Two more rows clear

The usual drill – decent forecast for the weekend, AC on the wards both days: fire up the chainsaw.  Saturday Kauf, Kelsey, and I got a leisurely start (temp was in the single digits at daybreak) but put in a couple of stints before and after lunch, dropping two decent-sized crooked pine trees, a small poplar, and and a substantial red maple.  This completed the clearing for two more rows of apple trees at the foot of the orchard.  We stacked the brush for chipping, but left the logs in place, as the sky clouded up and it started to get dark.  Snow was supposed to come in overnight, but the ground was bare in the morning and hard-frozen – perfect skidding conditions.  So Dave and I fired up the Kubota with the Farmi winch, and yarked 20 or so logs out of the orchard and all the way to the field by the flagpole.  Most of what we took was saw timber; the stuff that was too big to chip but too crooked for the sawmill we dragged over by the pole barn and pushed into the big compost pile.  It eventually did start to snow, and long about 11:30 it started to get slippery, so we called it quits with about an inch of snow on the ground.  All but a couple of the saw logs are cleared out; there is still a bunch of short crooked stout stuff that will need to get loaded in the dump trailer and pitched over the bank, but the skidding is mostly done.  Unfortunately, the same ground conditions that made for ideal skidding will prevent us from pulling out the stumps before spring – can’t win ’em all…

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