Monday, June 27, 2011

Turkey Coop, 2

It's been hot all weekend so I tried to move the supplies the rest of the way up the hill as early as possible.

I got all the concrete and post up before my will and my knees gave out and I needed to take a break for breakfast.

This is where the coop is going to go, right in the top corner of my property above the chicken coop. This should allow a couple feet in between so I can get over to the bee hive.

Here's the opposite corner of the yard. Before I moved in there was a landslide on the property above my neighbors. Apparently the city required the owner to build a couple retaining walls to keep it from happening again. The started building about three years after it happened and stopped work about a year ago.

It doesn't look like they ever finished the work. I don't know if the crew wasn't getting paid or what but it looks like they walked off the site one day and never came back.

They left a much of trash and rebar stick up out of the wall.

They also left this. I figured I could use it until they come back for it

I just had to get it through all of the shoulder high weeds.

I got it back to the yard with only one minor mishap. At one point the wheel barrow got stuck on something to it came to an abrupt stop as I kept moving forward. I basically punched myself in the stomach with one of the handles. It gave me a pretty impressive bruise.

In my imagination I pictured myself beginning work by digging the post holes and making the hill level where the coop will go. My imagination apparently forgot about the lupine bushes that were growing there.

They are nice bushes so I thought I would dig them out and transplant them. I didn't realize that they have a thick trunk that goes straight down and doesn't seem to end.

I ended up having to just break them out. They gave as good as they got though.

I broke my shove in the process. So that was the end of work for a while...

...until I could get a new shovel. I got my last shovel thinking the fiberglass handle would last longer than a wood handle. It turns out the Huskey wood handled shove has a lifetime warranty. That would have been a nice thing to advertise.

Look at that Super Socket. That's right where the last shovel broke, so maybe Huskey knows what they are doing.

I headed back up the hill but now that the lupines were gone I didn't need the shovel, at least until I took care of some other problems. Again my imagination had not accounted for this janky fence.

It goes about a third of the way down the hill and is collapsed at the both ends. Once I took a look at it from the top I could also see that it angles off into my yard. I'm not sure what the purpose of this fence is but it seems to have outlived it's usefulness. I decided it was time to retire it.

The post in the corner had come down but before I could move it I had to take the chain link down from the rest of the posts.

Looking better already. I used bolt cutters to get the fence off and dragged the mess away.

I had to cut the fallen post out before I had a clean corner to begin working. It was only about 4 hours after I started and about 95 degrees.

That's when the hard work started: the digging. My favorite. The plan called for me to dig down two feet on the uphill side to level the site and then 3 more feet for the post holes. The top 12" of dirt was dry and crumbly and came up pretty easily. After that I hit a layer of somewhat wet dirt that was much more reluctant to move. We're still early in the Summer but I was surprised that there was so much water under there. I guess that's why the lupine have such extreme tap roots. They must have access to water for most of the year.

I dug a 16 foot trench about 12 inches deep. I'm already starting to reconsider my plan. There's no way I'm going to dig a 3' deep post hole and I'm not sure I need to. If it was a fence it might need that much support but the coop will have cross braces to keep it rigid and unless it starts to slide down the hill it shouldn't fall over. Maybe I can set some 1' deep footings just to pin it to the ground.

I was thinking that I would start a second pass to get down the second 12" but I got interrupted.

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