Work in Progress

I’ve been noting a bit the summer projects we’re doing, and so as a change of pace I’ll avoid anything political or philosophical, and instead give some pictures of the huge, expensive undertaking of the summer.

There are two major projects going on: 1) to clear land in the back woods for a fire pit, play house for the boys, and a nice place to party; and 2) install a drainage system and remake our entire lawn.

For number one, the trees are cut and while we have some more work to do, it’s looking very good:IMG_5308

This first one is in the middle of the clearing, looking out towards the end of our back yard.  The next one is looking towards the house:


Still gotta clean it out and all, but the pictures don’t do it justice, I think it’s going to be a great little area.

Now, here’s a a shot of our “driveway” at the moment:


This latest delivery (we’ve already gone through120 cubic yards of sand and 60 cubic yards of stone before this) came Thursday.  The boys were excited and I said they could climb on them with their mud boots.  Well, when I checked on them they had stripped to their underwear, were barefoot, and covered with dirt and sand.   They were having a blast!

Here is the front yard:


The blue thing there is our kayak (not much use for it this year, thanks to the rain).    The drainage system here is buried — it comes out where all the rocks are in the front left of the photo, and was about four foot deep  in spots going around the edge of the lawn.   A smaller one cut across the middle where a ‘natural’ stream had formed.  It seems to be working well, a lot of water is draining through it.IMG_5312

Here is the back yard.  You can see where we ran out of sand last time, where the trench is still open.  Much of the grassy area will be covered with sand and then loam too.   The trench goes all around the house in a horse shoe like shape.  Up near the top is where the trench is shallowest — that’s so some goes down to the first exit (the rocks in the previous picture) and the rest goes to a basin at the end.   So far it seems to be working, a lot of water is flowing.   Here are a couple close ups of the part yet unfinished:


The pipe is already laid here, with rock both beneath and on top of it (and fabric on top of the pipe).   Now we just need to cover the rocks with sand to finish it.   The photo below shows the path to the end of the trench.  The logs are there not as a bridge, but because the tractor collapsed part of the trench and got stuck back there — a bit of  a chore to fix it up.  The logs were needed to help get the tractor unstuck:


This part doesn’t look too deep because it’s slopped quite a bit downward from the rest of the trench.   Our house is on a hill and a lot of water flows down towards the Wilson Stream, a short walk from the house (here is a post with photos from a walk to the river back in April).   Our hope is that all of this will give us a good lawn, a nice clearing, and be worth the money and the work.

The designer of all this is Natasha’s brother Alexander.   Sasha (as he’s called) is visiting with his son for two months and has been project manager, telling us what to do.   A lot of hard work, but worthwhile.   More photos when it’s all completed — hopefully within a couple weeks (though clearly it’ll take a bit longer for the grass to grow!)

  1. #1 by Natasha Novosyolova on August 2, 2009 - 18:13

    Great project Scott!
    looks like a lot of work done – and even more still ahead!! must be a bit worrying to be in the middle of it now))) but definitely worth it!

    So good you didn´t have to do yourself! like us:)
    but clearing the trees, digging drainage and mounting sand was a lot of fun for me and Jorg)) And he is still digging!:)

    we should have done the same kind of photo-report, as our summer-cabin ground was all horrible – swampy, covered with wet moss, and the lower logs started turning black.. we could see water gleaming through the porch battens)) now we´ve drainaged all water off our land, and piled loads of sand and earth – grass and forest flowers replaced wet moss. We´ve been able to build a playground for kids there. And the house is dry! Smells different!.. Not so many mosquitos, too – they love dampness.

    Back still hurts after carrying sand in buckets))we found an abandoned sand pile in the forest, and used earth left from digging the drainage, too. I was very pregnant then, so could carry only 1 bucket at a time, or pull out smaller trees; exercise was good for us!

    Never thought of using gravel -it makes sence. You are lucky with your advisor!

    wish you good luck, and will be waiting for more pictures to come

  2. #2 by Mike Lovell on August 3, 2009 - 17:28

    Just out of curiosity, what exactly is ‘loam’?

    looking forward to the end product pictures, as I am sure you are too. That’s one hell of an undertaking!

  3. #3 by Scott Erb on August 3, 2009 - 17:50

    That’s what people in Maine call high quality soil (no rocks, etc.) I hadn’t heard it before moving out here.

  4. #4 by henitsirk on August 6, 2009 - 20:07

    You hadn’t heard of loam before? /quizzical look/ I could swear I knew that word growing up in CA!

    That’s going to be an amazing yard when you’re done. The boys are going to love it, I’m sure. I can’t wait to get a house of our own so we can put up a play house before my kids get too old for it!

  1. Installation Continues… « World in Motion
  2. The House as a Construction Zone « World in Motion

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