Much of this year was spent on the barn

March: A neighbor had brought me 3 dump truck loads of manure. I used one full load, on the right, for fill right about where it lies. That is where the old metal septic tank was that had caved in and there was a low spot. Hellova use for good fertilizer but the manure was free and available. It did the trick. The rest I've been spreading around trees and plants all over the property and I still have a bit of a pile left but I've moved it all from the original spot. Beautiful stuff... looking forward to getting more but next time it can be dumped in a more appropriate place. manure
May 8: After a long and harsh winter, spring has finally arrived, albeit tentatively, and I'm just getting started. This year I'm hoping to build the barn and most of the entries to this site for this year will be on that page.
June 16: I never know what I'm going to do. Today I extracted my largest rock to date. I have never had a clear path through the woods in this area because there were rocks jutting from the ground that probably went all the way to Middle Earth. At least I could not budge them. This one did move a bit so I considered it fair game and went for it. After prying and levering it out, I moved it about 5 feet away to join another monster. It makes a nice bench and I'll landscape around it. Now I have an easy path for wheelbarrow and hand cart although the spot where I filled in is still a little low and I'll have to bring in dirt or stream gravel. And the retaining wall and steps are nearing completion at its center. I spend a lot of time just moving stuff... rocks and dirt.
Rock Extraction Rock Relocation Retaining Wall
July 1: Started another retaining wall behind the house next to where I am going to move the tool shed.

The deer have been particularly destructive this summer, eating hostas, dogwoods, my young birches and weeping willows. I bought chicken wire and have been making cages for my young trees and the hostas.

3 July
July 19: Mom called to tell me there was a huge truck at the VFW in Arlington and they were selling tools and gear for really cheap prices. I hopped into the car and went right down. This truck travels all over the country stopping here and there with little or no advance warning and delivers some mighty fine deals. I bought an 18v cordless Riobi drill which came with a heavy duty flashlight with a swivel head and its own powerpack for $70. The drill is awesome with horizontal and vertical levels and a magnetic tray to hold a few fasteners and a few other nifty features. Also got a 2000 lb tow strap, a bow saw and a straight blade pruning saw. I was ecstatic. The whole shooting match came to $105.

Fence PostsJuly 23: Today I pounded in a dozen cedar fence posts and they went in like butter with nary a rock to impede the process. I have 38 more to go to complete the back property line but I doubt I will have as rock-free an experience for the whole 400 feet. When they were all in I took my wonderful new drill out there and predrilled and nailed horizontal ash and ironwood saplings across the posts at about 3 feet above the ground. Some aesthetic compulsion forced me do this although I rationalized that it leant a modicum of lateral stability. Eventually I'll cut them all off at the same height.

Vine Fence September 14: A couple weeks ago I installed 3 4x4x8 pt posts using Post-Ups. They went in very easily and the post level was a pleasure to have. These three posts will make up one side of a pergola that will support vines. Today, with Sammy's help I fastened the concrete remesh and wound the vine into it. I bought the remesh in a 150x50 roll and the stuff is a bit hairy to work with as it wants to spring back into shape and it's very strong. Eventually, after the guesthouse is sided, I'll build the top frame of the pergola and attach the other side to the guest house. Then I'll lay a slate or stone patio, probably in sand, and that will become a very handsome streamside private sitting area.

September 19: Today I renovated a stretch of the stream bank and continued to improve the path along the stream. I still need lots more flat rocks to complete the "floor".
Rock work on bank Stone and Moss Arrangement

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