Fall is Holding

Ah the rush at the end of the year. There are way more projects to be done than there is reasonable weather in which to do them. So it is all about priorities this time of the year. Today I spent most of the morning inside working on financial stuff. I made some progress but have to admit this sort of project is not tangible in my sense of the word. Sure numbers show up on spreadsheets, and these number reflect past decisions. The decisions made on days like today will translate into some results in the future too. Tangible to me means seeing a hole in the ground after sweating with a grub hoe and shovel for a while.

One fall project is to take out the two docks. The small one on the front pond, which I call our “watering dock,” is the easiest of the two to take out, so I tackled it this afternoon. It gets its name because I primarily use it to dip buckets in the pond to water the gardens. I used to just walk to the edge of the pond to fetch the water, but over the years the erosion was getting bad, and I was getting wet feet to boot.

The process in the fall is to bring a large pipe wrench out to the dock and, while sitting in the rowboat, unscrew the outboard pipes on the dock until they can be lifted off the bottom of the pond. I then raise them, sticky mud and all, up and pin them so they can’t slide back down through the sleeves on the dock. I then attach a 2×2 to the pipe so it won’t fall over and rip the sleeve off the dock. I do the same thing on the other side, and then attach the two legs together with a small strip of wood and some bungee cords.

Other years, I’d then drag the dock out of the water and up the hill by hand until I was pretty sure it wouldn’t slide back into the pond. This year I wrapped a nylon sling around the dock and dragged it out with the Scout. Much easier, although if something goes wrong (and it almost always does) then some damage could occur. This year it went pretty well though.

After that project was wrapped up, I decided to empty the compost drum. I’ve put this project off too long on some years, and chipping frozen compost out of the drum is not my favorite job. I donated this batch of compost to the rhubarb, which seemed pretty thin this year. I’ve heard it can go this way the first year you put the roots in, so I’m giving it a good shot of compost for next year’s growth medium.

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