Friday, August 2, 2013

Two Days Of Brush Clearing

I had a professional install high tensile fence around my fields last autumn and he left a six foot swath around the outside to allow me to run a brush hog, keeping the swath free of tall weeds which would short out the electric fence. As you saw in a previous post, I had found the job far beyond my capabilities. So I called the installer back and he sent over two workers. They began where I'd left off:

They also found the job to be much more difficult and involved than they'd imagined, but they were seasoned veterans and had the right equipment:

They found big trees with lots of grapevines holding them up as well as Hawthorn trees full of flesh tearing spines. They also uncovered junk in the path which would have destroyed my brush hog if I'd attempted to run over it:

I mowed a swath inside the fence line, helped them with the tractor when needed and then began to mow around the outside where they'd cleared a path for me. But I certainly did stop to enjoy the bird songs, aromas and lovely wildflowers - in this case, Bedstraw and Wild Geranium:

The two of them used modern equipment and old fashioned manpower:

I worked hard too, though mostly on the tractor and not nearly as hard as they worked. The weather was hot but lovely and I was happy:

Another view of the wildflowers, this time Bedstraw and Cow Vetch:

And a little bit of horse play, just for fun:

They discovered and removed, often with the tractor's help, old barbed wire, wood, bed springs, barrels, cable, tar paper, lumber, tires, stones and huge slabs of concrete. And this was following three years of field clearing. But they kept at it:

We were approaching the end of the second day when I snapped this photo from atop the tractor. You can see that I'd already mowed a swath inside the fence and was awaiting their brush clearing to mow a swath outside the fence. That's my barn in the distance. We were almost finished:

We were all getting tired and I began to help them haul limbs and brush as they were cut:

When they'd finished, they went once more around the perimeter of the fields, making sure the wires were all stapled up and properly tightened. They promised to come back another time the next week to install an additional gate and to take down a dead Elm tree. But for the time being, we'd made enormous progress and we all needed a good rest:

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