Saturday, August 06, 2005

Working on the Land

Our archives for July 2004 capture places we visited on our first trip to Newfoundland, where we were teaching a Summer School for Mount St Vincent University as part of their M.Ed program.

One of the photo sequences in the July 2004 archives was blogged under the post title of 'a nice place for a picnic'. As it happens, the piece of land in Bottle Cove that we photographed was for sale, and we were fortunate enough to be able to buy it. We contracted to buy it on first sight, but at the time did not know if everything would go through -- although we hoped it would. And it did.

This year we were lucky enough to be asked back to teach another course in the MSVU program, and this time we arrived to a surveyed but overgrown site. During the past year we had pondered how to start and gradually arrived at the idea of beginning with a 10 metre by 5 metre barn style shed that would take vehicles on the ground floor and have hobbying space on the second storey (in the loft). Our friend, Alton, who began as the real estate agent who sold us the land, had found us two excellent local contractors: Gary and Ray Evoy, who live in Benoit's Cove, between Corner Brook and Bottle Cove. So we planned to clear the land so that they could make as much of a start as possible on the project.

The following sequence of pix shows the Cove on good behaviour, and gradually works through some clearing activity and ends with what had been done by the time we reluctantly had to leave. With luck the barn will be built during the next 6 weeks or so. That will leave a year in which to save toward building the cottage that will accompany the barn. It is a big project, but a good start has been made.

At this stage it looks as though we will be back to teach two courses next July-August, so that will create an excellent opportunity over the best part of 3 months to really push things ahead. Meanwhile, this is where things are at to this point.

Inspiration for a little clearing work. Posted by Picasa

From the front of the barn shed currently under construction things will look like this on a fine day. Posted by Picasa

Looking out at dusk. Posted by Picasa

We would work until late, which coincided with a high tide and lovely dusk calm during the first week. Posted by Picasa

A shot taken late in the afternoon on a still day. It's easy to work long and hard with this all around. Posted by Picasa

A close up of some typical shrub and scrub that we had to clear. Posted by Picasa

It was hard going by hand. Our neighbour Harvey subsequently put in two big hours with his chainsaw and thinned out a LOT of scrub in the background. Posted by Picasa

Some spoils of clearing by hand -- loppers, bow saw, machete, and sweat. Posted by Picasa

The heavy artillery -- Roger Shepherd and his digger made very clear sense of the building sites and the driveway up to them in a few short hours of applied mechanical muscle. Posted by Picasa

Scary. Warrior Weedeater clearing on a fine day. Posted by Picasa

Planned cottage site looking back to the hill. The cove is away to the right. Posted by Picasa

Looking across to the planned cottage site, on a wet day Posted by Picasa

The kind of thing we are aiming at for starters, although ours will be wider and will have wide double garage doors on the front Posted by Picasa

Driveway from in front of barn-shed site Posted by Picasa

Driveway from the road Posted by Picasa

Some perspective Posted by Picasa

Solid footings in the making Posted by Picasa

Boxing the footings and frost wall Posted by Picasa

A view from the beach of how it looked on the last trip out Posted by Picasa