A Good Day's Work

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Posted by RustonHouse RustonHouse
My friend Bernie came round today. As planned, he brought his chain saw. The idea was to clear some ground beside the house so I could bring home my boat for its, rather late, winter maintenance. That was the bit Bernie knew about. In truth, I had more ambitious plans.

With the ground for the boat cleared I got Bernie to tackle the Birch Tree on the Island that the autumn winds had brought down in October.

Cut Tree on Island
Bernie soon had the tree broken down into piles of different sized logs. The stump he left as it was.

Stump of the Birch Tree
As the weather had been so good to us, I took the opportunity of taking photos of some of the daffodils that I had missed on Saturday.

Daffodils on the Island
I am not sure how to handle this area of the island. Most of the time all you can see is nettles and brambles. On the one hand I'd like to show off the flowers to the cottages. On the other, while most people don;t like nettles and brambles there are many creates that do and the last thing I want to do is rip up a host of plants to discover later than I've wrecked some worthwhile habitat.

Daffodils on the Island
After the tree on the island Bernie was sent to tackle the tree that had fallen across the main path round the back of the lake. It was only supported by a tree on the lake side of the path and could easily drop on someone if not made safe and properly felled.

Cut Tree across Main Path
Next there was the planned new path the tackle. First, there was a previously coppiced tree  that had split trunks at ground level. Bernie soon had that sorted.

Fallen Tree across New Path
Then we needed to agree a plan of action. To start with there was a dense area of scrub to cut through. Then a sensible route to return to the main path could be worked out.

Cut Scrub which blocked the New Path
After that we went round to the main path at looked at the job from that side. I figured that there was a spoil heap about 18 inches deep and about six foot wide that needed to be cut through, so that the path could be more or less horizontal - I could do that later. What I needed Bernie, with his chain saw, to do was to remove any larger trunks that I would be unable to tackle with just my bow saw.

Choosing the Route of the New Path
Eventually, I made up my mind and left Bernie to get on with things, while I continued to clear up the ground beside the house, to make it ready for the boat.

Choosing the Route of the New Path
Bernie was soon done and I was left alone again, so as I had my camera with me to record the day's activities, I took a couple more pictures of the lone goose..

Lone Goose
It was still stood on the end of the peninsula as it had been on Saturday.

Lone Goose
However, the biggest surprise was to hear a rustle in the undergrowth and see a grass snake. I was so busy staring at it move speedily across a gap in the vegetation that I almost missed getting a photograph of it. As it was, I didn't get either head or tail - just a length of mid-body.

Grass Snake