Saturday, January 11, 2020

Necessary Destruction, Part 2

Over a year ago, I shared why we decided to timber the land we own in a neighboring county.  It was a difficult decision because it was beautiful; however, feeling as if we should be good stewards of the land, we knew it needed to be selectively cut.  The large trees were harvested to make room so the saplings could thrive.  It was tough facing the devastation on our first trip to visit after the work began, it was just as hard to see the damage this second time.

This is the access area close to the highway and it was originally thick with large trees.  The logging company provided the gravel and built roads through the property.  We asked them to lay logs across the entrance to deter trespassers.

Further down is the staging area where the large equipment was once parked.  They will be returning when the ground is dry so they can finish.

On this day, we decided to travel the logging road down the hill to the holler on the back of the property.

On the hillsides were piles of cut trees waiting to be removed.

At the bottom of the hill was a creek that had to be crossed.  It was a case study of our different personality types.

Joshua, my firstborn, faced it like he does every obstacle in life, something to be conquered. He has never met a problem he can't outmaneuver.  He is my bulldozer, a strategist and a natural-born leader, but also a gentle giant.  When he was small, he was never allowed on his bike without a helmet.  If there was a pothole or bump in the road, he swerved over so he could jump it.  However, he is the person you want to follow if you are going through a jungle or minefield.  He sees the creek and without hesitation, flies over.

After landing on the other side, he triumphantly turns around to see if his tribe is following.

Slow, old, stumbling Mom is dragging along behind.  Joshua pauses, observes the situation, strategizes a solution, puts down big heavy rocks to serve as stepping stones along the creek bed, and then gently guides me over.

Dustin, my second born, follows behind me watching to make sure I don't get lost.  He is my cautious, careful engineer.  He visually inspects the creek, architects a bridge, searches available recyclable resources, carefully tests the structural integrity, analyzes the statistical probability of sustainable weight limits, then proceeds over the rotten logs.  He was never, ever required to wear a bicycle helmet or any protective gear when he was young - he never needed it.

Joshua, big brother, leader of the pack, reaches back to steady Dustin since he did not budget for handrails.  

Last comes Scooter.  He thinks it is ridiculous to be afraid of a little bit of water and trots on through.

 Then we face the steep hill on the other side.

The backside of the land has not lost many trees - most were too small.  It still looks like it did originally.

We reached the back boundary line of the property which is marked with orange plastic tape.

This is the legal boundary marker:  HY RW  which stands for "Highway Right-of-Way."

We returned by the logging road that runs along the top of the ridge going back toward the staging area.  

By this time it was late afternoon: we were exhausted and in need of a rest.

Of course, Scooter had to lay down close to something rotten, smelly and nasty (probably animal poop).  Rather than move, he decided to roll in it.  That didn't make me happy since he had to ride in my lap back home.

When the loggers are completely finished and the leaves have returned to the trees, we plan to go back to see how the land is recovering.  Hopefully, it will revive quickly due to the increased sunlight.

Link to the First Trip
Necessary Destruction

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! (2020)

Happy New Year to everyone and it is time once again to hand out awards for the most exciting mailboxes I have driven past this year.  One would think I have photographed all of them in my area by now, but it seems there are always surprises.

This one wins the award for the most unusual...or weirdest.   The closer you look the stranger it becomes.  (I will explain.  It is a buffalo balanced precariously on top of a pole about to jump into the abyss and below is a golden orb spaceship landing on a concrete eagle.  At least that is what I see.)

The most creative use of junk lying around the garage award went to a trucking company that had two mailboxes made from a truck tire, axels, and rims.   

The most innovative award is presented to this mailbox with a solar light installed on top.  If they had put the light inside so you would avoid being stung by a wasp when you reached to the far back late at night while grabbing the electric bill, they would have won first prize.

The most indestructible:  made with iron pipes set in concrete.  I pity the fool that veers off the road and hits this invincible monster.

The laziest problem solver:  the area around the fire hydrant was being repaved.

So some goofus stuck their mailbox into one of the pipes that protect the hydrant from being hit by cars.  What happens when there is a fire?  Will the firemen need to stop and remove the mailbox before they can hook up to the hydrant?  Seconds count in an emergency.

The safety award is shared between the Lowes and Endsley families for finding a way to avoid falling in a ditch when getting their mail.

I was tickled pink when I saw this lighthouse mailbox.  It was unusual, original, one of a kind and deserved to be featured in my famous New Year's post...until I discovered another one right around the corner.  Someone is a copycat!  Shameful!  No awards for lack of creativity.

A mailbox painted lavender to match the gutters on a very purple house.  Would that be a frugal award for using up the leftover paint?

These two had the prettiest flower beds.

The owner of this mailbox received it as a gift when he retired from working at the railroad for forty years.  He caught me taking a picture so I had to ask.

Which makes me wonder if this homeowner is a contractor?

But what about these two? What could they mean?  If I could remember how to get back to these houses, I might knock on their doors to ask them the story behind their mailboxes.

These receive an honorable mention.

A new category has been added this year: mailboxes decorated for Christmas.  Why? Just because.

The winner for the best decorated mailbox has a cedar tree growing out of the top!  It must be watered all year so this was quite a challenge, except that cedar trees grow everywhere, even in rocks.  I hate cedar trees, but this deserves to win! Kudos!