The effective lifespan for a fence expected to contain livestock is 20 years. Since my neighbor and I neither have livestock, the fence needs only to serve as a visual indicator of where the two properties join. This fence is primarily bordered by woodland. The combination of falling trees and deteriorating posts results in a fence that sags and at times lays flat on the ground.
I periodically select a section of fence where I will splice broken wire and replace non-functional posts. This year I chose an 1100 foot stretch and spent five days cutting and setting posts, cleaning obstructions from the fence line and attaching the fence to the new posts.
A typical tree will give three eight foot posts with diameters ranging from eight inches at the base to four inches at the top. The red inner wood of these posts is rot resistant enough to survive for many more decades. Notched poles are used to hold broken posts in place until I’m ready to attach the fence to the new posts.
The star of the show, and the tool I would most like to leave in the barn, is the 18 pound spud bar. The chiseled end is used to break up rock encountered while digging postholes and the flattened end is used to tamp in the earth used to fill the holes after post placement.
Shallow bedrock is responsible for the conditions that allow such a diversity of rare and unusual life to exist at Blue Jay Barrens. I remind myself of that fact as I chisel away at the rock with my spud bar.
The meteor that hit this site 350 million years ago fractured, and in some cases pulverized, the bedrock. Much of the time, I’m able to break out chunks of rock by applying pressure to already existing cracks. There are times though that the spud bar rebounds from the rock with the sound of a clear chime and I know that I’ve found a bit of rock that is both massive and unbreakable.
Sometimes I accumulate a nice pile of rocks.
These beds, usually an inch or less thick, eventually yield to the spud bar. Getting the first break in each layer is the hard part. After breaking through, it’s fairly easy to chisel an opening large enough to accommodate a post.
This was my only rock free posthole. It just served to remind me of how quickly I can set a post when I don’t have to deal with rock. That made the rock filled holes that much more aggravating.
I was wondering why there always seemed to be a shaft of sunlight breaking through the tree canopy at just the place I was working, when I noticed the chewed condition of these Prickly Ash leaves.
This is one of those bird poop mimics and its camouflage is quite effective.
The osmeterium is a defensive mechanism designed to discourage predators not put off the bird poop appearance.
Indian Pipe is a saprophytic plant that lacks chlorophyll and harvests its energy from decomposing organic matter.
These butterflies love to lap up sweat and I
sweat enough to support legions of these guys.
Most of the butterflies were going for my back and shoulders, but a few
found that I had imparted enough sweat to my tools to make them a convenient
place for a drink. Though they seemed to
have abundant energy, none of the butterflies helped with the fence building in
Color and Aroma of Spring
3 hours ago