Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Planting

Oh my. What's on the schedule here?

Wonderful weather...finally! And the plant expert has arrived for a month or so.

Bushes lined up for planting above the retaining wall.

And the other small wall is almost complete.

Grass looks great from a distance and lot's of greenery from the tree foliage. Oaks are yet to show.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Green In The Mountains

Even my lawn is green....

What else would you expect after the massive rainfall the last three months? Off to Florida until April 28.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wall Solution - Make Use Of Leftovers

I don't know why I didn't think about it before, it just didn't come to me. Now there will be an extension of the existing block walls covered with rock. It will run about eight feet out and allow for a landing area from a newly created walkway above from the driveway.

Shown above is a footing I worked on yesterday. It took (11) 80 pound bags of quickcrete, measuring eight feet long by 12 inches wide and eight inches deep-- with rebar. I must be getting old dammit. 11 bags equals 880 pounds but the mixing in the wheel barrel beat me up along with digging the footer...roots again!

What happened to the days when lifting 13 tons of beer was a typical workday? I wasn't that freaking tired. Yup, that's what a friend and I calculated we handled on an average day back in the 80's when I spent time in that crazy business. I still dream about was fun!

New walkway needs some adjustment, but I was getting tired. Found a place for those PT boards but I will stain them. They now provide some separation from a planned parking area and the walkway. Added benefit is another drainage route; making three.

White arrows indicate new drainage under the walkway. Blue highlight is a source of another troubled rain water runoff area. Now I wouldn't mind seeing if it works but I'd be glad not to see rain for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hard To Make A Decision

I've been battling with this area for weeks, trying to figure out what would work. Could use some help. Should I just extend the scattered rocks along the path up to stone wall the or go with the pressure treated lumber?

Another problem is that danged drainage pipe under the elevated area I've pushed dirt into over the last few months. It's interfering with the placement of steps which I think I'm just going to use irregular stones to make do with. Make it look rustic or so. Red line indicates pipe buried that runs across.

Large flagstones to be used for steps. Probably cut them down to size.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Forget The RotoTiller

I have what I need, time on my hands. Preparing the area in front of the stone walls for grass would have been a nightmare last summer because of the lack of rain. Now the soil is soft but sticky, so the only real work is breaking up the clay chunks. The area shown took about three hours to turn over by shovel.

More known about the nasty storm Friday evening. Could be some of the seed for the main part of the lawn was washed away but it's difficult to tell. One thing is clear; if the weather doesn't get some kind of consistency this lawn won't do well in the summer heat. I understand the best growing times are when daytime temps are between 60 and 80. Yesterday it didn't go over 56. And the new seed needs a certain soil temperature to germinate.

Big difference from last spring eh?

And more of that lovely rain is on the way Monday!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hail To Spring

Let's see what kind of screwy weather is left?

I was in town for a mere 90 minutes and on the way back saw all this white stuff piled on the banks near the local church up the road. At first I thought it was soap suds, but then thought where could it come from?

Freaking hail! Now I know my newly reseeded lawn would be a disaster I thought. A few smaller trees down in the area. Could be a darned tornado skimmed some tree tops? Parts of the upper driveway has massive ruts from the rainwater runoff, but it appears the lawn escaped damage.

Considering I put in a good eight hours on that bugger I didn't want to see a total loss. From sifting dirt into a wheelbarrow and mixing with peat moss to the actual hand planting. Over the last week the better parts have really become green.

More on the lawn and new projects this weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back To Reality? Pleasant Weather

Horse farm along 52 east about two miles from home.

Great weather day yesterday. Low 70's at 4PM. Finally a chance to get some local spring photos without cloudy and rainy backgrounds. By the way the bugs are returning. Those carpenter bees that love to drill holes on the outside of the cabin are out in small force. I think I plugged a half a dozen last year. Wasps and signs of small yellow jackets noticed today. Birds are happy, squirrels here and there. No sign of the local dogs...quiet too. A neighbor kid says they have "girlfriends." Spring is in the air.

The local mom and pop grocery another two miles from home. The place is almost 80 years old. I may go in for smokes now and then or a newspaper. I have been intigued by those posted gas prices though. $1.64? It hasn't changed in almost two months. Maybe they don't sell gas anymore. Other local prices are up near $ 1.95.

Trees have been budding for the last few weeks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Snowers Bring May ??

Snow in April? Considering how strange this winter has been why not? Strange? Okay it's my first winter but all the signs of strange are there being outside of the norm. Massive rain, unusually low temps (5 degrees back in late January).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Other Stuff - East Side Near Creek

This was some work from a few weeks ago; another sitting place overlooking a small waterfall made by a fallen log. Some of these stones weren't easy to haul way over here. The current stockpile is on the other side of the house so it's a good 100 yard lug with a wheel barrel. No fun especially navigating down the winding trail.

Some new stuff popping up near the railroad tie garden along the house including some ferns. Haven't seen any fern growth in the woods yet but last year they were all over the place. May?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Life In Seattle

Here I was about to say it rains as much here as in Seattle, but their yearly rainfall total isn't that high really; about 38 inches. Must be lot's of drizzle and small rainfall amounts. So what's exciting and new here in rain country? It's almost too depressing to talk about, but I did get some photos from the top of the hill looking east while waiting for the local power company.

Some green here and there and trees budding. I've seen browns and orange tints. If the freakin sun ever appears again maybe I'll get some better shots of that. So what's up with the power? Dunno. Fixed. And those guys are quick to respond. Probably 30 minutes and they actually found me!

A few days ago I had a window of opportunity to work outdoors. Time to get that wall area ready for whatever. I dunno. Moving quite a bit of dirt around. I was going to get a local guy in here to move it with some equipment but thought, I have all sorts of time, I'll take care of it myself. I think I found some great dirt too and not that real sticky compacted clay around here. I'll have to see what the expert thinks.

And the area in front of the wall (below). Cleared all the crap out and I actually think the laying water problem is an exaggeration. At one time I thought the walkway to the creek had an erosion problem with the rain water runoff. But looking on the other side of the property (second pic below) it probably gets more runoff and the grass in between the flagstones is intact. No sign of major problems and the slope is actually steeper.

I'm tired of looking at this bare spot. Time to plant more grass.

The area going to the creek. New grass in between the stones just needs time to get some rooting the way I look at it. I never gave it a chance last year because I was running a wheelbarrow over it. The grass never took root.

And finally a stairway area near the walls. I've been moving quite a bit of dirt here as well. By allowing the rain to settle it over the next month or so I plan to build a flagstone landing area with pressure treated 6 x 6's. as steps...I think.