It was a working weekend this past weekend for the family. We went out, Friday evening, to our friends' dog rescue ranch to spend the weekend working for the dogs. All three of our dogs came through or from this particular Rescue Ranch, and the folks there are dear friends to us. So when opportunity presents itself, and we can all manage to arrange schedules to match, we go out and help out at the ranch.
You may recall our last trip out there in June 2012. We cut wood, and cleared brush all weekend. Not having access to a wood chipper (Fargo, eh?), we were forced to pile the wood into monster brush piles, and pray for cooler weather. Texas, being in the South, tends to be hot and dry--can you say, Fire Risk?? Yeah, so since it isn't summer yet here, it was time to try to remove as many piles of brush as possible. We heard there were 3 piles--the Monster (estimated at 20'x30'x10'), the big one (10'x20'x4') and the small one (8'x20'x2'). Since it was going to take the tractor to tear the Monster into manageable heaps, we opted to tackle the smaller two instead.
Around 5hrs later, we finally finished the big pile. Luckily there were no serious injuries from walking on the brush pile (no turned ankles or snake/scorpion/spider bites). However we have all developed an intense hatred of Texas brambles! Ouch! They're everywhere out there, and thorny! And I fared best of all there, having kept my long sleeve shirt on, and used my Camelbak Frogs gloves. I only ended up with a couple scratches from the brambles, and a couple bruises from getting whacked by branches going into the chipper. One glove did get mangled by the chipper (not mine) and fortunately, the branch pulled the glove cleanly off the hand wearing it BEFORE the hand got into the chipper! Whew!
After lunch we picked up a 4th helper and tackled the smallest pile. The chipper, though dull as a butter knife, ran like a champ, and mangled everything we fed into it. It was surprising how small the piles of chips were, compared to how large the brush piles were.
We finished up just as the storms arrived, and got in before the rain. The rain kindly washed the chipper off for us too, though it did end up stuck in the subsequent mud for a while...
Sunday dawned clear and chilly with some moderate winds. I wanted a warmer jacket, but once we got into the woods, it wasn't so bad. Dave and I cut and stacked a mess of dead wood, as Sunday it was just the two of us, with one saw. Monkeyboy helped a lot with stacking wood, and learned an important lesson in keeping ones eyes on the tree being cut, 'cause sometimes they fall in the wrong direction! (Yes he did get out of the way.)
It was a fun, hard working weekend. We were hurtin' by the end of each day, but it was worth it. It's always fun to see all the dogs there, and to let ours run in the pens and play with the other dogs. I know the kids took some pictures of the dogs, so perhaps next time I will put up a post about little Rosie....