We shook on a self-imposed goal to finish all of our outstanding projects before starting something new. That lasted for all of… 48 hours? Sometimes that happens because we get damn lazy, or bored, or simply lack the energy required to clean more paint brushes (I’d usually rather just throw everything out and buy new). Plus, all of a sudden it was bright and 60-degrees outside, and after the longest winter ever, we were quick to want to abandon
ship house and get some fresh air. For our most recent undertaking, it’s time that’s of the essence.
Our backyard is only barely starting to show signs of springtime, little buds popping, and the grass quickly returning to its lush state. Before the green leaves exposed themselves completely, we knew it would be in our best interest to begin clearing more brush from our backyard to make way for our biggest springtime project: building a big ol’ playset for the girls to enjoy.
Without leaves to get in the way, the job isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it could be. It’s dense, but transparent enough to feel manageable. A photo doesn’t really do the task justice; the area we are clearing is about 30′ x 30′ and presents like a giant hair tangle, each bush/weed tree/fallen branch intertwined and then bound together with vines the size of my bicep. I liken it to a human-sized tumbleweed.
We know from this photo of Pete that come June, we wouldn’t have been able to see 5 feet into the brush. In this post, there are a few more photos that show just how dense it gets back in there. On the day I got started, it was this:
This is a project I’ve been anticipating for a few months. I couldn’t really get down on the chopping and sawing and lifting last summer when we moved in because I was pregnant (see some of Pete’s progress here and here). Yard work is one of those exercises where you can just tune everything out, rage, and enjoy immediate DIY satisfaction. Love it.
Kobalt sent Pete a bunch of new 40-v Lithium Ion outdoor products to try this year. Two of the tools that I had really been looking forward to testing out were the chainsaw and pole saw. I’ve always viewed the pull-start gas/oil-combo tools as a bit intimidating, so these battery-powered tools rank really high in my book, and helped me to clear a lot of brush in only a few hours. The chainsaw worked really well for cutting through branches both green and dead that were only 1-2″ diameter. It was a little slower for trees like what I was cutting below, but still did the job nicely.
Clearing all this brush also coincides with the town’s brush pickup week; I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to see that there’s a pile 10 feet tall waiting for them.
Our goal is to clear 30′ back to a ravine on our property, and create an area dedicated to play and exploration. Right now we’re about 80% of the way to the ravine. It has been raining all week, which gives definite pause to the next stage of the mission, steps which involve using the super-powerful leaf blower I bought last fall to clear up that debris on the ground.
The play set we’re designing is still in sketch form, but we hope to have construction underway before school’s out. Modest goals, that’s all we can hope for these days. I hope they love it.