Thursday, July 26, 2012


After our BEE removal, our next project was TREE removal (followed by cleaning out the sheds and setting up for the storage of building materials... an entry for another day).

There were approximately 40 trees that had to be removed, including two (2) hemlocks that were approx. 100 ft. tall, as well as a couple of nice walnut trees.  Here are some of the pine trees that had to be removed from the backyard:

The next set of pictures are the hemlocks and walnuts around the house:

The above photo shows the house nestled under a canopy of trees.  The following two photos show the size of the hemlocks, first from the road at the right corner of our property, the second from down the road.  HUGE trees, and two of them were leaning over the house.

Thus the need for tree cutting.  

Karl's brother (Bob) also lives in Floyd, although they are both originally from Wrentham, MA.  Bob has a backhoe and so we arranged to have him and a few friends/family members come over for a week of tree clearing and brush burning.

The first day the guys started removing trees away from the back of the house and the driveway, so they would have a clear path for the large hemlocks to fall.

 Throughout the day... more trees were cut... more stumps and limbs were removed, and at the end of the day, the guys had made a lot of progress.

However, nothing is EVER as simple as it seems.

The next day Carl Whitaker, one of our friends (AND... one of the loggers  featured on the television show "Ax Men") was cutting down one of the pines and it wouldn't fall. He went to his truck to get a wedge.  Now... I was sitting on the back porch watching all of the progress when a large gust of wind comes blowing from down the hill in back and grabs hold of that particular tree. I saw the tree falling towards the back porch, while at the same time the power lines with the power meter attached came  swinging around the back side of the porch... right in front of my face!!!  

Needless to say...progress was halted until the power company could get someone out to re-attach the whole thing.  And although I didn't have to change my drawers... it was a close call both ways.

Now... a funny thing happened while the power guy was re-attaching our power lines and the meter.   He informed the crew cutting the trees that they needed to remove some cherry trees that were brushing up against the power lines between the pole that held the transformer and the pole supplying power to the house.  In the process of cutting them down, another gust of wind came down the hill and grabbed another tree and it fell onto the power lines, pulling down our power pole and tearing the power line out of the hands of the guy that was re-attaching the power to the house!

No-one was hurt and they all pitched in and got the tree off the lines, and got the power pole back in place, and the guy once again resumed our power restoration, proclaiming he had not had such a laugh in a long time (I hereby state that I cannot vouch for the state of his drawers.).  NOW you know why I chose the name "Virginia Farmhouse Follies."  Between the bees and the trees and the power lines... I should have known life on the "Funny Farm" would be anything but dull!!!
The guys called it a day, deciding that it was indeed too windy to proceed, especially with the tricky position of the larger trees still to come down and the bad luck of the power lines.  

The next day proved calm, so work started with the felling of still more pines, along with a couple of small chestnuts and a walnut tree that was needing to come down in order to put in the driveway and parking area.

Over the course of the next several days, trees were fell and logs removed and brush piles burned.

Even my grandson Garrett (who was only 4 at the time) got into the whole thing and enjoyed hanging out on the backhoe. 
 Although they worked hard all day, even the most manly of guys have to take a break...

That's Karl on the left (in the white shirt) and his brother Bob on the right. 

The next to the last day (it took a week in all) was the day set aside for the biggies.  These were the hemlocks and the large walnut tree that were looming over the house.  The day started with the removal of the smaller hemlock on the front side of the house, and a couple of pines left in the area. When it was time to take down the behemoth in the back yard, chains were strategically placed in order for the tree to fall in an area out of harm's way to the house, outbuildings and anyone around the area. The chainsaws were fit with 4' chains and the cutting began. Bob had his backhoe hooked up with one of the chains so he could pull and after everything was in order... TIMBER!!!

 Down came a magnificent tree!  How big was it?  Let the pictures do the talking...

Carl Whitaker climbed aboard to remove some of the limbs that were sticking up, in order to make its removal easier... shows how large this tree really was.

Now... you'd think these guys had had enough adventure for one day, right?  Nope... not these guys.  They decided that the large walnut tree was next.  Now...unbeknown to them, that sucker had attached its limbs around the chimney of one of our fireplaces. SO... everyone gets the chains and backhoe and all the saws ready... and the cutting begins.  Everyone knew they were in trouble when kamakazi bricks started hurling through the air!  I was standing a safe distance from any disasters, keeping Garret out of harm's way.  You really would have had to have been there to see these 4 guys running for their lives!  Bricks were flying everywhere and when they would hit the metal roof of the house, it sounded like bombs exploding!  

They finally got the tree down, but not without it totally destroying the chimney and putting dents the size of... well... bricks into our roof, plus a couple dozen holes the size of golf balls. Thankfully no-one was harmed.  It reminded me of some of the antics of the 3 (make this one 4) stooges!  

Everyone had a good laugh when it was finished and were grateful no-one was injured.  The rest of the afternoon was spent sawing limbs, clearing brush and leveling stumps. We were finally able to see our outbuildings in the backyard, as well as the fields.  What a beautiful view!   

Later Karl cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for the crew, and everyone sat around having cold beer and retelling their own past adventures of clearing trees.

And... we all mused about what adventure the next project would bring down on the Funny Farm.


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