This video shows the west border cleared and ready for fence posts. This was a pretty straight forward area to clear.
This video shows that the north border is ready for the fence to go in. This was the first border we cleared and in many ways it was very easy because we had the neighbor's fence to use as a guide.
This video shows the connector trail from where the north trail and the driveway meet. This is one of my favorite places so far on the property to walk. Very peaceful!
We finally caught a critter on our trail cam!!! Can you guess what it is?
Here's a couple of more. I'm sure you'll get it this time!
A little opossum heading out for the night shift.//tr
One of the first things that people said to us when we started clearing our land, was to watch out for snakes. Many of the neighborhood folks we have met have told stories of man-sized rattlesnakes that run in packs. We have pawed through brush that you can't see through, turned over at least 20 (probably more) dead tree blow downs, and have yet to see a single serpent.
We also have not seen any squirrels.
Correlation? Absolutely. The food chain is definitely lacking. Since clearing our fire lanes and paths through the middle of the property the song birds have started flying around.
But, I will share the three critter we have encountered. Enjoy!//tr
I will freely admit to anyone that I have chainsaw anxiety. It's not a made up, drama queen, kind of attention seeking behavior, but true, honest, anxiety. I grew up around chainsaws - it was how wood was cut and that wood was used to heat my Grampa's garage and my Dad's home. The adults in my life who used them were safety conscious and had respect for the machine, and they taught me the same.
I must have been about 7 or 8 years old when my Grampa had a chainsaw accident. He hit a knot, there was kick back and he was cut from his neck down the middle of his chest. The way the story was told, he grabbed his handkerchief, covered up the cut, walked into the house and told my Gramma that he had an accident. He waited on the front porch for the ambulance and walked down the front path to meet it. He recovered in record time - missed the jugular by about a 1/4 of an inch.
As an adult, I've had anxiety whenever I've been around chainsaws. I knew that I would have to deal with it sooner or later when we bought this tree rich property. I trust my husband implicitly, and feel I have done very well being around him chainsawing the hundreds of trees we've taken down. I've had to stand very close a few times, and kept things in check. I have my escape route planned out well ahead of time and use it even if it's not necessary. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
So, today, we had to take down a 13 inch in diameter, 50 foot tall (45 year old) sand pine. Mark turns to me and asks me if I want to do it. Um...okay. I think. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I observe a lot and knew this tree was a textbook felling and one that would be easily manageable for me. At least that's what I told myself.
Mark cut the wedge out of the front of the tree and then turned the saw over to me. We talked about how to hold the chainsaw, how I should stand, how to use the throttle/gas, and how to move it through the tree. We went over my escape route and what to do when I heard the tree start to move.
I had a little trouble moving the saw through the tree, but Mark helped me and I heard the crack! I pulled the saw out, took a few steps back and watched it fall. My heart was literally beating out of my chest and I felt like I couldn't stop smiling. It was the purest of adrenaline rushes, but it was also so much more than that for me.
I faced a real fear, head on.//tr
More central drive clearing and the establishment of the first trail into the property. The plan is to establish connector trails that lead from the central driveway and link to each of the property borders. The north connector trail is the first of these inroads.
While a little late, this video will show you the beginning of our driveway progress. This enabled us to park in the center of the land, off the road on our own property. It was the beginning of the "fridge trail" and "south line link trail" making easier access to the entire property.
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.