Red-bird Ridge clearing
Friday 16 Jan was the first time we used the new little 14" Husqvarna saw. Eddie cut half a dozen little trees, some dead, to open out the clearing at site SC. Then he tackled the largest of his targets, a 7-8" oak, and it fell wrong. He tried to cut the little twisted strip of remaining wood, and the trunk shifted and trapped the chain. Though he turned it off immediately, the drive sprocket damaged some of the drive teeth. I filed them so they would fit in the groove again, but it didn't serve.
So I found a place with knowledgeable Husky servicepeople at Ed's Lawn Equipment in Addison, and trekked down there next day. They sold me a new chain and got the chain brake loose where we did it wrong. Sunday I put the chain on, but I couldn't get it to start.
Last Friday I had Eddie and Virgil and Scott. Scott and I went to the dump with the trash from the shop last summer, and E and V tried "about a hundred times" to start the saw, then gave up and used the handsaw and the axe. Eventually though the SC clearing was pretty open, and the NC also, though I have less sense what needs to be done there. The house is getting a good wood supply (I used a LOT yesterday and today!), and we made a nice shelter-pile with the trimmings. Virgil mowed most of the half of the south field I had started,and the dry gray dead broomweed between the house and NC.
I think mowing fields of weeds and briers is good practice, as a support for the grasses that get more sun. There are still several "hammocks" of trees overgrown with briers in that south field. They are probably more sheltering than the field-ful of thin brier growth. I want to clear out some of them, but I guess not all.
Saturday I went back to Ed's. They diagnosed a flooded engine, removed the spark plug, pulled the starter several times, replaced the plug, and it started right up. Smokily. I brought it home again (via Books-a-Million, where I GOBBLED up Bujold's new Horizon.) Even I could start it Sunday afternoon.
Monday the three guys, with my participation, much more energetically than last Friday, when I was barely over my bad cold, cleared privet at the gate and made a pedestrian gate into the panhandle woods. I surveyed into the woods and located a possible site where clearing a 20' mound of privet, several small dead trees, and one live one would make a nice site, without impacting the ravine/sometime creek. V finished mowing the S field, E and S made another gate/stile from the center woods into the west half, and then we came up to the north field.
Turns out there is more land west of the bulldozed seismic track than I had realized, at the s end of it. The guys made an effort at clearing a path along the west fence, but did no more than half of it. Then E asd I inspected from the back side of the tank dam where Jorge mowed last year. We found that two of the dead pines have smashed the fence. Buddy could have been long out and gone if he wanted to slither down the dam. The seismic-study bulldozer seems to have taken out part of the cross-fence. And as far as the first surveyor's claim of an "iron rod set" in that corner, well! We really need to get our money back from him!