Clearing Brush at the Ranch
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Well, we just got back from our ranch a couple of days ago after clearing brush for 5 days. Even though I normally don't clear brush this time of year (100 degree temperatures), the local county is getting ready to implement another burn ban, and depending on the current drought, it could be a very long time before I can burn the cut cedar. The "cedar" (actually a juniper) is a non-native species that is taking over much of Texas. It takes a lot of water from the ground and chokes out many of the desirable trees (like our pinion pines and native oak varieties). The more cedar I get rid of, the better chance for the native species to grow.
I spent 4-6 hours a day this trip cutting the cedar with a chainsaw, stacking it into piles, and burning the cedar. Below are a few "before and after" pictures showing some of the work that was done:
Here is a picture of me after a morning of clearing in the heat. Not a pretty sight!
I got a lot of fitness minutes in and lost 3 pounds during the trip. I would have lost more if I would have kept my calories down a little.
The only bad thing about the trip was a "close call" with the chainsaw. I've used a chainsaw most of my life and I've never had an accident. A branch on a falling limb, however, knocked the chainsaw back into my leg. The chain cut through my jeans and left a 4" long shallow cut in my left thigh. Luckily, it didn't bleed too badly and I was able to go back to the cabin later and clean and dress the wound. To say I was lucky is an understatement. Although it is healing nicely, I will have a nice scar to remind me to be a little safer in the future!
Now that I'm back home, I've got to remember that I can't eat like I did at the ranch. Although I'm still doing my daily fitness, it just doesn't compare with that I did the past week. I've got to stay in my calorie range if I'm going to continue to make progress!