Each holiday season I try to accomplish a project that is a little different than my daily routine; it's a reward to myself. Occasionally it has been building a footbridge, milling lumber for a project, or repairing some piece of the preserve's infrastructure. This year it was all three.
I started with milling a log from the oak tree that had fallen in the meadow earlier this year. At 28" diameter it pushed the limits of the sawmill and the tractor needed to lift it, and was bigger around than my slip-chains would encircle, so just squaring it off was a challenge.
Nice office, eh?
I made boards custom-sized to replace those along the creek trail boardwalk that had rotted, then Sean and I trimmed them and nailed them down (the hard part of this last step is removing the broken old boards and nails!).
This boardwalk carries visitors through a wet section of red maple woods. I find it hard to believe but these boards represent the start of the third generation of wood decking (admittedly untreated) on this boardwalk which I built 12 years ago. A photograph of this rustic boardwalk graces a wall in the restroom at Natural Lands Trust's main office (yes, really), so in other words the new wood on this boardwalk is two generations removed from what is in the photo.
The black locust in ground contact, however, is still hard as stone.
I hope you enjoy the holiday season as much as I am!