WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 25th, 2011

The all ‘new’ Rock Ranger

Jul 25

FORD – Freaking Oversize Rock Delivery
(You may replace freaking with your own favorite F word)

Rock Ranger

Is it any wonder that Rock Rangers have a short life expectency? Remember the red one? It bit the dust. Or, more precise, I ground it into dust. Anywho, that meant I had to recruit a new sidekick. Without help I can’t do stuff only an idiot would do. Meet the latest Rock Ranger. I know, at 25 years old it’s a bit long in the tooth but like me it gets the job done.

Someday I might show you what I had to do to get my new enabler. All I’ll admit to is laying a stone patio in return for the ‘new’ Ranger. Putting the truck to the test by hauling some moderate BFR*s to the landscape job site (a friendly ‘competator’) was on my own time. I couldn’t help myself from getting involved and taking over the work on the stream and waterfalls. I did get a very nice ‘tip’ for doing so. All things considered, I’d have done it all for my new Rock Ranger. I couldn’t be happier with the way it handles a load. Rock Ranger

This was one heavy BFR*. I guess it was well over a ton and one of if not the heaviest boulder I’ve ever hauled. The old Ranger just took it in stride.

unloading a boulder from a truck

I can’t say the same for my ramps. One was snapped like a toothpick while unloading the beast of a boulder. It had extended out from the bed of the truck and when it dropped it retired that ramp (3, 2x4s nailed together). The ramp is now sideways after the boulder was carefully placed on the ground.

On another similar occasion a ramp was broke entirely in two and the short end (2 feet from the lower end) ended up flying over the cab of the truck.

snapped ramp while unloading a BFR

It will be some time before I free the ‘rollers’ from under the rock. I will be hauling the beast again after I get done with beating some sense into it. I’m going to teach it how to be a boulder bird bath.

BRF - Big Freaking Rock

*BFR – Big Freaking Rock
(again, feel free to use your favorite ‘French’ F word)

To all my regular followers and especially to my favorites (those that comment)

Thank you for being so ‘loyal’. I won’t forget who you are and I know where to find ya.
I’ll be back in the blogosphere someday when things lighten up a bit.

Posted by WiseAcre on Nov 16th, 2010

Boulder Bird Bath

Nov 16

The original plan was to make this boulder into a disappearing fountain. I had to put a plug in that idea and turn it into a bird bath instead.

boulder in landscaping

I cleaned up and defined a path to the bulkhead using moss covered rocks and crushed stone. Once the rest of the area was mulched it became obvious that some kind of focal point was needed. Nothing wanted to grow under the hemlock tree in the full shade so I figured it was time for a BFR*. The home owner thought of a bird bath. I hammered out a compromise.

Boulder bird bath

Using a rotary hammer drill I drilled a circle of holes and used a chisel to chip out a rough hole about 4 inches deep, just enough to allow me to use the 18 inch bit to drill a hole through the boulder. (it was going to be a fountain) Getting the rough hole was the easy part and only took minutes using the hammer drill. The boulder sat in my yard for a couple months before I got back to it.

boulder bird bath

I finished the basin with a 3 lb. hammer. I pounded on that rock for about 4 hours.

boulder bird bath

I was happy with the results.

boulder bird bath

It does look better wet.

boulder bird bath

I’ll be making some more of these.

*BFR – Big Freaking Rock

Posted by WiseAcre on Aug 29th, 2010


Aug 29

Another day canoeing on the Grasse River.
This time it was the section between Morley and Bucks Bridge. The trip starts out in shallow water riffles and there is always the chance of getting hung up on submerged boulders and rock ledges. By keeping to the north side of the river you can avoid most of the snares. A bedrock shelf extends out from the north (right) side. During periods of low water it lies exposed, today it was mostly submerged. You can just make out some debris stranded on the shelf where the water lever was only a couple inches deep.

Grasse River below Morley

It only takes a few minutes to run shallows (about 3/4 mile) in a canoe. This section is probably my favorite fishing spot in the county. It’s a great spot to wade and fish on a hot summer day, smallmouth bass like to hang out in the numerous ‘holes’. These pockets can be waist deep and the current can sweep you off your feet if you stumble into one but it’s oh so refreshing when it’s unbearably hot and humid. By the time both the river and I run out of current I can just manage to walk up the hill to home.

Near the end of the shallows is a limestone outcrop on the south (right) side and the location of my primary objective of the day. It might only be a mile from home and I may be a bit carried away when it comes to rocks but I’m not dumb enough to carry one that far. I are smart so I used my canoe to collect this beauty I discovered on the river bank.

rock in canoe

I’ve been collecting rocks and thinking about making some disappearing fountains. I’ll get into that another day.

After the shallow water riffles the river settles down. There’s 2 miles of flat water and a number of small islands before reaching sight of Bucks Bridge. I fished some on the way and caught a couple of smallmouth ‘keepers’ that I let go for another day. Hooking into bass over 15 inches is not an unusual experience in this section of river.

Grasse River between Morley and Bucks Bridge

The river bank is high and hides a beaver pond / swamp on the south side. Where the swamp drains to the river is a shallow area filled with pickerelweed. I usually catch both pickerel and northern pike here but today I just drifted by. A Great Blue Heron was stalking the shallows and I didn’t want to disturb it. I wanted photos of big blue.

Great Blue Heron

I was drifting slowly and quite a distance away but the heron noticed me right away.

Blue Heron wading

A couple of strides with those long legs and it was nearly hidden in the pickerelweed.

Great Blue Heron in Pickeralweed

My presence was too much to tolerate. With both of us in motion and the camera at full zoom I was surprised to capture the moment it took wing and get a half way decent photo.

Great Blue Heron taking off

The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful. Another bass caught and released, a turtle diving for cover and a good slap by a beaver was all that interrupted the last part of the trip. (No I didn’t get slapped, beavers slap the water as a warning to others then dive out of sight)

The end in sight. Bucks Bridge

Bucks Bridge over the Grasse River

This is another section of shallow water riffles. Just before the bridge I got hung up and had to get my feet wet pulling the canoe to the takeout.

A Google map of the river section along County RT 14.

View Larger Map

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