Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Busy As A Bee

Last weekend we went to a working bee.

My husband's family had a whole bunch of gum trees planted as a wind break on one side of their property for about 21 years. They were massive. And they only live about 21 years before there's a real danger of them falling onto something. Like your house.

So, all these massive gum trees (about 100 I was told) were cut down last year, so as to avoid them falling on things like houses and cars and people. And have been sitting on the side of the property lining the drive way since then.

The plan was to have it all cut up and used for fire wood. But, about 100 trees, plus branches, and they were all piled on top of each other... makes for one heck of a job.

So the working bee was planed.

A few family friends and some acquaintances who actually do this sort of thing for a living (old farmer bushman types), as well as our landlord, came out to help. All up there were 5 other people, aside from family, helping out. It involved one of the older men using his tractor to pull out the massive trees from various places in the oh so long pile of
trees and branches, someone walking along the pile with a chain saw cutting away larger branches and
cutting some of the trees down to size so that they were able to be pulled out using the tractor at all.

I have no before pictures, but just imagine all this space filled with lots and lots of dead trees.

Did I mention the trees were massive?

After the trees were pulled, they were taken to one of three spots where someone would chainsaw them into smaller pieces. Then someone threw those into haphazard piles.

Then there were those of us who got to walk along this pile of possible snake habitat gathering up branches that were more small trees than anything and throwing them over the boundary fence so that they weren't in the way of the tractor, and to burn in a truly fantastic fashion later.

All this wood still needs to be split so it can be used for firewood, and because some of it is just so stinking BIG. Apparently, gum wood gets nearly hard as rock if it sits too long once it's been cut, and if it isn't split soon, will need to be chainsawed to death.

And all throughout this, moving logs, branches leaves, that have been sitting for over a year, on a warm day, in areas we've HEARD snakes before, the only reptile that was spotted was a Blue Tongue Lizard. We didn't see a snake until a few days later, when it was cold and rainy.
Later released into the raspberry patch. And no, they're not venomous, but they apparently have a nasty bite.

There's still several meters of piled up gum trees that needs to be taken care of, even after 8-plus hours of work.

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