Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Putting in the Circular Driveway

Doesn't circular driveway just sound extravagant?  I think it does, and by mountaintop standards our new circular driveway is pretty fancy.  We headed into the woods again this morning to clear some more land.  I stood and looked at the piles of firewood that we are accumulating and dreaded the idea of carrying it all up to the road to our trailer to haul it to the house.  I decided that since we want to clear most of this land anyway that it would make the most sense to go ahead and clear a drivable path into the woods so that we can easily haul out the wood and leaves, or haul things in when we need to.

The pictures didn't come out all that great because of the time of day and the sun, but we got a path into and out of the woods done today....
Going in

Coming out.

Our growing burn piles.
 The burn pile is right between these two pathways.  We only got a little rain yesterday, so it is still to dry to burn.  When we had a pad for our house bulldozed we had some extra time left that we had already paid for, so we had this section kinda of bulldozed with what time was left.  We want to get enough trees cut down to make this area sunny enough to plant a garden in.  There is a lot of work to be done here.  The tree stumps and roots need to be removed, but over time I think we can do it.

Our growing pile of a future cordwood building.
 This is our goat Picky.  I sold the other buck that we had.  I never intended to keep either of them, and he was getting rather aggressive.  Picky is a runt and Einstein took care of him when he was a baby and at times it was touch-and-go if he was going to make it or not, now the two of them are quite bonded to each other.  Picky was always a friendly goat, but now that the other goat is gone he is even more apt to follow us around. 


Today's work crew

 More of the clearing....again, these pictures are terrible.  It looks really great down there and it is going to be amazing to be able to use this land.  As we worked I could see the kids playing in the woods, the future spot for a chicken coop and goat house, a garden, maybe even a nice place to just sit and relax. 


 This work is hard and not as invigorating the second day as it is the first.  Some of the new crew members today need to be told to hustle up - they drag their feet and take their time.  They fight what needs to be done and I remind myself that this job of raising them and teaching them the value of work, that the truth in the statement: you get out of life what you put into it - takes diligence and patience on my part, and maturity on their part.  Life on the mountaintop is slow and often times there is little that I can do to rush things along, including this life lesson that these sons are now learning.  I imagine that this mountaintop will provide ample opportunity for this lesson, and many more, and by the time they leave it they will understand these truths in a deep way.


We moved the chicken coop and the goat house up by the mobiles.  We thought that they would be safer if they were closer to the house.  Several months ago we got a Great Pyrenees dog (we named her Blanco), they are also known as guardian dogs, because they have a natural instinct to watch over livestock.  This is our first dog that we have not let into the house.  I wanted her to stay outside at night to do her job of watching over things.  She sleeps by the mobiles, so it wasn't doing much good having the chicken coop and goat house far away.  Since Halloween night we have lost all but two of our ducks and a couple of chickens, and I can't help but to wonder if the coop was closer to the house and Blanco was there to watch over them if they would still be here. 

Moving the chicken coop and goat house provided some nice garden fertilizer.


11 comments:

  1. I think the land & driveway looks great. Ooooh, what I wouldn't give for that fertilizer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm so excited that we got it done and can drive into the woods now....it will make some jobs much easier!!

      I get all excited about animal poo too....glad I'm not the only one!

      Delete
  2. You and the family did a fabulous job clearing out the land and making the driveway. I agree with you, moving the chicken coop and goat house closer to the house may help secure their facilities. Other critters can't get at them when there closer, and the dog is on the lookout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks:) I really hope they are much safer up here too....I'm really sad about the ducks :(

      Delete
  3. Good grief woman! I didn't know the chickens and goats were in the north 40!! Of course move them closer!

    Our Great Pyrenees was THE most loving and kind soul. She was at the top of the hill and wouldn't come down so I went up to get her. She continued to lay with her head cradled on her front paws as she looked down at our house.

    Someone had shot her with a .22 and there was absolutely NO reason to do such a horrid thing to such a loving dog on her own property.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they were up here, but when we put in the garden they were all over eating stuff up, so we moved it and fenced them, but when the garden was over we let them free range and now it's getting dark so early they just aren't safe. We're moving the fence too, I need more of it, but hopefully they will be safe up here AND I can keep them out of the garden.

      That is SO sad!! How terrible for someone to do that! I'm sorry :( People can be just plain hateful!

      Delete
  4. My hen's pen is about ten feet from the house, and I lost a hen to a raccoon. If I had not starting bringing the hens in every night, I am quite sure the raccoons would have considered them fast food until they were gone. After 14 months of house hens, hardware cloth, 1/2 inch GAW, worked like a charm. Of course, I live in the city and do not have a dog or a fence. Dogs cannot run free here.

    I use leaves and pine straw (pine needles that have fallen) for my chickens, assuring I never have to buy hay or anything for their pen, beds, or nests.

    My pictures taken that time of day never come out as good as the ones taken earlier in the day. Those trees really look majestic. I am all for driving the wood out instead of carrying it!

    My children never quite appreciated their life lessons either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We lock them up at night in their coop, so I think whatever was getting them was doing it after dark but before they were locked up. I;m glad that your girls are safe now:)

      Yeah, they don't usually appreciate it when they are young, but later when they are older I hope that they do!

      Delete
  5. Lucky you that you can actually drive arround in the woods. Down here in the land of deep sugar sand no car or truck makes it very far off road. If you try then it takes a tow truck or tractor to get it back to hard ground. One guy I know with a four wheel drive monster decided that the sand would not stop him. He made it about two hundred feet and ended up buried up to the frame, only cost about $250 to get out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I would only go into the woods with four-wheel drive. Once when we came out here camping in the van we got stuck in the mud, and our cell phone didn't get service out here, so we sat around in the rain, while tent camping, for a day and half waiting for a well digger to come give us a quote (he never showed). Finally a neighbor helped us with his tractor and even then we had a hard time getting unstuck!!

      Delete
  6. My sister had chickens, ducks and turkeys and after many a trial found only one way to keep them safe (in her woods in northern michigan). It was crazy but it worked. Used a repurposed wood shed like you find at Lowe's or Home Depot. Put heavy wire over windows in front and back with little doors that can swing open and shut for ventilation. Cut a little chicken door in one of the front doors that could be shut at night. Shed had large pen in front surrounded by chicken wire 4 feet tall. An 8 foot tall post in middle of pen that held up a mesh roof. She let them free range by opening the gate in the daytime. There was one rooster. He was usually the guard for the hawks and the hens would run into the pen. All went inside for night. Dogs were in house but they has visual of chickens through glass door. They let it be known when there was a problem. Rott, Pyranese and Lab. In the beginning they let dogs out when problem. But since problem was bear one night, Lab didn't make it home. After that dogs went out but so did an adult with rifle. They also had 2 pigs and 4 goats. Even though she let the birds free range at times, for some reason they never found eggs out of place. They must has really liked their home.

    ReplyDelete