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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Cassius base repairs


big hole in the clay base
It was back to puddling again last weekend as there are some repairs needed to the base that Cassius sits on - thankfully it's not so drastic that it has moved or cracked the oven itself, just the corner of the work surface has shifted slightly and so the clay holding it together has had to be removed and replaced.
So with a mix of 12.5kgs of clay, 30kgs of sharp sand and a few handfuls of sawdust I got stuck into puddling again. Cold at first but as soon as that familiar squelching phase got underway it was actually quite enjoyable and served as my daily exercise session since I had missed swimming again this weekend.
It will need another batch adding next week to fill the gaps and level off the top, but we made a good start anyway.
The rest of the gang continued clearing Rhodies either in the wayleave or over in the North East corner towards the Yew tree. It was lovely and sunny and if the stock doves are still sitting on eggs, then we have no excuses not to keep going - autumn might be here, but for woodland owners, that only increases the amount of work we can get done. bring on the bonfire season

Saturday, 12 August 2017

whilst we were away working on a farm in Africa...

Simon and Helen were driving down to Rais and were shocked to see a huge JCB digger sitting in the middle of the wayleave and a big brown scar where it had been clearing brush. A closer look showed it was next door but one, with a group of half a dozen or so directing the activities from an ATV. It was difficult to see what they were up to but they were busy pretty much all day, at one point moving quite a bit of earth as well as clearing brush so perhaps they are digging a pond?
Having checked out the digger they went down to see how the dam was doing and were met by a scene of devastation .... there had obviously been a huge amount of rain at some point this week, and the dam looked like there had been a flash flood... all three pipes were blocked, one with a big bit of wood Simon could hardly lift out, and water has not only been going over the top but also through a really big hole in the dam (and another smaller one) next to the lower pipe.

As we were looking at the damage and clearing the blocked pipes we noticed it also seemed really shallow, even though the top of the lower pipe was not far above the water, and then we realised that the bank where Flee has been taking clay from has collapsed and there’s a load of new silt in the pond, almost up to the level of the pipe. They cleared out the blocked pipes but the holes will need Flees assessment to see what can be done.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Finally making a start on up-cycling the old campervan roof

The poor thing has been waiting patiently in the wood for some attention for almost a year now and so Tracey and I decided Bank Holiday was the weekend Bee's roof was getting a camouflage makeover....
  
It was also the weekend the bat box went up and Flee got back in the pond for some more clay puddling, Tracey refused wine in favour of bed (she was most definitely ill!) and Cassius produced yet more perfect pizzas.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

Image result for the hidden life of treesTo give it it's full title... The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World.
Wow - what a book, and what a difference it made to an incredibly long and usually boring journey on the M1 north for work (Audible rocks!). Hidden and secret life indeed - my fascination with trees just reached a whole new level thanks to this book.
Not only are things explained in laymans terms, but with analogies and examples as well - I'm not sure I would have got through it as quickly as I did without it being expertly read to me through the Audible book app, but it's certainly one I would recommend for anyone with any interest in the outside world - particularly those who work directly with trees or silviculture - will make you think twice before you reach for the chainsaw in future!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

mid May and the sun is shining

Deer are also on the run - saw a family grazing on the wayleave shortly before they bolted East. How they get through the thick bramble up there I don't know.
The leaves are starting to unfurl and cast dappled shade on the woodland floor - the bluebells smell gorgeous and it all feels like it's about to burst. Roll on bank holiday weekend.