Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A time to tear down, and a time to build...

 We headed up to the range before sun up and the pink sky was a beautiful way to wake up, along with a big mug of coffee.  We've been working these past couple of weeks tearing out the old, burnt fence one quarter mile at a time, and rebuilding new fence right behind it.  Rolls of barb wire come in lengths of a quarter mile so this has become the minimum amount we do in a day.  Today Hubs and NumberOneSon planned to put up a half mile.  The men are doing the really hard work, but I'm pitching in where I can by pulling staples and clips from the old posts and later stapling and clipping on the new wires to the new posts.

This nifty tool is a wire pliers.  It can pull staples from posts, twist and  pry wire, pound staples, or dig wires and sagebrush out of the dirt.  It's a handy tool and a necessity when you are working on a fence line.  Each day that I work with it, I get better and better.  By the time we're done with this project, I'll be in shape for a full-time fencing crew!  (ummm, maybe not)

Here you see the woven wire and the barb wire down on the ground.  This will be rolled up and removed.  We had hoped to reuse the old wire, but the heat of the fire was so severe that it weakened the wires and made it too brittle to use again.  Sue enjoyed walking up and down the fence with me, but when she had had enough, she jumped in the Ranger and took a nap while I worked.

It looks like a desert out here, doesn't it?  The posts are being pulled up out of the dry, dusty ground.  Since there is no grass out here, a light wind will lift the dirt and soot blow it all over us.  It's dirty work. It was fairly mild this morning, but by mid-afternoon, we had a strong wind that really stirred up the dirt.

In this photo, I was hoping to show you the tiny bit of grass that is starting to come up.  If you look hard, you can see a tinge of light green that is new growth.  We're sure hoping we get some fall rains to keep it growing and germinate more grasses out here.  New grass will hold the soil together, but if it remains bare like this, it'll be a dust bowl out here.

What was torn down is built back up -- straight, tall, strong.  Jobs like these are very satisfying and rewarding because they stand for years.  The fence that was here before stood for about 50 years or more.  We hope this fence stands just as long.  Tomorrow we'll be up with the sun once again.  I will only be out here for a short time in the morning because my girls will be coming to my kitchen to make applesauce.  It'll be another productive day.

There is an appointed time for everything, 
and a time for every event under heaven.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3


  1. When I was a young bride, my doctor's wife invited me over to make applesauce. I so enjoyed the sweet fellowship as we peeled and stewed.
    That tool DOES look handy. I bet working out on the vast dry ground feels spiritual. It's so big and we're so small.

  2. Great photos that really show the scope of the project and the spread of the land. Yes, Lord, please bring rain and more of that green grass.

  3. That is my favorite quote from the bible. I feel so bad that there is no grass there. I'm sure it will come back, but how scary. I remember spending a summer tearing down a destroyed fence and putting up a new one. It took all summer, but how rewarding. When I go home I go back to see how it is holding up. So far so good and that must have been 25 years ago.

  4. I guess you will be up early today whatever you're doing. It's the same pattern when we're in Italy - to do tasks in the cool of the day and evening.
    I hope you have a joyful apple sauce-making time with good fellowship.

  5. I can't wait to see your green return to this land! What amazing work you all do there -- that sounds hard! But a fence that lasts 50 years -- that's amazing :)

  6. I never did tell you how sorry I was to hear about the fire. I can't imagine how frightening it would have been.

    It looks crisp there! We had frost warnings the last few nights--and it's been cold!

    I'm on corn today---have fun with the applesauce. Hope the fence goes smooth enough for you all.

  7. Wow...that is hard work. The right tool for the job is so important! Glad you are becoming a pro with yours. I'll pray for some autumn rain that will grow that grass!
    Applesauce at your place, pear sauce here today!

  8. What hard work. It must be rewarding to look back and see how much you have done.

    How fun that you have daughters to make applesauce with. The work goes so much more quitckly when you have a good crew.

  9. I know what a tough job fence building can be. I think I'd get discouraged looking ahead at how much is left to do. We don't have wide open fields to build on; our fence lines are a tangled mess of briars, cedars, and honeysuckles, requiring a chain saw to clear out a space. Sometimes this overgrowth becomes the fence :)

  10. It still looks beautiful despite the bareness. I think I have some back reading to do on your blog. I've missed popping by for a visit! Oh, and what a handy tool!


  11. Love your photos Jody! They always tell a story of your ranching life. Have fun with your girls tomorrow.


  12. Job well done!

    We'll be picking apples here soon and taking our turn with the applesauce and apple cake and apple crisp and apple brownies...

  13. What a job ahead of all of you. We have rebuilt fence the last three years due to wildfire's. One went about a quater of a mile from the house, and with no rain it was a dirty sooty mess when the wind blew out of the northwest all that winter. Could not keep it out of -e house.

    Glad you get a break to do some skirt work with your gals.



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