A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cutting Cedar

When I had the cedar cleared, there was some hand cutting work to be done on the front fence line. After getting caught up on other things I decided today I would finally start on that.
It had been about a year since I used my Husqvarna cordless chain saw so I was anxious to get that going again. First thing I found out was why Rick always had a paper feed sack under his chain saws. To soak up the chain/bar oil that leaks out when it's stored! The case I have has a tray in the bottom so I was ok there. Rick had a gallon jug of the oil so I filled the oil reservoir. The battery had kept a charge all this time. I don't store it with the saw so there was no oil on it. It started right up!
I tightened the chain a bit, loaded supplies in the Mule, and went to the road. I'm starting at one end of our place and working my way across. There were a few little cedars Juan had cut that were tangled in the fence so I cut those out and threw them inside the fence.
I had a second gate put in on the road because there was no way to access half of the properly without going through the longhorns' pen. There is a cedar on each side of it just outside the gate. Juan, the contractor that cut the cedar, hand trimmed them on one side. He would have done more but I was ready to be finished with contractors.
Today I trimmed them both up. If you don't have any experience with Texas Hill Country cedar, they are hard to deal with. They don't grow with one main trunk but have multiple branches and form a round ball shape. You have to work your way in, cutting as you go. Because Juan had cut one side it was easier for me to get close and do the cutting. The small one looks kind of puny but it will grow and keep its upright look now.
I was almost finished cutting for the day when my chain jumped the bar. I got it back on and was up and running again!
Juan left one corner of the property wooded just inside the fence line and he cut a tractor size path, or sendero, through the woods. I love it in there! Cool, shady, quiet, and private. He cut a turn around at one place so I was able to drive the Mule into that and work from there.
Some of the sendero was blocked with cedars Juan had cut outside the fence and tossed over. I was able to cut these out of the way except for one place. It was a complete tree and it has to be cut up before I can move it. I saved that for another day.
There is some sandy soil in this one area and up under a pile of cut cedar you could see where water had been standing when we had rain lately. The ground was still damp and covered with a tiny green algae. A place for wildlife to find water temporarily. I like finding these little things that make this the sort of place where animals would be happy.
With cedar cutting comes cedar stacking and I did a lot of that also. That was always my job, and Sarah's too when she was home, although on big projects Rick had to stack also to keep up.
This was my first time doing the cutting. I sure missed my partner today but I found I had learned a lot working with him out here for 26 years. Of all the work we did out here, cutting cedar was the thing we loved doing the most. It gives instant gratification and opens up spaces, maybe a view. We mostly cut in the cooler months and every time a cold wind blows in I remember those times and feel the urge to load up the Mule.
We always felt closer to nature doing this than anything else we did here. Working a while, then taking a break, sitting in the shade drinking water, and listening to the wind rustling the cedars. That smell they release when they move.
There's something about sitting on the ground on the edge of the woods, wildflowers all around, some so tiny you only notice them when you get close, the air so clean, the peacefulness of it. So today I took a break and sat on the sandy soil in the wooded area, enjoying the work I was doing and the results of it.
And tomorrow and next week I hope to do more of the same!

6 comments:

  1. Been there done that and years later still miss it,good job!!

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    1. Thank you, JB! Yes, it gets in your blood and you long for that smell of cedar being cut!

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  2. As always, I'm in awe of you!

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    1. Thank you, Kerri! I know my limits but I'm so glad I can do some of this work.

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  3. You are such an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you, Judith! I feel fortunate that I can physically do some of this and that I learned as much from Rick as I did.

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