Monday, July 11, 2011

It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better...

Today's post is a series of before and after shots. This photo shows a shed attached to the barn on the right of the photo.

Shed gone. Imagine the little Tinkerbell ring they used to have with those Disney audio-assisted picture books. Yeah, the shed disappeared like turning the page on one of those books. That's right. No sweat or fiberglass slivers or convoys to the dump at all.

Here we have an array of graceful fencing. That fence in the middle distance is made of rusty old pipe. One chop saw and five blades later, it and the rest of the pipe fence from behind the barn were in manageable pieces that my helpers then loaded into a bin to go to the metal salvage place. I don't know how much it all weighed, but the bin was 18 feet by 7 feet by 4 feet, and it was full! I got cash for all that. It was kind of like logging my property.

Here's the same spot with most of the fence gone and the horses living in temporary electric fence set-ups, which they regularly escape from. There's a new ditch in the foreground. (I apologize for the poor photography. Most of these pictures are snapped with one hand while grasping muddy gloves, tools and lead ropes under an elbow at the same time as fending off two or three cats and a herd of contractors.)

This shows (sort of) the paddocks behind the barn. The ground here actually rises up above the floor level of the barn, so that all the spring melt ends up in the barn. The ground is higher than the barn on account of forty years of poo building up. The other phenomenon that occurs with that kind of poo accumulation is it acts like a sponge and water won't run off even if the ground is sloped. So the excavator guy spent a whole day scraping that layer of decomposed manure off until he got down to the actual ground level.

Here it is with the ground scraped. Uh, just ignore the scary-looking barn. We'll deal with that later. For now, the idea is to get the right ditching and the right slope on the ground to allow for proper drainage, and then when I actually do fix the barn, it'll stay fixed because the foundations will be dry. That's the theory.

Here's the excavator among its piles of forty-year-old manure. Most of the manure is being taken to a neighbour's place and I'll keep a small pile for future gardens or for putting into tiny bags and selling for $40/bag in downtown Vancouver.

Things are looking dreadful now after a week of rain, but at least the view from my little deck is relaxing, and will stay that way through all this destruction and rebuilding. Oh, except for a trench for the electrical upgrade from the house to the barn...

1 comment:

  1. wow, what a HUGE undertaking! I would get a headache just thinking about it. Do post the finished pics whenever its done- be it a year ,or two, or three.