Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Clearing land

A few years ago I kept most of our property looking like a golf course. Every few weeks I'd go down to the barn, fire up the old 8N Ford tractor, and do blissful bush hogging. I say it was blissful because, well, it was. Sitting on that old tractor with an ancient engine chugging along at the speed of life. 

We had storms that blew a mountain of trees down and the only place we had to put them was in the hollow behind the house. The debris changed the landscape. Then, the tractor that was built when Harry Truman was in the White House developed a mechanical problem. 

It took a while, but privets did what privets do. They take over the world. I'm convinced, if not for old tractors, chainsaws, and weedeaters, privets would consume the earth and choke out humanity. That is their job, and they do it well.

My brother-in-law bought a new tractor and asked if he could park it in the barn. He gave me a key and said I was welcome to use it when they didn't need it for their work. A deal was born.

When spring crept in around us, I started the chore of setting the property right. It took a few years to grow up, and I'm hoping it doesn't take a few years to clean it up.

The last few days I've worked until dark with clippers and power tools. Soon I'll be able to run over what's left with the tractor. In a sense, I'm continuing our decluttering project by decluttering our land. Already I sense that it is breathing easier.

The mountain of debris is still there, but it's dry now, and I'll burn it in the coming weeks. By summers end, it should begin to look like it once did. It is my intention to keep it from falling so far in the future.

I shot this picture on campus today.


  1. I do not miss yard work since I moved into our town house and the association takes care of all but a few flower gardens, but I must say i would enjoy burning crap off and chopping stuff up with a tractor...I think I grew a new chest hair just thinking about it.

  2. I've never enjoyed yard work but this didn't keep us from purchasing several corner properties with large yards.

  3. Ahhh, the old 8N. I have been fortunate to own two of them. They are amazing. I have since owned different newer models, loaders and back hoes. But I loved the simplicity of the 8N. All I have left, and they set. Is a Yanmar and a big IH, If they had continued buiding tractors as solid as the 8N today they would have to quit selling tractors.

    Good luck on the continuation of the clearing. It is a good feeling to see things change for the better.

  4. Sounds like it did the job and did it well. Gosh those flowers look so prett

  5. It sounds like you have a sizable bit of property and I know that has to be quite a job. Just clearing away the weeds here in my small space takes a lot of time. It is a beautiful picture you put in today.

  6. You efforts will soon be rewarded. If left to her own device Mother earth soon reclaim what is rightly hers in the first place. Nice of your friend to let you use his tractor and nice of you to let him use your barn to store it in. What a great deal.
    Have a beautiful day.

  7. I have mixed feelings about your land clearing. I like a slightly wild natural look. Of course a person wants a clean yard to look at too. And all the wildness does invite the invasion of critters. Have fun.

  8. Good for you! I keep our backyard, clean, but wild for the birds and squirrels, and chipmunks to have fun. Grass is cut, but I have old wood out and rocks in certain areas, and long grasses in the corners, just for everyone to be happy!

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