The week in review


Well, all in all, it;s been a pretty challenging week apart but at least the weather has been summery…

DSCF7385We use an old drop saw to chop firewood up to about 5-6″ in diameter into fireplace-friendly lengths…it is actually a very efficient and effective way of doing it as you can use one hand to raise and lower the saw while using the other to control the wood…after many years of faithful service and right in the middle of a job, it gave up the ghost. I think that it is the bearings and probably not a big job to repair (by someone with the right tools that knows what they are doing) but until I can afford that, I have reverted back to using a hand saw to slice and dice wood for next winter…

It is actually not quite as bad as one might think and I find cutting wood by hand quite satisfying. I do have a bow-saw but I find that the best saw for the job so far seems to be a stock standard pruning saw that rips its way through anything including quite hefty manuka branches…

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Then, right in the middle of a job, Mr Mulcher just gave up the ghost…on stripping it down, I found that the problem was that the srews that hold the engine to the chassis have worked loose and two of the four had already vacated the premised with a third bent in place after catching the edge of the chipping blade mount. Normally this would be another quite quick fix…except…that the flywheel is rusted onto the crankshaft and can not be removed so any repair has to be an indirect route. What I think has happened is that the last guy that tried to remove the flywheel has loosened the engine mounts and not retightened them after giving up on it – that was over a year ago and only a guess on my part so not much that we can do about that.
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I am hoping that it may be possible to either get a shorter bolt into the gap between the flywheel and the chassis; or that it may be possible to drill a whole through the flywheel thought which new bolts can be inserted – not sure what this might do to the flywheel balance thought…In the meantime, I have all this mulchable material mounting up and have had to designate this area by the main gate as the disposal area for that which would have been mulched. The little maple in the foreground has been relocated to make room for the trailer – it never really liked it much there anyway – and this was an area that needed filling at some stage anyway…
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What is annoying though is the loss of mulch at this time of year as it is damn useful for putting on the garden to reduce water loss…

DSCF7395…and I have been doing a lot of clearing this week, my summer project being to clear a metre wide clear area on both sides of the fence around the house to prevent the bush consuming the fence…

I thought that I had better mow the front lawns before they got onto of me but I got halfway up the main drove before one of the belts that drive the blades died…great!!!! It never rains…

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I have started to clear some of this waste land down the driveway past where the woodpile was…it gets a lot of sun while still being relatively sheltered and I am hoping to transfer some of our vegetable production down here…

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Phase one has been shifting some of the self-seeded zucchini from the box garden before they take it over…They seem to be doing OK here and now have some of the remaining mulch over the soil to hold in the water…

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The terracotta containers we got for a song from the Te Kuiti Warewhare have finally died…DSCF7390…but I think that this long-suffering little maple will be a lot happier actually in the ground by the rock garden…the crimson leaves are a nice offset to all the shades of green…

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And after much procrastination and waiting for the ‘right day’, I finally dragged this from here:DSCF7397So that I can continue to reorganise the punga trunks and backfilling behind them (which is whether the mulcher is damn useful!). By next summer, this area should be pacified, possibly with a pond fed by the drain from the driveway in the immediate foreground…

DSCF7412And to wrap it all up last night, I swept the drive of all the accumulated detritus from the week’s work…with that done and the lawn’s all mown, this place looks pretty choice…

8 thoughts on “The week in review

    • Thanks!! It is really green here and more so at the moment because this is the sun/rain season (alternating periods of each) which rely boosts growth…sometimes I think that it is a little too green which is why I quite like offset colours like the crimson maples to add a splash of ‘not green’…

      • I would ship you some but I fear it would be more brown that green when it arrived! I have travelled by land as far east as Tucson and so seen some of your desert there and flown coast to coast many time and can appreciate the brownness…we don’t really have desert here:the Rangipo ‘Desert’ on the other side of Mt Ruapehu from us can be circumnavigated by foot in less than a day (ask me how I know!) and the closest other thing we have to desert are the tussock highlands of each island which tend to similar variations of the theme of brown…
        I did see something online once where someone in the desert missed grass so much that they took the idea from the Heinlein book Stranger in a Strange Land and substituted grass for carpet…sounds like a solution but I’m not sure how you would mow it…maybe an indoors sheep…?

      • Hahaha. Mowing my carpet. Hmmmm…. Fortunately, we will be moving at the end of the following year; hopefully to somewhere with grass. My husband is applying for surgical fellowship training now (he is a physician in residency in New Mexico). Fellowship is just a year, and somewhere as lush and gorgeous as where you live would be a treat! Glad to hear there are not too many deserts in your neck of the woods. Best, Shanna

      • And to you and yours, Shanna…we’ve had a great day here and yours is just beginning…Simon

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