At home in the woods

IMGP4653  The start of a very busy Friday, 8/26. Putting earplugs in to watch the big chipper at work. We are having a tree service over to do some serious pruning before winter so we can have some firewood. IMGP4655  Can you see the orange helmet in the middle of the frame? Eric is up there! IMGP4659  Ben found a little wiggly bug and walked around with him for a while. IMGP4660  After 6 hours of trimming, chopping, hauling logs to cover, sweating, webs in my hair again, off we went to a friend's 5 yr birthday party at a horse farm. What a great time! Sam picked out this outfit himself. I had chaps on, too!
IMGP4661 IMGP4662  Off to feed the ponies! The birthday girl is in pink in the foreground. IMGP4663  Love Sam's quiet reflection the whole time. He is so much fun to watch. IMGP4664
IMGP4665  I always wonder what he is thinking about. IMGP4667  Now getting ready to go for a ride. IMGP4668  Sam's horse, Tucker. He is learning to groom. My first pony was a Welsh Cobb like this one, white, too. By the end of the hour with the horses, I was struggling to hold back tears. I was this girls age (the one to the left of the horse) when I was riding a white pony. IMGP4670  And Ben is learning to groom.
IMGP4671 IMGP4672  The girls have these cute half-chaps now. I still have my full, long leather chaps on. Didn't know about half-chaps. IMGP4674  Picking the hooves! IMGP4676  And riding!
IMGP4680  Look at mommy! IMGP4689  Sam did a great job riding. IMGP4690  Then craft time. IMGP4691  Loved this tire swing!
IMGP4692 IMGP4694  Gift bags for everyone. Note where Sam is. He just cracks me up. IMGP4696  Then to meet Daddy in Poulsbo for dinner. A picture of all three of us - mommy and boys. I played chase with these guys for a full half hour - exhausted mommy! This is the end to a long day! Who needs a gym when you can haul logs? IMGP4699  Sam resting on the boulder :)
IMGP4700  Now for a walk in our woods after two days of hard work clearing a little trail. We have cleared and mulched (with chips from the pruned trees) about 100 yards of trail. It is a LOT (A LOT) of work to clear a trail of dense underbrush. Next time you hear about a trail clearing work party, join in and make the job easier. It is really a lot of work. We have a huge wood chip pile and I took 10 loads into the woods for this little 100 yard path so far. And that took me all day. Dave used the power tools to cut through a few logs, and even tried his hand at splitting some logs. He is a quick study - very strong guy! IMGP4702  This looked like a tall sailing ship to me. I am taking the boys out on an early morning stroll through our woods looking for critters feeding, and to see if the big deer whose day bed we found has been back. We actually found a second day bed while out trail clearing. Very exciting! IMGP4703  It's a big web! IMGP4704  The day bed! We'll have to see if it grows over quickly (the buck has moved on) or if he continues to use it.
IMGP4708  Dave out for a walk with his coffee. This is one of the logs he sawed through - only halfway so you can step over if desired, or bike through to the left. This will also be single-track for the boys to ride on. IMGP4711  Funny daddy ;0 IMGP4713  Is he thinking "I hear something!" IMGP4714  A daddy in the woods with his coffee :) Such a peaceful morning - so still and quiet.
IMGP4715 IMGP4719  Native blackberries! A rare find. There are so many of the invasive Himalayan blackberries that it is neat to have our own native variety. IMGP4720  A big stump (snag in arborist terms) where woodpeckes and squirrels live. This is the entrance to our trail, right by the fire ring. IMGP4721  Backing up a little.
IMGP4722  And further back - fire ring is to the right. IMGP4723  And looking from the carport/boat storage to the start of another trail going toward the big maple. IMGP4724  The house from the boat storage/carport/fire ring/trailhead. IMGP4726  Swing just to left of house on magnolia.
IMGP4727  Boys building elaborate bridges and ramps on the front porch. This is a neat outdoor room - such a nice place to sit with coffee or a beer and just relax, overlooking the "pen" - garden area. IMGP4728 IMGP4731  There's the pen. Where chickens will be soon... IMGP4732  Living room continuing to take shape.
IMGP4733  Dining and kitchen off living room. IMGP4734  Looking from back deck out toward driveway. IMGP4735  Looking down fenceline to herb garden, and past that will be the trailhead way down by the two blue spruces at the top right of the frame. IMGP4736  I just turned around from that last shot and took this one of a second little gate showing the driveway entrance and the road. I insisted on bringing that little arbor from Hawaii. I am glad we did. It looks great there with the little cedar fence and gate.
IMGP4737  From the road looking back toward the arbor and herb garden. We cleared out some shrubs to the left here so we can have better turnaround area and guest parking. I don't want delivery trucks racing around the curving driveway while boys are at play, so I'm going to have them park here to deliver things. So...that's a brief tour of where we are now. I will continue breaking trails with Sam, then Dave can bring in the big muscle on the weekends and we'll eventually have several loops. We have some names for trail junctions already where the loops connect - like Three Snags, Skylight, Mapledale...Hey Krug brothers, you come and stay for a month and help us clear/name trails? IMGP4739  Sunday afternoon. More trail work, and a fire! IMGP4745  Bringing a load of chips to finally connect two sides of the trail. IMGP4746  Hard workers out clearing, while protecting native plants.
IMGP4748  The supervisor. IMGP4751  He does help a little bit now and then. The compost pile was so warm - literally smoking from the inside. So interesting. IMGP4754  THIS is the native blackberry! At last, I think I found it! Let's hope it fruits. IMGP4756  Here we are at "three snags" junction. The three trees just right of center with the holes in them are snags - dead trees but home to lots of critters.
IMGP4757  Sam at work with a hoe. IMGP4760  Ben calling us funny names. IMGP4761  You get a sense of the work. This is 80% done. Behind Dave is still to go.