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And in this Corner. . . .

February 5, 2006

The fight of the century is about to take place around the ole homestead. In the near corner, wearing a sprightly orange, standing 18″ long at the blade, and sporting 45cc of pure power is the Husqvarna 345 Chain Saw. With a throaty growl and vicious teeth churning it’s ready to take on all comers – and it’s good it’s ready to go, because . . .

In the far corner, weighing in at several tons, with age estimates ranging from 100 to 300 years, measuring in the neighborhood of five feet at the base, is Massive Giant Oak. Oak has lived long, but was felled on September 25th when the remnants of hurricane Rita swept through the area. Over the years it watched children play, looked over the work of a blacksmith shop, saw many changes at which I can only guess, but finally lay down. However, the Gentle Giant is gentle no more, ready to wreak havoc on the Husqvarna that attempts to move him on to the final resting place.

Contestants pointed out, you can click the tree’s image for a large view of what I’m up against in removing this tree. Number One Daughter is in the picture and while that particular picture shows the size of the base it doesn’t really show the entire tree – I’m not sure one picture can capture the entire problem facing us in getting rid of this thing. The picture here can also be clicked on for a larger version, and gives a different perspective on the entire tree. In it, some of the damage to the deck off the back of my shop can be seen. Myself, SWMBO, and Number One Son spent much of yesterday clearing off the limbs on the deck, and we also cut a few more on the opposite side of the tree (not to mention shaping up some shrubs and cutting some down to the nub for later removal). In the picture, for scale, SWMBO is standing holding the chainsaw. The chainsaw isn’t running in this picture; SWMBO hasn’t yet held it while running but plans to take a whack (pardon the pun) at it sometime soon. There’s also an interesting note on that picture. I took several pictures at late dusk, and noticed in the preview on our digital camera they were very dark. I wanted to try and get the flash to go off (though I think it actually did go off on most), so covered the lens with my hand to “darken” the photo and get it to think it was darker. On this and one other, while the flash didn’t go off, it held the shutter open longer for more light capture and it looks much earlier in the day.

The plan is to cut this thing little by little, keeping any parts we want for firewood and burning the rest right in the area. I’ll point out that my three brothers and my dad are taking bets on when it’ll be finished, and I’ll also note they aren’t picking which month, but which year. Nobody picked 2006, by the way.

The fire in this photo is in our old garden spot. I’ll scatter the ashes around on the chance that I use the area for a garden again. Right now I don’t plan to expand on my square foot garden, but have thought about adding a separate raised bed for asparagus and might do so in that area; if I do, when the roots dig deep maybe the old oak will live again. In the picture, the “V” ditch is the property line, though my property also runs down into the lake you see in the background. We love this view but, unfortunately, it’s not nearly as good from the house. I think the previous owners of the house built the deck on the shop just to find a place to enjoy the view, though I don’t think they ever used it — just as we never do. The picture is clickable for a larger version as well

From → Ramblings

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