It’s not really your typical landscaping crew. They don’t have much brawn, they have next to no experience and they’re easily distracted. On the other hand, they love being where we are and they are excited that we’re all building something together for the family to enjoy.
A few days after our first round of work down at the waterfall, we decided to load up our tools in the tractor wagon and head back for more. This time we can with some rakes, a chainsaw and the usual loppers, gloves and pruning sheers.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take the camera, so I only snapped a few shots with Mr W’s camera phone before we left.
We focused on clearing out the major vines and smaller trees on the main bank of the pond that we hadn’t been able to clear with the loppers. That meant Mr W went to work with the chainsaw and I went to work with the dragging.
Once we got the major stuff out of the way, I shifted to the rake and started gathering up as many of the fallen twigs and broken branches as possible while the kids picked things up and threw them onto the big burn pile.
We ended up with another flaming bonfire that was taller than me and a good 6 to 8 feet across. You can see the clearer banks behind the smouldering remnants of the fire.
For a section of land that had a wall of brush, vines and trees about six or seven feet deep, this is an amazing amount of progress.
Of course the kids all got bored about halfway through the “carry sticks to the burn pile” task and decided they wanted to work on the dam. We’d explained to them that we’d need to shore it up a bit if we wanted to raise the water level. So they started hunting for nice big pieces of slate and the big chunky rocks that would hold them in place. They piled them all on the bank near the dam and then handed them to Mr W and I as we started laying them into place.
After about 45 minutes of carrying rocks, they tuckered out and headed to the wagon to wait on us. I had to laugh at the site of Thing One in her dirty cowgirl boots with mud streaked on her jeans sitting in the back of the wagon after a night of work on the land.
Then I had to laugh even harder when I looked at the picture and noticed Thing Three doing a little digging of his own.
We headed home to grab some dinner and get cleaned up just as the rains started to move in.
Of course that meant I had to grab the camera and head back down the next morning to get some better shots of what we’d been working on.
The dam had held up pretty nicely, only washing out in a few places we hadn’t shored up very well.
We’d also managed to raise the water level a good three inches, which was now overflowing to six or seven inches with the influx of rainwater flushing through the creek.
I also had a better chance to get a good look at the raised bank on our side of the pond. Mr W and I have talked about the idea of building a retaining wall there to help stop erosion and to give us a flatter spot to put a table or even to sit and dangle feet in the water. We’ll have to look at that option more in August when the water levels are at their lowest.
Overall, the banks have been cleared quite nicely by this point.
We’re trying to decide if we want to plant grass or some type of ground cover, but we’ve got a few more weeks to figure that one out. We also need to start moving to the right and left of this shot to clear out the vines and underbrush choking out the trees.
Our next trip will likely focus on the far bank though. There are a ton of small trees and brush growing right along the water and leaning out to cover up most of the pond. Mr W will take those out with the chainsaw and I’ll get the fun of dragging them across the stream to yet another burn pile.
In the mean time, I couldn’t help but wander a bit further upstream to spot a few more places we’ll want to tackle down the road. This spot has great potential:
That flows down past the tree and into our waterfall. Here’s a view looking back up toward it from the waterfall side.
One thing at a time though, one thing at a time.