Construction Journal Entry Week of 4/29/18

5/1-3/18 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

On the way I stopped in at Nursery Trees in Snohomish and bought ten Western Redcedar seedlings in one-gallon pots. The place is only two driveways south of Uncle Charles' old house and it turned out that all four people in the office of the Nursery knew Charles. Small world.

After paying $107.16 for the trees and getting some good advice on how to plant them, I proceeded on to Camp Serendipity. I arrived at 12:50 on a beautiful sunny day. I could see that the rhubarb was growing and thriving from where I parked the truck. I brought my gear up to the cabin, hoisted the flag, built a small fire in the wood stove to take the chill off, and had my lunch.

Robert called shortly after and updated me on his activities. I told him my plan to begin re-planting and he was happy about that. He told me that he would be over next week. If the ground is dry, he may begin setting the jammer up.

I took a short nap and then went out and piled up a bunch of brush on the bluff burn pile. It was fairly windy, so I did not start a fire. I also walked around deciding where to plant the trees. At first, I was going to plant them off the front porch of the cabin, but I changed my mind and decided to plant them on the bluff cut. All the logging activity is finished up there except for some final brush burning and Robert told me that the DNR doesn't care at all about where we replant. They are only interested in the number compared to how many trees we harvested.

I had learned from the nursery people that the seedlings need to be watered every day for the first summer and fall and they should not be over-watered. That presented a problem for me because I am not up there every day. To solve the problem, I decided to extend my irrigation system for the giant sequoias by connecting more hoses to it and stringing them over to the bluff cut. Fortunately, the bluff cut is somewhat downhill from Paul which is at the end of one leg of the sequoia irrigation hose.

I planned to string the hoses in two roughly parallel branches across the bluff cut. Most all of my hoses had holes in them where the animals had bitten them, so I decided to put those leaks to use. I strung out one hose before I quit for the day.

Out on the front porch, I noticed that I had my first four tenants in a 2x4 I had prepared to attract mason bees. Mason bees use any holes they can find to lay their eggs in and then they seal the hole up with mud. They are excellent pollinators and I want to encourage them. I was unaware of them when I installed the front porch and stair railings and I found that they had used the holes I drilled for the balusters before I got the balusters installed. I learned to tape up the holes after I drilled them, but I felt bad about depriving the bees. So, I set up a short 2x4 with 28 holes in it for their use. I got no takers last year—I was probably too late—but I was happy to see them move in now.

On Wednesday, I called Robert and told him about my change of plans about where to plant the trees. He approved the plan and said that the DNR didn't care where the trees were planted. After breakfast, I started the brush pile on fire and strung two more hoses. Then I turned the water on and inspected the hose to see where it was leaking. Some of the leaks—the ones in the wrong places—I patched up with duct tape. In other places, I used the leak sites as candidate places for the seedlings. The plan was to have a continual slow drip near each seedling 24/7.

Next, I made markers for the trees that I would be able to see even when the leaves come out. I made them simply by using 24-oz. yogurt containers. I set each container over the top of a stick I drove into the ground and wrote an ID number from 1 to 10 on each marker. Then I took them into the woods and set them up at the chosen sites. With the sites selected, I dug a hole at each site.

After lunch and a nap, I took the wheelbarrow down to the truck. While I was there I pumped up the tire on the wheelbarrow. Then I used it to haul quite a bit of yard waste I had brought with me over to the compost pile. Then I loaded all ten cedar pots and seedlings into the wheelbarrow and wheeled them up to the bench cut. Then, one by one, I planted each of the trees in the holes I had dug.

Then I made a more detailed inspection of the irrigation hoses. I duct taped all the holes that were in the wrong places. I punctured new holes in the hose at tree sites that didn't already have a hole, and I adjusted the wye valves in the hose so that I got a drip, or very thin squirt, near each of the trees. When they were all adjusted to my satisfaction, I took some pictures of the trees and markers. I planned to leave the water on from now on and that would give me another chance to check the drips after it had run all night.

When I went in for the night I saw that there were now five mason bees in the 2x4.

On Thursday morning, I had a delightful conversation with Dave. Our breakfast meeting for next Monday is still on and I look forward to seeing him and Bill then. After breakfast I went out and checked the hose drips. I made a few minor adjustments, but they were all getting properly watered. Then I made seven shades for the trees. Three trees were in locations where they would get natural shade but seven of them would be in too much direct sun. I made the shades from two 5-foot lengths of #3 rebar driven into the ground a couple feet apart in front of each of the seedlings. Then I used rebar tie wire to fasten remnants of old blue tarps to the rebar. When these were ready, I took a picture of them.

I left for home at 1:10 very happy about the progress for the week.

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