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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!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JUSTME29
    Wow - what a lot of work! It's looks great though, and now the native species have a much better chance of surviving. Close call with the chainsaw though, I'm glad it wasn't worse.
    1742 days ago
    Wow! It looks fabulous after!! No kidding about the tons of fitness minutes! Oh my! Invasive species are so tough to deal with. Kudos to you for being so proactive!

    PS - Glad to hear your safety reminder was only a minor one!
    1748 days ago
  • LINDAF49
    Bill, I so enjoyed reading your adventures...and so appreciating your good stewardship of your land...I remember reading your intent to keep it positive and smile at your efforts and delight in the progress. So thankful the Chainsaw accident was fairly minor - I am from third generation of logging people in our family and respect a chainsaw and it's potential for good or bad and so thankful for your healing and not disaster. God bless you and your dear wife as you build this beautiful place "Dee in the Heart of Texas" and praying she does not stress too much when you have these little mishaps along the way...I understand how wives can worry!
    God bless and thanks for sharing ---back to portion control now and take care!
    Linda in WA
    1749 days ago
  • STR458
    1750 days ago
    Wow that is alot of work!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1751 days ago
    The difference is noticeable in the after pictures. You are a good steward of your little piece of the world.
    1753 days ago
    What a 5 day calorie burning workout! Scary accident. Glad your leg is healing nicely..I am working on doing better at staying with my calorie limits too. It really does make a difference. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1753 days ago
    You're one rockin' Teddy Bear! Your blog and photos made me smile!
    1753 days ago
  • THOMS1
    emoticon on a job well done! emoticon
    1753 days ago
  • SKATER787
    We'll take the good luck with the chainsaw this time. Great job. Functional work, physical work is better than exercise any day. I contend that the government should change the policy to promote non-exercise activities which is more effective to most people. emoticon emoticon
    1753 days ago
    I'm very happy to hear it was a "near miss" rather than a disaster. Power equipment is so useful but can also be so dangerous.

    Now it's time to slow down on the food. You can do it. Plan ahead and have some colorically light snacking options available at hands reach.
    1753 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1753 days ago
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