During initial phases of construction, Grandpa had done the time-honoured tradition of moving rocks out of the way and placing them as borders to mark off paths or zones. The installation of the new well last fall created a zone that I also wanted to be well defined - a few feet all around the well casing that I wanted to be exclusively planted in grass, somehow I have in my head that a nice layer of solid grass around the well would be a better medium for rainwater to fall through and into my well. I don't think it would contribute as much decomposing organics as some of the more prevalent plants in that area.
To mark out my "grass only" zone, this spring I ringed the well with many of the stones that had been exposed during its installation. At the end closest to the cabin, it came quite close to a huge stone that had been split and laid out by the excavator. After a day or two of thought, I expanded the circle to include this split stone, and that created a natural "entrance", accessed through the area we had been using as a fire pit.
|Starting to clean up the "zen garden".|
On my own, I encountered a really large rock with a flat top. I managed to lever it up out of the ground, but that was as far as I could do it by muscle power alone. I tried using the comealong, but in this area, there weren't too many trees left between the cabin and the sauna, so I didn't really have any places to anchor to, and I wasn't about to use my porch posts!
|A long reach with the comealong!|
|Lots of blocks underneath to make sure it doesn't roll back.|
I wrapped a chain around the rock first, then attached the pulley to that, and then the wire rope around the pulley and back to the ATV, where I chained it to the front draw bar. Now I had theoretically doubled the pulling ability of the ATV. My "secure thought" was that if the rock was too heavy, the winch should have more than enough power to instead drag the ATV forward, long before it would break the rope or damage the winch. As long as the ATV was on sandy, level ground, there shouldn't be any undue stresses put upon it.
|In the right place, now to get the right position.|
|My pulley all hooked up, commence precision winching...|
|Nothing beats hands on adjustments though.|
|Dusty, but looking really nice!|
|A frosty beverage would complete the picture - but careful, Doctor said I have to watch my potassium!|
This time I thought it would go easier if I were to lever it up and try to slide a scrap piece of plywood underneath. I wrapped a strap around the rock and fastened a 2x6 from my wood pile to it. This allowed me to lift it while Donna carefully jammed the plywood underneath.
|Too bad you can't see all the hard work my photographer put into this project too! Thanks Mama!|
|Just in time to help guide her to her new home.|
|10,000 years in the same spot, and then I come along and shake things up!|
Then we reattached the strap and 2x6, and I levered it up into position in the hole.
|Archimedes, eat your heart out!|
|Wishing I hadn't put the strap on so well.|
|Ahhh, gravity, my old foe... We meet again!|
We then backfilled it with clay, and a layer of sand.
I cleaned up the area, gave it a quick rake, and felt very pleased with the outcome.
I'm looking forward to another campfire, hopefully with guests, to really re-connect to my neolithic roots!
|One can feel the reflective power of this space.|