Blush of Green

blush.jpgOne job I don’t care for much is destruction. Last summer I had to build a stretch of farm trail across a swampy area, and needed to generate quite a bit of dirt to do it. So I removed some trees (roots and all) in an adjacent area and then scooped out the dirt I needed with the dozer. I left behind a pretty rough looking scar in addition to a very usable road. This spring I smoothed out the scar and about a week ago seeded, fertilized, and mulched the area. Today when I walked out to get some logs, I noticed the first blush of green coming up through the mulch. I will tell you that few things I do give me as much satisfaction as making things grow. I had trouble wiping the smile off my face for a while after I saw it.

skid.jpgI had the Scout and dozer staged in the woods, so first used the dozer to skid the logs. The picture shows the main line that runs from the winch on the back of the dozer, and a couple of chokers attached to some logs. Once it is all hooked up, I just have to sit on the dozer and engage the winch. If things go right, I have a nice pile of logs to be rolled onto the forks of the dozer and then loaded on to the trailer to haul back home.

Things went kind of alright. I got the forks loaded up with logs and went to lift them, and found that one end of the forks had disconnected from the bucket. This is a disaster when the forks are full of logs, because the usual solution is to unload the logs, reposition the forks on the bucket, and then reload everything. This time I managed to bend my forks too. But things eventually got loaded back up.

load.jpgThe next step was to load the logs onto the trailer. If everything goes according to plan, I can drive behind the trailer with the dozer, lift the bucket and tip it, and the logs all roll down the slope and onto the trailer. That wasn’t quite the way it worked this time, but it worked ok. I eventually dumped the logs onto the trailer started to haul them back home.

This procedure is normally fairly straightforward, except this time I ran out of gas just as I was turning onto our road from the farm trail. By this time I was becoming immune to disappointment, and just got out of the Scout and Franco and I walked home. We were just in time for a sit on the dock, which Alice, Franco and I all enjoyed tonight. The weather was perfect and there was a welcome and wonderful breeze off the pond. Supper was a delicious quiche that Alice made.

So the day had its ups and downs. Definitely more ups than downs.

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