Monday, April 26, 2010

I Always Get a Laugh...........

When I hear someone say that life in the country is "Boring".

I suppose it may seem that way to folks who don't actually live in the country.
My usual response to the "It's Boring" folks is this - "If you think it's boring, go cut yer own firewood sometime."

Nothing ever boring about chainsaws and dropping multi-ton trees.
At least it ought not get boring. Bad Shit can happen in a heartbeat and that can seriously screw up your day, even if you are paying attention.

Which is sorta what happened today.

There was a big ass Poplar tree that needed to come down out back of the house. It had some obvious rot on the one side and was big enough, that if it decided to fall the wrong way it could do some serious damage to the GrumpyUnk Command and Control Bunker.

I've been putting this job off because that tree is so
Damn Big.
But I really couldn't put it off any longer, Summer storm season coming and all. So off I went this morning.

I've never dropped a tree as big as this thing before and I wanted to make sure the damn thing went in the right direction when it did, so I started out by making a big ass notch. It seemed that most of the rotten area was in the notch area as I was cutting and I figured that was a good thing. I took my time and made sure things were done right.

Conditions were perfect. Not even a hint of a breeze and that was good as I was dropping it toward the West, the way the wind generally comes from around here.

So I start making my felling cut ......... And that's when things took an unplanned turn.

Seems that the wood in there was a lot less solid than I thought.
I was just getting close to the point where it was gonna let go when the whole friggin' tree just sorta squatted straight down. Of course the saw is pinched in there tight as a drum, but that was the least of my worries.

Oh sweet, Jeebus! Now what do I do?
Here I am with this huge tree, basically balancing like a pencil on a tabletop.

First thing was to move my dumbass out of the way and hope that the wind didn't pickup all of a sudden.

I figured I would have to influence it to go over somehow, so out to the barn I went. Grabbed the extension ladder and the heavy ass rope. On trip 2 I grabbed the come-along, a metal T post and the post driver.

The scary part was putting that ladder up against the tree and going up to loop a rope around there.

Believe me, my "Pucker Factor" was into Warp 9 level by this time and my ass cheeks were clenched so tight, you couldn't have pulled a Banjo String through my ass with a Caterpillar Tractor at that point.

I just kept saying, "Oh please, don't get any wind now."

I can't even tell you how happy I was to get the hell off of that ladder
.
I pounded in the T post, hooked the come-along to it and tied the rope on tight and started cranking.

Now that rope was only about 25' up the bole of that tree. Not nearly enough for optimal leverage, but Hot Damn, Skippy it was enough.

It took more time to get the slack out of everything than it did to actually start that tree falling.
But it let out one loud Crack !!!! And down she came, right where I wanted it too in the first place!

Turns out there was practically nothing beyond the first 3"-4" of the exterior that was all that solid.

Damn. Good clean living pays off once in awhile.

After it was on the ground, I paced it off and the damn thing was 85-90' tall when it was standing up.
Like I said, a big-ass tree.

I got most of it topped out and cut up this afternoon. The hard part starts tomorrow when I go after the bole of this thing. This is gonna be a real treat trying to section this thing into manageable pieces and then stacking them somewhere to dry.

Well, they say hard work never killed anyone. Scare the hell out of ya when it doesn't go right maybe.

I have several other Big-Ass Trees that need to come down too. It may be awhile before I tackle another one that size.

Besides, I may have maxed out my Good Karma points for now.

Gratuitous Picture for a Monday Night-
Fidel Castro drives the baseline, 1960.




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