Saturday, April 15, 2006

Arboraerial Photography


Lets go trim some branches from this laurel oak that's shading my blueberries. Watch your step and mind that branch to your left as you go up. The chief sawyer (me) screwed up the cut and it's hanging by a few threads...oh, and the trumpet creeper that's wrapped all around this tree is patrolled by ants that protect it from interlopers so try to stay off of it.


If you spin around on the ladder so the tree is behind you, the door to the wood shop is visible as is the metal roof of the lean to shed that houses the mower and some garden tools. The wood shop is a 12 by 16 loft barn we built when we first moved here. It needs a new metal roof and some TLC soon. We'll use the yellow rope to tie off and gently lower the tree sized limb we're going to take off. To do that, we have to leave the ladder and move into the branches a little higher.

Take the rope and climb above the limb we'll cut. Now loop it over that higher branch...good. Now drop down to the target branch and tie it off. Shoot me the rope and I'll wrap it around this other branch a couple times...this will be our brake so we can lower it in a controlled manner.

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Before we start sawing, let's catch our breath and enjoy the view. That's my garden spot. The Jeep and trailer is there because I just finished mulching around the two pvc outlined beds with pond weed I harvested from the pond. The pink carpet is a benefit of remodeling and is doing weed prevention duty.

In the lower left corner is one of my chicken pens. It houses 3 banty hens. In front of the Jeep, in the sun, is the chicken tractor which houses 3 banty roosters and 2 tired hens. The little brown roofed structure to the right is the "Mallard Mansion" so named by my wife. She thinks it's "overbuilt". It once housed mallards, but now houses a few garden tools.

At the far end of the garden are the two pig pens, each 16 by 16 formed of hog panels. In the nearest pen with the green A-frame pig shelter are pots of tomatoes and bell peppers. In the farthest pen, three wide rows sport squash and watermelon vines.

Directly below us, not visible from this angle, are the grape vines and blueberries. They are why we're up here. They need light and this goofy oak keeps growing out over them. Removing this branch is really going to open it up below.

Back to work. I'll go down and hold the rope. You take this pruning saw and start sawing. Try and keep yourself above the cut, limbs fall down, not up.

Good luck and thanks for coming up with me.

You'd be surprised at how few people answer yes when I invite them up here.


doubleknot said...

If it was a few - well a lot of years earlier I would be right up there sawing that old limb.
Your aerial pictures of your garden look amazing like my old garden I used to have. I'll have to dig those pictures out and post them.
Hope you got the limb down - don't want anything interfering with the blueberries - yum.

pablo said...

Clearly I'm going to have to drive down there and take away your really long ladder. You continue to exhibit self-destructive tendancies. It's for your own good, Cracker.

Deb said...

Thanks for the photo tour of your garden! You wouldn't catch me up that high on the ladder, though.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

I won't go up a tall ladder, so there is a lot of work aloft that is accumulating around here. When Pablo comes to pick up your tall ladder (for your own good, of course), why don't you hop in his truck and you can both come on over here and help me with my chores? I'll provide the scrumptuous BBQ.

roger said...

that is a mighty long ladder. one word. power tools. ok, two words.

my power pole trimmer arrived on the day of your blogaversary. it works on trees as well as power poles. nice view of your garden.

aren't you sposed to keep tension on the rope so the big limb doesn't fall while i cut it with your retro handsaw?

Floridacracker said...

I believe you would.

Glad you showed up 'cause I know your were a boyscout and know all about knots. What kind of knot would be best for tieing two ladders together? know, for a little more height. :)

It was so neat up there. The tree was swaying in a gentle breeze. The Culligan water guy drove up, reloaded the water conditioner with salt, and drove away without ever noticing me 30 feet above him.

Scrumptious BBQ always gets my attention. Have ladder, will travel.

The actual cut was made with the rope tied off under tension. Turns out the couple of loops to brake it was enough friction to hold it.

As for power wife wasn't home and I'm not allowed up in trees with the chainsaw when home alone. It's a line in our wedding vows.

Rurality said...

Ack! I like the aerial view, but still. Ack!

Floridacracker said...

It is so cool up there. I sound cavalier, but I really do lots of safety checks before I cut.
Just being up there is the neat thing.

Zanne said...

OK this is not a good thing. You should never show these photos to your MOM or your FRIENDS. Now we launch into full time worry mode!!!

I know someone who does tree trimming for a living and I believe it's on the top 10 dangerous jobs list.

Floridacracker said...

It's okay. I spend a lot more time just sitting up there and looking than I do trimming.

At least I'm not doing the John Muir climb a tall tree in a lightning storm to feel it's awsome power thing.

Wayne said...

By the way, FC, did you manage to get a good photo of the hairs at the base of the pedicels of those trumpet creeper flowers? I need one for my collection. Thanx!

That shed doesn't look overbuilt to me!

threecollie said...

I got nervous looking at the pictures, so I am not going to be the one helping make that cut. However, it did offer a really neat perspective on all your gardening and poultry endeavors...but you are WAY too brave.

Floridacracker said...

Not blooming yet, but can do later in season. Do they have nectaries like partidge pea or are these ants just waiting for the blossom nectar?
The mallard mansion only housed a pair of ducks and had a few bells and whistles inside...I didn't think it was overbuilt either.

You are too kind, my wife always substitutes crazy..or...stupid, for brave :)

Hick said...

whoa! This is fun! I never knew how much fun I was missing out on. This could be a new career for me.

Thanks FC.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

That's an awfully tall tree you are in!
But I do like the view from up here.

Thunder Dave said...


Nice view from up there! Kind of take you back to childhood doesn't it?
I sure wish I could have been there for the sand spit expedition!

I'll try to get a blog or two out this week sometime, in between work and studying. My hops have gone wild and I'm trying to grab a daily photo to show their progress.

rick said...

The 2nd view reminds me of looking out the door of a C-130 just before jumping out.I could not do the ladder thing, although the view of your spread looks different from above.You missed some goooooooooood food yesterday.

pablo said...

BTW, that top photo is really well conceived and nicely executed.

Pablo at

Floridacracker said...

Those sugar pines are just begging to be climbed.

We don't have cliffs to climb here in flat Florida, so trees compensate.

I'll take you out there on another visit.

You jumped out of C-130's but don't do the ladder thing? I don't jump off the ladder until I get to the last step. I heard from Dad that the chow was great! Sorry I missed it.

Thanks. I'd probably get a lot more work done around here if I'd leave the camera in the house.

Leslie said...

YIKES you would never catch me up that high in a tree! No way, jose'!

Great pic of the garden and poultry area. I particularly like the pink carpeting. I think when it's no longer needed for weed control, you should put it in Mallard Mansion. You'd have one cute tool shed!