Thanks to a quickly arranged meeting in Collie on Monday we decided to double up and have a second weekend in a row down the block.
My main goal for the weekend was to get a few stumps out along the driveway, I spent a good 5 hours on Saturday morning with the mattock, shovel, chainsaw, sledgehammer and tractor. All for a grand total of 1.5 stumps removed.
It’s always disheartening seeing how much work goes into clearing a small area, but it will be worthwhile in the end.
My stump removal exploits were suddenly stopped when the clutch in the tractor fell to the floor and stopped doing anything.
Thankfully I was in a relatively clear, although kinda steep and very uneven area. My first thought was that a split pin had snapped and it would be a quick fix. However once I had a look it turned out to be a snapped rod, I decided there was no point worrying about it up on the hill. As I was getting up the clutch was nice enough to swing up and split my lip, normally I wouldn’t care, but I’m hoping to look presentable for the meeting, thankfully it was 95% healed up by Monday, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.
My solution to driving it down was pretty much the good old fashioned, “if you can find em, grind em” , it was a very slow 1km (in and out of the trees) back to camp.
I pulled out the broken (and due to the drive down very bent) rod. Not sure if it will be a repair job, but I’m leaning more towards it being a replacement job. Thankfully, my brother in law is pretty handy with a welder, so I’ve left it with him. Thanks heaps Cam, I’ll owe you another load of wood.
Shan helped a bit with the digging, but most of the time I was up there she spent looking after the kids and when she had a few minutes free mowing the lawn around our caravan, she was pretty happy with her patch of shorter grass.
After some lunch we decided to pick a new job, it’s one that I wasn’t really planning on doing this weekend but it seemed like a good one to do as a family and let us stay in the shade a bit more. We started leveling and cutting out notches for the deck, I think i’m starting to get fairly good at cutting in the shape for the timber, for mature chainsaw work it looks pretty neat. It’s a slow and steady job to try to keep things as close to square and level as we can when working with our own logs.
I also spent about half an hour digging the ‘bore’ out a bit deeper, it’s getting fairly low and starting to be a mosquito breeding ground, if frogs get in there it’s to deep for them to get out, I’ve dug it out so the 1 side is a steep ramp, hopefully that makes it a bit easier for wildlife (frogs to eat to Mossie larva) to use and will give us a bigger collection area when the water level comes back up in autumn.
Shan decided that she needed a better shower, in the medium term we’ll have a real shower in the caravan but at the moment we don’t have pressurised water, so she got herself a little solar shower, it’s nothing fancy, but she said it’s the best shower she’s had out there.
Last time we were here Oscar and I collected a ton of acacia seed (a bucket of seed pods), I spent a few hours each night this time splitting the pods and collecting the seeds. In autumn I’ll scarify them and hopefully end up with a few more of these bee loving, nitrogen fixing natives around the place.
Sunday was more decking as well as pulling some blackberrys, it was due to be a 35c day and we were pretty much out of good food (there’s always plenty of pasta, rice ect, but not what you want for lunch on a toasty day) so we headed into Bunbury at about lunch time.
It was a quick and relatively unplanned trip, but turned out to be reasonably productive.
By complete chance I ran into one of the Facebook members on Monday, he had seen my name and I mentioned that I had just come back from my block. He put 2 and 2 together and asked me if I was from Quinsgunnado. Not gona lie, it made me feel at least slightly famous =p it really shows that it’s small world, you never know how people will link up.
Our next trip will probably be over Christmas, or depending on how a few things work out we may have to cancel that trip, but we’ll see.