Feb 2nd 2011>We have been kicking around. skirting for the main house porch. the plan is individual panels of cedar shake siding. The idea behind it was to keep debris from blowing under the house causing a fire hazard. Does this seems plausible or is there a better way? The bridge netting is another area of concern. the going idea is to replace the current netting with chicken wire. I must say that I’m not a fan of that one as it tends to be brittle and constant bending causes breaks and sharp edges. i suggested construction netting. I could be way off, but it seems to me that if the stuff can keep masses in or out of a beer tent and not break, it should hold a stumbly child, but again input is more than welcome.
Goodbye to the Walnut Tree
Thanks again to Janjaap for heading that project up.
A big thanks to the folks who donated their time in helping remove the tree. Thanks to the folks that
donated $ that was needed in removing the tree, we raised it all over solstice.
Walnut tree news from Janjaap
A few days before Solstice 2010 the Black Walnut tree looming large over the Mainhouse at Black Bear Ranch was carefully and slowly dismantled over the course of two days. Duane Gower, a tree-trimmer from Willow Creek showed up with a helper; Wind Beaver had enlisted his arborist-friend Jeremy, both were there for the duration, and were very much responsible for a smooth and successful operation. After Duane arrived at the Ranch, he spend 45 minutes just walking around the tree, looking, saying hardly anything. He confirmed all our concerns, about the tree being unpredictable and brittle, prone to break without notice, with most likely hidden rot, etc. He then said it would take two days …
It did take two days, and came off without a hitch. Duane at different times moved slowly, being very cautious, later admitting to being nervous so high up in this big Black Walnut. At least one branch gave way much before he expected it to, several big branches were rotten or even entirely hollow inside. Finally only the main trunk with an upright branch and leaves, still reaching the full hight of the now largely gone tree, remained leaning steeply over the Mainhouse. With a pulley set on a big pear tree and another block at the base of the Walnut tree, a cable hooked up to his pick-up in the drive way, Wind and Jeremy pulling a guide-wire, Duane finally set his saw to make the final cut, which with utmost precision landed the trunk exactly where he wanted it, where it now lies, from the base pointing to the Outhouse, and almost reaching it with its leaves.
There is quite a bit of usable good heartwood, Wind painted the ends to slow down checking, cracking and splitting. We need to assemble a crew with a trailer and truck. We still need to buck the trunk to appropriate lengths and move it to the saw-mill site up the road. It can stay there in the shade and even temperatures, for up to a year, as we find a mill to make boards out of it. Some ideas for use of the wood are: cabinet faces for the kitchen, or some nice long benches. Other ideas are welcome.
The price tag for the whole take-down came to $ 2500. $ 500 was contributed before Solstice, $ 1300 was raised during the Solstice weekend, the BlackBear Building Fund provided $ 500. It’s great to see that once again the greater Black Bear Family gives and cares for the Ranch. Please contribute and replenish our resources so that we may continue to maintain and support this place that has lodged so deep in our hearts and souls.
Another major project in dire need is replacing the workshop roof, i went up there and had a look, that roof is shot, there are so many holes in it that come winter we will have a major problem if it isn’t at least tarped over, I’m not sure if its the original shakes from the 1800′s but it sure looks like it. Some bears want to completely take the whole workshop down and build another one, some have thoughts of just replacing the roof. We need to discuss this more, and soon. Please email us with your ideas.
By Travis 5-10-2010
Month and a half to go till the big sun party whos got ideas,plans,hopes,dreams or aspirations? Weve been workin on a few projects this spring. The fence between the garden and grapes has been removed now that the main fence is up all around and a line of boisen berries is planted along it. The pond got drained and the sediment on the “beach” and rocks got cleaned out of it plus some seep holes pluged with clay. The dock is in need of rebuilding, that could be a good solstice project. Sweat still needs a wood punkey too. We also started digging the hill side away from where its eroding into the cold larder and are trying to get the water to drain away from the house instead of into it. Some drainage pipe to put a french drain in around the mainhouse would be sweet as well as some concrete for retaining walls if anyone happens along some. I think the grand idea eventually is to dig it down along the house out like 3 or 4 feet and pour a new retaining wall but for now were just kinda trying to relandscape and get the water off it. If anyone happens to have an arborist buddy they could bring up to get the walnut away from over the mainhouse we’ll give em free room and board for a week and our eternal gratitude. Not that we dont have enough big things we want to do but some of us have been thinking about water filtration lately due to the clogged hot water pipes that we had to change again recently and the idea of a slow sand filter has come up as a possible solution to removing sediments currently getting into the system as well as any possible bacteria and pathogens. Its basically a big tank filled with sand that the water passes thru b4 going into the house, theyre used in lots of remote smaller towns/villages as a means to filter rain and ground water to potable quality, typical maintenance is supposivly scraping and adding sand once a year. It could also be used to remove sediment in the garden water systems making drip lines much less hassle. If anyone knows about sand filtration Id love to hear more about it and hear what everyone else thinks. Me and Jan looked at the drop and a possible site for it but I dont think either of us is plannin on drawing up any plans for it. Most of the fruit trees got pruned this year thanks a whole lot(bout 99%) to kyakin Adam, Thatch made some more nice new compost bins and were hopin to be makin lots of dirt this spring. Weve been doin all kinds o stuff, gardning and brushing and the usual springtime stuff, need to go get some wood some time here soon when the weather clears again, oh yea anyone have 16.5 rims or decent used tires? kinda an odd size rim. well whats everyone else thinkin? workshops, crafts, projects, parties, food, fun? Travis
Gardening Gardening Gardening
Never ending wood gathering