I set out this afternoon as the sun waned behind drear clouds, hand saw at the ready.

After picking through brambles and obstinate branches, I stumbled into a patch with an abundance of fallen wood. Score!

We needed a place to store wood for the bonfire, and I've wanted to try building a lean-to - the perfect match! Today was my day. I'd been sick for nearly a week, and was still congested, but felt up to the challenge and needed the fresh air.

With uncertainty in my stride and an saw haft bouncing against my calf, I scoped out a likely candidate for my first post. I needed a crotched, thick branch that could stand 4 or 5 feet high. Out came the hand saw and down came the branch. The tree had already fallen, so it was a rather easy feat. I spotted the next one just a yard away. After ducking under a menacing branch and working another few minutes, I had my two crucial posts for the soon-to-be-lean-to.

Eyes ever peeled, scarf wrapped twice, toes cold and impatient, I climbed through the fallen debris and underbrush until I found a few long, medium-thickness saplings. Down they came! Or up, as the case may have been, for several were already lying on the ground. Talk about convenience!

As easy as the cutting work was, and as quick as the spotting, I had a time getting those saplings out of there. They liked to catch on every passing branch, and I was ducking and dodging already low-hanging large branches as it was. Let's just say it was an interesting progress, and don't ask how closely I came to know those snapping branches.

Yeah, yeah... if you know me, you know by now that means I got smacked in the face by trees. For a good ten minutes, too. And cut my finger, fiddling with the saw. Aaaanyway...

The deed was done. I loaded my unwieldy cargo into a wheelbarrow (bad idea) and maneuvered it along the path of many expletives and finally beside the bonfire pit.

The ground was frozen, so I couldn't dig down for the first two posts, but I did manage to give them a good packing of snow, and they seemed to hold up well. Up went the cross-piece and then the long backing saplings, all into place. Excellent! It looked... not so impressive. But it was standing! And by the time the light was fading from a waning, hidden sun I had gathered some other good length branches to do the cross-frame with the next day. The last step would be a quiet walk through the woods back to an old evergreen with many fallen boughs, for thatching material. Much more beautiful (and fragrant!) than using a tarp. That walk will wait til tomorrow.

I'm excited. My first lean-to!


Russell said…
im so jealous... your life is like one long scouting merit badge!

Stupid house :(
LionLotus said…
Aw :) I'm sorry that you have a house, Russell.
Russell said…
heh. it is kinda a pain since i can't do anything that requires time off from work because i have to keep paying the mortgage. Hopefully before long i will get a new job with salary and paid time off.

Just promise you will occasionally make my house a stop during your exciting adventures!