Having 80 acres up north is not always what it is cracked up to be. The land is amazing, being three-forths wooded and one-forth meadow, with ferns, nearly shoulder high. In this canopy of cool greeness, you can find nearly every color woodland flower, or fungi, or moss! I have seen bright, shocking, neon green moss at the foot of many a darkened tree trunk, jutting up from forest floor.
As with any wonderful thing that surrounds you, there is up keep and always work to be done. This spring and summer has really gotten away from us and we hadn't been up at the land yet this year. We knew our ATV trails had to be redefined as they were totally grown over.
We have a DR brushcutter that takes down small trees and thick, tangled brush all in a quick swipe. There was about a mile of ATV trails that had to be gone over four times to make a 10 ft. wide trail.
Be nice if you could just run on through the jungle which is our land, but every 100 feet or so, a tree would be downed smack dab across the path. That's why I was carring the 15 lb. chain saw, walking in front of Steve and the DR.
You may ask why I was walking ahead of the path being made by the brushcutter. I am the bee scout! Steve is highly allergic to bees. So in the meadows we have discovered ground bees, previously, so we had to be on guard for them.
Did I mention the heat, 15 lbs of machine I was carring?Meadow grassland taller than me? (And I am 5'6") Did I mention the falling flat on my face numerous times part? Well, here's the thing about grass that high, it has a life of its own as it wraps around your ankles tripping you, no matter how slow you walk. I did figure out, only after a few crude and vulgar utterances from my sweet little mouth, that if I take really high, long strides, I could keep the faceplants at a minimum.(And yes, at the end of the day I did hurt in places I didn't even know I had!)
Actually, lunch was my favorite time. Hoagie sandwiches with turkey, tomatoe, onion. Mayo on Steve's and mustard on mine.We sat on the DR trailer, looking over our compound wishing we had brought our camping gear. (The compound is a 60 ft area we cleared, adding an old patio table and chairs and a firepit.) The compound sits high with 680 ft of driveway winding down, through forest to the main road.
Well, then back to work and the DR is a fabulous machine and goes at a pretty good clip. However, with the roly-poly, uneven, sometimes mud holed- terrain, you can get thrown quite easily. Steve has good control of it due to his muscular physique, but that means staying flexed for the six hours it took him to get done!
At one point we were low on gas, I told Steve I would take it back to the trailer and fill it up. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do that. I was like: The blade is up-how hard could it be? Right? He just smiled and off I went. I was fine for about ten feet, then I hit uneven ground. The DR started bucking me like a greenhorn circus clown. I sorta kept control, with all muscles flexed, as that machine bounced and bucked and threw me around like a ragdoll. I got it to camp and shut it off, and with a sigh of relief sat my beat-up self down. Steve walked up smiling and told me was impressed. lol.
A favorite pastime 2011
Me and Madi this spring
As much work as it is, there is so much to be enjoyed here too, from the breeze through the tops of the trees and that sound like coins being shuffled around, to the single pink columbine that grew by the wood pile, it is all wonderous.
Written and photographed by cindy & Steve Prochnow 2012