2 When we arrived on day 3, Red and John were already tearing it up in the pond area. It started out as cool, damp, and overcast; John said it was perfect for this kinda work. We set up a viewing area from the end of the access road and watched the show. We got there when John was beating up on this big old Sycamore tree. It took alot of digging at the root ball, but the back-hoe prevailed.
3 Down came the Sycamore tree
4 Red was mowing down trees like a bad enemy.
5 Once a tree hit the ground, Red backs up and gets the root ball onto the blade and steers it right over to the burn pile. He pushes it, steering from the back end.
6 Red wins another battle
7 While John is picking into the edge of the woods and pulling out tree after tree with the back-hoe, Red goes dozer-crazy and mows 'em down closer to the center of the pond area.
8 Red takes no prisoners.
9 As if he gets bored with pushing 'em, Red will sometimes grab the root ball with the blade edge and carry it to the burn pile.
10 John tries to stay close to the burn pile while he is picking away at the trees. This allows him to give Red a hand when he arrives with a new player for the burn pile.
11 those are some tall Sycamores; no match for a Cat. dozer with Red at the controls
12 At the end of the day, the area cleared in one day appears to be at least 2 acres. Before they started, the open area of the existing pond was about 150 feet across. These guys mowed down some major timber in one day. Donna is waving her arms at the other side of the clearing. It is about 300 feet away. The tree in the middle is marked with elevations that Donna and I shot, so it is kept until the bitter end of the project as a bench-mark.
13 Donna proudly displays her new burn pile; tightly compacted yet still huge. John and Red joke that this is not much more than a big campfire. They have created burn piles that would dwarf this one. Since there is still alot of clearing to be done around the immediate perimeter near this pile, I expect that it will still grow.
14 a quick look up the access road completed the day before. The plan calls for this to become the boat launch when we are done. For the record, the woods have to be cleared back about another 125 feet further up the road to get back to the proposed water line.
15 a panorama shot of one day's work, looking from the access road. During the picture stitching process, the right side tilted giving the appearance of a slope. This is an illusion; the entire basin area is flat.
16 another panorama shot, taken from an area about 1/2 way to the dam. Even John is surprised by how big this thing is gettin'.