Completing insane outdoor tasks rates pretty highly on the pleased-ometer scale. A couple of nights ago I completed one: The Sticks. And I’m feeling pretty chuffed. What started out as The Sticks; removing the long mountain of sticks and wood that somehow accumulated along the back fence by the woodshed, turned into The Place of Eternal Toil. Just when I thought the end was in sight it became more toilsome. Under the last lot of sticks right beside the woodshed was concrete. That sounds good, yes, but the concrete was covered with a layer of dirt and decomposing pine needles and cones (oops, those may have been swept off the shed roof), interspersed by layers of sticks, rotting timber, lumps of concrete and bits of rubbish, and these layers went all the way behind the woodshed too. It was about 30cm high behind the woodshed, with sticks and stumps on top. And so, I had to shovel, pick through and wheelbarrow out many loads to uncover the concrete beneath and get the paddock fence fully chicken-wired.
This was a task of high importance, as I needed to get the chicken pen properly secured for the chicks and I also just really wanted to get it completed. And so, I slowly plodded away at it, being careful not to aggravate my foot again. I also removed the pallet used as a fence bit in the chicken run and re-stapled the chicken wire to the woodshed so it’s better closed-off and looks nicer. And then, I finished! The Husband came hobbling out to see if I was ok (he injured his foot after I did mine, so we are, as The Mother called us, hoblets), as it was dark. Ok, it was 9pm, but I was just removing the last bits of rotting timber. I had even tidied up the black plastic dangling from the roof and swept the concrete. I don’t imagine the chickens will hang out behind the woodshed too much since it’s concrete, but that should keep them from getting up to too much trouble behind the shed. Lydia was consistently trying to cause trouble as I worked, with the intense curiosity that she has developed. She is quite funny, but I had to keep fencing myself off to keep her out of harm’s way. Earlier in the clean-up I thought about storing some timber or something behind the woodshed but I really don’t want to store anything behind there at this stage. Aside from the mess that is bound to accumulate, everything around the woodshed was probably providing a great hiding place for rodents and things that I don’t want near the chickens. Best to keep things as tidy as possible. Today, I was in the run with Frodo and the chicks and I laughed as I looked up to see all the other chickens watching us through their new peep window behind the woodshed. I haven’t got any photos of just how bad the pile got, but here are some before and after photos, the ‘before’ being when I thought I was almost finished.
The second insane outdoor task occurred when The Mother and Father were around and The Father instigated an impromptu stump removal working bee in The Herb Garden. He and The Husband wielded various tools to dig and hack three of the remaining stumps out of the garden, including the big kahuna, a re-sprouting camellia stump of epic proportions. I wasn’t even expecting them to be able to get that one out but they did and I am totally stoked! One dead stump remains but I have now been able to move forward with my Herb Garden planting and positioning of stepping stones, which is a nice reward for my hard work on the previous task of insanity. I am waiting for the grapevine to fruit so I can do a taste test (I cut it back hard last year so it didn’t fruit). If the grapes are good I will attempt to transplant the grapevine somewhere else and train it, but if, as I suspect, it does not make very good eating it will go and I will source a tastier one. The grapevine out the front is not a good taster so that will be going.
So, what’s the next task of insanity? Well, the unfortunate product of The Husband’s clearing out of the woodshed plus some of my clearing in The Place of Eternal Toil, is the mess that is now in front of the Cedar Garden, all over the future second chicken pen. Just when I was getting it tidy! It all needs to be sorted and cleared. And the ivy needs to be cleared out of the garden so I can chicken-wire around the rest of the fence there. This is not going to be an exciting task, but at least it’s not quite so urgent, so I can intersperse it with fun stuff, like planting things.
What’s that? You wanted to know how the chicks are doing? Oh, ok, just one photo. They are doing well and are out and about a lot now. More on the chicks next time.