Red fox and red maple

The chokecherry, maple and birch leaves are starting to turn colors.  A young red fox is hanging around and looks like it’s changing into its prime winter pelt.

I have all the holes ready for the footings and all the rocks and boulders from the holes that I could lift are set up as a sort of retaining wall where the driveway turns into the building site.  The tools I used are pretty basic:  a rock pry bar, a spade shovel and a small pick axe that I bought at a flea market for $4.00.  A post hole digger or earth auger would have been pretty ineffective for this site in my judgement; too many large rocks and too much hard clay.  I ordered some flared, square footing forms that attach to the sonotube forms, and so I’m just waiting for those to arrive and the weather to cooperate before I begin pouring concrete.  I must admit that the foundation has proved to be much more work than I anticipated.  I thought I would hit the granite bedrock at a much shallower depth, but that was really only the case where the bedrock was exposed on the surface.  Lesson learned for next time.

I also took a weekend and went fishing on the Bois Brule in northern Wisconsin with some friends.  We stayed south of highway 2 to avoid the crowds and by doing that, also missed out on the lake-run trout and salmon.  Caught plenty of pan-sized native brook trout though and kept one just to taste.


Blueberries and black bears

In between rainstorms, I’ve been working on digging the holes for the footings and foundation piers.  I’ve been using a rock pry bar, pick axe, and shovel which has been pretty slow going with the bugs and 80-degree days in the sun.  The boulders I’ve had to dig out are large enough to be a huge hassle yet just small enough that I can’t justify renting a back hoe.  I had to special order concrete footing forms that won’t come until next month so looks like  I won’t be pouring concrete for a while.  I did make sure to orient the foundation so the roof pitch faces south for solar panels.  I plan on posting more detailed descriptions and photos of the foundation process once I’m closer to finishing.  In phenological news, the blueberries peaked around the first week of August and there are a couple of black bears hanging around.  Amazing to see how docile and indifferent to my presence the bears are when feasting on the abundance of fresh berries.