Cabin Work

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Ken Anderson, May 6, 2016.

  1. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That's a good idea @Von Jones. I had actually considered buying some of those before, when I was walking on the nature trails more, because any time it would even mist, the trail would become very slippery, and I had fallen a few times. I'll have to look around and see if I can find a cheap pair, thanks.
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    We don't have an actual ditch out front; but the lawn slopes down to the road and it is difficult to either mow or weed eater that part. What we are doing is planting it with flowers and shrubs that will grow and spread each year. So far, we have irises, the sunchokes, Mexican petunias, and a few daffodils growing out there.
    I have some hollyhocks growing in the Aerogarden, and once they get large enough to transplant, I will pot them up for the summer, and then set them out along the slope when it cools off this fall for next year.
    Eventually, the whole area should be filled in with different flowering plants, and some that are also tall enough to give us a privacy screen out there, and we should not have to either mow or weedeat once it all fills in better.
    That probably isn't a fast option though.
     
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    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    I've seen this method a lot in the surrounding neighborhood. Some folks even add solar lamps and garden features like birdbaths, houses, feeders or other garden decor. Very seldom do I see any one maintaining the areas.

    About 3/4 of the homes built on the north side of our street are on a hill and get hit in the front with the morning sun and we get it in our backyard. Their grass and bushes grow much faster and have to mow often.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Okay, I got lost in my woods. Not hopelessly lost or anything but I came out way past where I had intended to come out. I could have turned back at any time and found my path again but, being a guy, I didn't want to go back the way I had come. I didn't; rather, I came out about a mile and a half from where I had gone in.

    The grass didn't need mowing yet because winter didn't want to go away in Maine, and very little is growing yet. I did retrieve the disks from my cameras and changed the batteries. The batteries in two of the five cameras had died at some point during the winter but the others had kept running since I put them there in November.

    In the next few days, I'll post some photos from the camera if there's anything interesting.

    The woods was very wet from the spring thaw and the fact that it had rained all night last night, so I got pretty wet walking through the woods.

    I saw a bear, which was only the third time that I have actually seen one with my eyes out there, although they turn up on camera all the time. I didn't get a picture because he moved to the trees before I even thought of reaching for my camera.

    It was a young bear, probably in its second year. It was on top of one of the agricultural tractors that was left in the potato field. At first, I thought it was a potato grower, then I could see that it was bear. Either it was curious, as bears are or, more probably, someone had left a lunch behind.

    He backed off of the tractor very slowly, like a cat that had been caught rummaging through a dresser drawer, and then ran for the trees.

    This is a hard time of the year for bears. They have come out from hibernation skinny but there isn't much for them to eat. Despite their ferocious reputation, 85% of what they eat is vegetation and very little is growing yet. A significant part of the other 15% of their diet consists of ants and other bugs, and there aren't even very many of them out yet.

    This is the time of year that they are the most dangerous, since they are hungry. Even then, black bears are unlikely to attack a person for food.

    I left a few bags of apples and some chicken that was on sale.
     
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    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    camp-floor-done.jpg
    Here's a photo of the camp floor after it was completed.
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Do you ever feel like a pioneer when you are out on those 100 acres Ken? Could you and your wife live of the land over there if y'all wanted too?
    There was a time my five sisters and a couple of my brothers talked about going in together and buying acreage where we all would build houses and have own own family "commune"...and I think about that now days for my children and grandchildren. But they are much to "worldly" and wouldn't know what to do without all their modern conveniences, etc. With all that is happening here in America I think it would be good to have a place like you have though. I look forward to seeing your work on your cabin, etc.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I wish I'd started earlier in my life, but my goal is to get it so that we could live off the land there if we needed to. There are no utilities available within a couple of miles from the land, but we hope to have a well drilled before too long, and some solar panels, but I don't want to depend too much on electricity. There's no point in living in the woods if I'm just going to be sitting behind a computer.

    Our land includes a 5 acre potato field, which we currently lease to a potato grower, and half of another 5-acre field. We have a brook with a beaver dam on one end of the property. The beavers have that part of the land pretty wet but it's great for wildlife. We have at least four moose that are on the property pretty regularly, and others that pass through since the land abuts a very large area of undeveloped forest. We have one bear that seems to make our land his base of operations, and others that come in, particularly during mating season. So far, I have seen only one white-tailed deer, but the northern part of Maine is pretty much the northern boundaries of the white-tailed deer habitat. I don't hunt, but I've never had to, so I suppose I could if it were necessary. I can shoot fairly well.

    One thing I want to do is to set up a forest garden, that being a concentration on edible perennials, fruit trees and nut trees, so that there is food in the area that doesn't require a garden. Although the wildlife will help themselves to much of that, it brings the wildlife in. As it is, we have wild blueberries, raspberries, and some chokecherry trees, so I know that those things will grow there. I planted a few other species of blueberries that are hardy to the zone but, while the plants are doing well, it's been four years now and they have never flowered or bore fruit. I'm still not sure what's going on there.

    The other end of the property includes a cedar swamp, a portion of which is on our land. The word "swamp" is misleading there because, although it's known as a cedar swamp, it's not particularly wet. It's a thick stand of cedar trees with a canopy that doesn't allow a lot of snow to reach the ground during the winter. Moose winter there because they can walk around without being in deep snow, and it's near enough to other parts of the woodland that includes vegetation that they can eat during the winter.

    The rest of the land, from what I was told, was potato fields up until about thirty years ago when it was allowed to grow up into a woodland, so it's a new woods, and it still includes several small clearings where saplings grow, and that is what makes up a large part of a moose's diet, as well as the deer. These are also clearings where I can plant fruit trees and the like, although I would have to protect the trees with a fence until they are large enough to avoid being eaten. I wouldn't mind if they ate the fruit, but not the whole tree.

    I would love to be able to plant currants but they are illegal in Maine because of a belief that they can carry a disease that can spread to to white pine trees.

    Saturday while I was there, I got lost a couple of times. Not hopelessly lost, as in needing anyone to come find me, but after I collected the disks and changed the batteries in the camera at one clearing, I wasn't paying much attention while I was walking back, as I was daydreaming about one thing or another, and I realized that I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Not wanting to go back the way I came (it's a guy thing, I think), I just walked in a direction that seemed like it should take me back to the road. I found a much larger clearing than the one my camera was in, a clearing that I hadn't yet come across in my wanderings through my land. If I can find it again, I'll set some cameras up there too.

    After leaving that clearing, I walked back into the woods, following an animal trail. Given a choice of trails, I chose one where I could see another clearing up ahead. When I got near there, I could see a camera in a tree. It was the one that I had started out from, and I had walked in a circle. So I think I can find it again.

    Another camera, I had set up along an animal trail in a wetter part of the woods. Everything was wet Saturday, because of the snow melt and the rain we had on Friday, but this was a fairly wet area when I set the camera out last September. I had marked the trail to the camera, having once spent many hours trying to find a camera, so I followed the marked trees to my camera. I didn't want to go back that way because it was very wet, so I thought I'd look for a drier route.

    I followed what appeared to have been a trail made by farm equipment many years ago, as I could see two wide-set tracks. The tracks themselves had turned into a stream, with flowing water, but the area in between the tracks was fairly dry, so I followed that. After walking quite a long ways, I realized that it wasn't going in the direction I had intended to go in but since it was an easy path to follow, I knew that I could always go back the way I came if I needed to. Eventually, it came out to the road, but a mile and a half or two miles away, on neighboring property.

    I still haven't explored all of my property. The trees and the underbrush are so thick that it's hard walk through much of it and the end of the property with the beaver dam, the beavers change the landscape so much from one year to another, that it's hard for me to get my bearings.
     
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    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    When our daughter brought our grandchildren up here, as it turned out, less than two weeks before she died, I would have thought they'd have been fascinated by Maine, having grown up in Fayetteville, North Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland. Yet, during the drive up north, despite the mountains, rivers, and even a couple of moose, they barely lifted their heads from their cellphones or video games. Once we got to the land, our nephew did enjoy walking through the woods with me while I set out my cameras, but our niece went back to the car and waited.
     
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  9. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't like asking for directions. I choose to wander and find my own way, as long as I'm not on a schedule and late for something. That's the best way to learn new places, in my opinion, and get the lay of the land. It sounds as if your land isn't fenced in. Do you have any problem with trespassers messing up the land or disturbing the wildlife? I watch some of the shows on Nat Geo and other channels that show law enforcement in Colorado, Maine, etc., and in some cases, it seems punks make a mess of the land with snowmobiles and poach the animals off season/at night.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    A few years ago, one of my cameras caught a photo of someone hunting on my land, although it's posted. I put the photo up on Facebook asking if anyone knew who he was. No one told me, but I've never had a problem with that again. Another time, one of my cameras captured a couple of people on ATVs on my land. It's posted "no hunting" rather than "no trespassing," although under Maine law, someone is still trespassing if they don't have expressed permission to be on the land, and the state could confiscate their ATVs. That seemed kind of mean though, and could only lead to bad relations, so I let that go. I just put up a "no trespassing" sign along the trail that they were on.
     
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  11. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, assuming they're just spirited youths on a jaunt, it could be mean. However, it could also teach them a lesson about respecting the property of others and prevent them from escalating their behavior and ending up in worse trouble in the future. I know what you're saying, and I think it's probably treated somewhat differently up there. Down here, if I had children or grandchildren and they did that I would definitely dissuade them, because once on another's property, they could be shot. I'm always amazed at how many people still trespass, though. It doesn't sound as if the ones on your property did any lasting damage, although since I'm not in favor of unnecessary hunting, if I owned land, I wouldn't want anyone using it to kill animals. I understand some people hunt to put food on their table, but I'm not in favor of trophy hunting.

    Here's a story from the local news about ATVs causing costly damage to a golf course: http://abc13.com/news/atv-riders-vandalized-houston-golf-course-green-club-says/1342252/
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    There was a time when you could have a pond dug on your property and stocked with fish by whoever is in charge of this kind of stuff in your State and it wouldn't cost you anything. Do you know if that is done where your 100 acres are Ken? If it is you could have a private swimming place and fish to catch and eat too.
     
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  13. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That sounds really nice @Babs Hunt. I've never heard of that before. I wonder if it was specific to one or just a few states? It seems the EPA and other government agencies are cracking down on so many things these days, I think it's unlikely they would permit that sort of thing, if they had any say, at least. I don't know if y'all have heard about this case, but it appears the landowner is actually prevailing against the EPA. http://www.inquisitr.com/3085124/wy...hts-epa-over-a-pond-on-private-land-and-wins/ The NY Times actually did a story on it as well, but it doesn't seem they've updated it with the recent news.
     
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  14. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    My brother had in done here in Louisiana at one time. When we would go to his place out in the country we would catch some catfish with corn kernels. :)
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    When I lived in Missouri, the property had three nice ponds on it, and I used to fish in all three of them. Most of the people around there also had ponds on their properties, and that is where their livestock cooled down and drank. it was not unusual at all to see cattle standing or lying down in the ponds.
    The rain would fill the ponds up sometimes almost to overflowing.
    I think the difference in regulation might be whether the pond affected a natural water flow, like a creek running across the property.
    Most of these ponds were just holes drug into the ground where the rainwater could run into them and fill the ponds up, so they didn't affect any natural creeks or springs.
    As long as a person was just making a hole and letting it fill up with rainwater, there should not be a problem with having to have special permits.
     
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