Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cherry Tree Down

I meant to prune the cherry tree in January.  Since the old man's dead and his house empty but probably not for long, I wanted to remove all branches that overhang the dead neighbor's roof and backyard.  Just to avoid any future limb overhang issues with new neighbors.

Today the sun shone in Oregon gloriously.  Made me feel invincible.  Yeah.  Am not.

First off was a trip to the compounding pharmacy.  Electra got a nasty sinus infection going again and the vet called in a prescription for compounded zithromax for her.  Once a day, not bad tasting I can tell, first dose in.   If she starts salivating to beat the band, I know it tastes horrible.  She didn't with this.

Then I got the big idea to cut the overhang cherry branches.  The tree is budding out, sap arunnin, not good to be pruning now, I know, but better than later getting into stand offs with some new neighbor over the branches.  The old man liked the cherry tree and defended "his side" branches, that hung low into his yard, when I'd offer to cut them off, because he liked the cherries.  Some branches at one point were low enough we could both pick cherries just standing in the driveway.

I watched tree companies remove branches so I use that technique.   I tie my line, which is dollar store paracord in pretty colors, to a stick, then attempt to throw the stick over the crotch of a branch higher than the one I'm going to cut off.  Once I get that done, I'm not a very good thrower, so that can take some time, I tie off one end low down, then tie the other end to the branch I'm going to cut, as far out from the trunk as I can.  So when the branch is cut free, the branch won't just crash down in an uncontrolled fashion.

With a bigger branch, I throw a second line over, farther out.  Once I have it over the branch, I let the stick the line is tied to slide back down to me and I take the stick off and tie a slip knot around the other side of the line and cinch it back up around the branch.

I wish I had another person to help sometimes.  The second line is to pull the branch away from something I don't want it to hit once its cut and coming down.  Usually the line over a higher crotch is tied off  only four feet or so up from the trunk.  It will be held in place more or less, once cut, although it may swing out, as the greater length of the rest of the branch topples.  It's that greater length falling I have to control.  In the case of the cherry, I didn't want it falling on his patio roof, which isn't very strong.

So I got the line over and the slip knot cinched around the  branch maybe 15 feet out, then I ran the line way out the direction I wanted to pull the branch and through some cinder blocks then back to me on the ladder, because I had to pull from there.  I hoped the cinder blocks had enough weight to provide enough pull leverage.

So I cut and cut with the sawzall and at some point got something in my eye, even though I was wearing eye protection and my bike helmet too.  I washed and washed my eye but it kept tearing and hurting and finally I had to finish half blind with only one functioning eye.

I charged the sawzall battery twice during the branch cut.  Finally the branch began to fall, but just before it broke free of the trunk, I slipped back down the ladder, hanging on to the pull line and pulled that sucker clear over and around so it hung, by the tie off line, parallel to the fence along that side and far away from that patio roof I wanted to avoid.  I was happy with the outcome.  I lowered the heavy branch then after unfastening the knot securing it around a lower limb and was amazed that dollar store paracord held such a heavy branch.

The branches are all still out there, a mess, in the driveway, but my eye was hurting and time to quit.  Besides there was this odd thing.  One time when I trying to throw the stick over the branch, with the line attached, it hit the tin roof of the dead neighbor's patio loudly.  I went to retrieve it and heard a woman's voice.  I stopped in my tracks because it sounded like it came from the dead neighbors house.  What I heard was "Did you see anyone?"

 Now, sounds carry and twist in my neighborhood.  When the dog barks, like he does, in the backyard two houses down, it can sound like the dog is behind my house and to its north.   But that voice, so clear, made me jump back and then, when I got my courage, peer through the open blinds into his kitchen.  I saw nothing, however, and in the end, concluded I heard someone in another yard.  There were lots of people out today with the sun.

I didn't do the hard part of the cherry tree remodel.  The hard part that needs done is the big second trunk, with its off branches, that overhang the dead neighbors yard, that needs cut.  Its' a lot of work, and will require some careful planning and, time, because I think that trunk might take about six recharges of the sawzall battery to get through.   Or even more.  I believe I can drop it virtually straight down by use of line ties to guide it once again.

It's that second trunk, on the right, the one the ladder leans against now, that whole thing with its branches, is next to go.

More old photos anyone?

I took digitals of more old photos the other day, as I was cleaning out a drawer.  They didn't come out so well, in some cases.

Here's the quonset hut I lived in for awhile in Alaska.  Yes, white trash all the way. But it was home and I was glad to have a home. I lived in the far back, had a cot back there, and eventually a mattress on the floor.  It wasn't bad.

Flooding problems haunted the property due to back up of two rivers.  Here Mike rescues chickens by canoe.
The property where my friends lived after they left the apartment.  It was very trashy most of the time, would have fit in here in rural areas where I live now.  I'm not a neat freak. Ok I am sort of, so if I lived on a property like this, it would get cleaned up and everything that didn't work, fixed, bare places painted, but some people don't mind messy and trashy. I'm not one of those people.  Ok I did live on that property but didn't own it and I had no say (great excuse, eh?)

My Alaska friends. 

Dall sheep, probably I took this in Denali park.  But Dall sheep were a common sight in Alaska.

Took this when I was in college down in California.   I had a waterproof housing for a small camera and took it into the pool.  We (the Royal Dolphins Dive Club) were taking advanced certification courses.
I was a self taught diver, until I was forced to get certified when I was 17, in order to fill my tank.  I bought the tank used off someone I met at high school when I was 13 or so.  It was her father's and he had extras or had had a bad experience or something, anyhow he didn't want it.  I bought a regulator too.  It was a risky tank in that it had no reserve.  I think they called them K valves as opposed to J valves, the no reserve types but I can't recall, been so long ago.  I learned diving by watching Sea Hunt.  I loved that TV show.  And I wanted to be a diver.  Didn't hurt that Jacques Cousteau was my hero as a kid.

I liked watching his specials but once in high school, I couldn't anymore.  It was a religious boarding high school way out in the middle of nowhere.  TV wasn't allowed there in the dorms.  For a little while, I was allowed to watch the specials at the home of the chemistry teacher, but then he walked in when I was watching and heard the word evolution, turned off the TV, and boy was I in trouble, watching a heathen show.

So the tank I got was US Divers, Cousteau's brand, which made me so proud.  Boy did I take care of that tank.  Mainly I dove in lakes alone.  But when I got to college, which was also a religious college, I joined the dive club and we went on trips to the CA coast and dove all sorts of places, even at Jade Cove, which enthralled me.

When I got poor, which was really fast, I mean really really poor, when I got put into the mental system, I sold the tank and my diving days were over, but I still free dive, when I can, with a mask and snorkel I got at Goodwill.  And it seems like freedom in a way, easier, to not be burdened with all the bulky equipment.

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