Sunday, July 29, 2007

5th Week

"Undercliff falls" near the property - bad picture, nice spot

While checking the fences I noticed that big branches had fallen down and taken part of the fence with it in a couple of places - more work to put on the list

The site is getting prepared for the concrete, that hopefully will be poured next week

It does become a lot of holes, as it is three fairly big buildings

A good machine for the job

Laying out for the exact location of the sheds

The concrete boys start the next major step in this journey

The cut next to the driveway

There is a total of three culverts in the driveway

Small watering hole for the future cattle

Blackberry that totally has taken over one of the many stumps

It becomes a lot of old wire from the old fence posts that we burned during the week - this is just the first load

We are trying to clean up the place while we are going along

It was great to be able to burn the old fence posts and then just drag out the old wire - I have no idea how we would have done it any other way

The new driveway entrance with culvert in place

Big pipes, but it turned out great

It is a lot of work if you want it to be done correctly

Culverts are a lot like men's "you know what" - size matters, and there is questions to what you want the head to look like, but in the end to do the job right they need to be put in correctly

There are so many different birds around during this time of year

Some of the dams do need some work to fix the erosion caused by the cattle

The new farm track along the fence line

We stockpiled some material to have handy for future project and to be able to finish of the site

Sunday, July 22, 2007

4th Week

The gullies are green and full of water even though we are in the dry season

Stumps pulled up with the excavator

We use a dump truck to move the stumps to the stacks for burning

My newly rented house gets very cold, so I better make sure I have enough firewood. I got lucky to have the excavator knock over an old gumtree that have been dead for years, but it still stood up and was dry as a sponge in the desert.

The shed pad ready for the concrete slab

We trucked in a lot of material for the driveway from a neighbour 10 km away

" Wide and High" is the mantra when it comes to the driveway

The new driveway entrance

The first steps to shaping the driveway

We were able to save the big trees that makes the entrance so powerful

Sunday, July 15, 2007

3rd Week

The work on the 3 major dams are to follow the house site and driveway

Making the opening for the new driveway

Dumptrucks brings the material up from the damsite to spread it on the house pad

Two trucks shuttled material all day - 15 to 20 min. return trip

It's good stuff, we are lucky to have a patch of it not to far away on our own land

While we getting the material we need for the house pad and driveway, we also digging out an old dam site that needs repair.

The driveway leading away from the house

We have done everything to make it as gentle of a slope as possible
The whole site sits on a slope, so we have had to "cut and fill" to make it level

Fairly gentle slope leading down to the shed area
The colour of the clay makes a nice contrast on the landscape
The cut for the retaining wall that will separate the house from the "parking lot - turn around area

Cold morning with frost in the gullies
I actually had to scrape the ice of the windows on the truck that morning

Making sure the site for the two big water tanks are level
Lawrence spreading out and level the site
We want the tanks to sit as high as possible, because we will gravity feed to house and shed. The site is the highest spot in the surrounding area.
After clearing the area it is time to build it up with material
The future water tank site
Playing with the laser level to plan for future contour swales and maybe another dam. It is easy to go crazy with the permaculture ideas, but it does make me see the landscape in a more dynamic way.
Rock and Roll
Whenever David has a moment to spare on the excavator he is busy pulling up old stumps

These we got out with the dozer, but we had to call in the blaster the next day for two even bigger ones.

We did run into a few big boulders