Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vacation in North Florida

Recently RetroMan and I went to North Florida for a few days.  Of course we spent a lot of time at Tree Ring.

While traveling around, we passed many fields of watermelons and trucks carrying them to market.

We met with the County Forester to discuss the next 5 year plan for Tree Ring.  We're going to leave the land fallow for 2-3 years and then plant native Longleaf instead of Slash pine.  He recommended a fire lane be cut around the perimeter, and the Forest service can do this for us pretty inexpensively.  That's good, because before the clear cut it took us about 2 years to cut the tiniest fire lane.  We began clearing a lane again after the clear cut, but each 100 feet took about an hour - those logs are heavy.  It's about a mile around Tree Ring, so I am glad for the Forest Service's help.

We are getting more serious about building a cabin at Tree Ring - layout coming in a future post.  Since we live about 2 hours away, we wanted to spend part of the trip asking the locals about people they trust - architects, people interested in some weekend work helping RetroMan build, site planners, well diggers, the electric co-op, the county building department, etc.  We met a lot of awesome people and have made some good connections.

One of the things we wanted to do during this visit was to stake out the perimeter of the cabin - 24x38 feet.  We were having trouble doing this with all the log debris, so we hooked the trailer up to the van and moved a bunch of logs to a burn pile at the back of the property.  

The stakes were too tiny to really get an idea, so we tried to pulling the trailer across the spot the cabin would go.  We never did get anywhere near it, but we got to sit on the pretend porch and check out the view.

All we needed were some banjos and some grass to chomp on.


It took about 2 hours to move all the logs, and this great idea may have been the beginning of the air conditioning problems we've been having ever since.

Note to self:  The van is not a truck.

City people are so stupid.

Lots of flowers on this trip.

Beardtongue - Pentstemon

Clockwise from left:  Bog Yelloweyed Grass - Xyris difformis
Lance-leaf Arrowhead - Sagittaria lancifolia
Marsh-pink - Sabatia

A field of Carolina Redroot by the dry pond.

Up close.

Carolina Redroot - Lachnanthes caroliana

Fleabane - Erigeron annuus

St. John's Wort - Hypericum prolificum

I think this is a weed, but it's very pretty.

Meadowbeauty - Rhexia mariana

It had a little spider on it that I thought was cool.

A purple flower I haven't identified yet.

And a pretty pink one.

I took all of these pictures with my new Samsung S5.  They look great on the phone, but after downloading, I don't like the pictures taken when it's cloudy.  It was so convenient not having to carry both a camera and a phone (in case we got bitten by a snake), but I will next time. 

We did a lot of other fun things on this trip like tractor shopping, visiting Cedar Key, and 'The Swamp', but I will save it for another post.