdy as if it were brick.  The flashing and shingles were scrap/extras, it has a genuine toilet seat (reclaimed from a construction project), and even a piece of scrap stainless steel sheet metal to line the chute.  To top it all off, it has a genuine plywood country-kitsch TP holder that came from the help-yourself building at the town transfer station.

Finally, we fixed the electric fence, which was damaged by some creature (presumably it hit the wires at a run when it wasn’t expecting them there).  The rye and vetch inside have not been browsed, but one of the wires was shorted to the ground and the battery was dead, so we fixed up the wire and recharged the battery on the solar charger.  There are two big rolls of 7′ deer netting on order, and they will be put up around the inside of the fence to further discourage incursions.  My mom heeled in the new trees in the nursery, and everything is ready for the big transplanting – fingers crossed for good weather!


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