Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Normal.  The alarm goes off.  You grope in the darkness to turn it off.  Another day in another year.  Feel your way to the bathroom.  Wash that face.  Brush the teeth.  Put on your uniform.  Pack some food. Kiss your spouse.  Out the door in under 20 minutes.  You smile.  Yeah, today you're going to beat that traffic snarl.  It's life, when you're "normal".

What if, you could change normal to astounding.  Would it become your "normal" one day?  Imagine waking up in darkness and turning to look up at the moon.  You smile, and snuggle further into your comforter dreaming about what adventure you will have today.  When nature calls, you put on your slippers and headlamp.  Into the woods you go to relieve yourself.  Everything is black and silent, except the window of light coming from your beam.

Today, you'll work at returning the forest to the state it used to be hundreds of years ago - a piney woods savannah.  As you work, you encounter a variety of plant and insect life and you ponder - is this native to the forest or is it invasive?  Is this edible?  Is this harmless? Medicinal? Poisonous?  The colors and smells surprise you.  The experience leaves you richer, more satisfied.

You ask yourself, will this one day become my normal. this life full of unexpected wonders? 


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tree Felling

What an absolutely beautiful weekend here at Turkey Creek. High temperatures in the low 70's and lows in the low 50's. Don't need the A/C and only a touch of heat in the evening. They sky is blue, the air is cool, dry, crisp and there is a nice gentle breeze. It's perfect for working outdoors. I don't want it to end!

We did more clearing, we felled a large dead tree that posed a hazard and we got all of the pulled up underbrush chipped and spread on the forest floor. It has been a very productive time.

The hazard tree was about 24" diameter breast high (DBH).  We had a lot of brush to clear out and little snags on the ground.  When you are cutting down a tree one of the first things you need to do is clear the area around the tree, so you have a safe working environment.

The area might of been clear, but this was the first large tree I've ever felled. I was a bit nervous. I've watched several hours of instruction on how to fell a tree.  I would have been nice to have a mentor, but I didn't. There's nothing like experience as a teacher. My plans were to fell in on Sunday. I couldn't wait, so it came down this afternoon.

Here's a little preview video I did before I felled the tree. You can see the two pine trees that I'm trying to lay the dead tree between.  They are to the right side of the picture. There's a small oak between the two pines.  The electric meter lines up between the two pines and dead-on with the small oak.

I'll try to post a video of the felling on Monday.  Stay tuned, it's going to get destructive.  Timber!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pulling Up Underbrush Trees

BG-08 Brush Grubber
BG-08 Brush Grubber
In January 2015, just after I purchased our tractor, I purchased a BG-08 Brush Grubber from Amazon.  Here’s a link: BG-08.  I paid about $80 back in 2015, today it is selling for $68. 

The purpose of the grubber is to pull up small trees.  We decided to pull up as much of the underbrush as we could. The most prolific problem tree is the Yaupon Holly. Yaupon Holly spreads by sending out shoots from its roots and it will regrow from the stump, so we want to get rid of the roots.  Therefore, we pull the tree up, roots and all.  My little Kubota tractor and the tree grubber do a great job.

I thought I’d show you a little video of me pulling up a small 4” diameter tree.  While not a Yaupon, this tree had to go, because it is in the way of a large dead oak that needs to come down.  The dead oak will be overhanging our outhouse.  I’d hate for it to come down and destroy our outhouse and who ever might be in it.  You can see the trunk of the oak tree to the right and behind the tree I’m pulling up.

Normally, I would leave the dead tree. They make a great resource for wildlife. We have seen the endangered Red-cockaded Wood Pecker getting an evening meal from this old tree.  For safety reasons, the tree must go.