For some reason I thought that heading out to my brother’s house in Kingaroy would be a relaxing weekend, watching some rugby, drinking a few beers, hanging out with my nephews and niece. What I didn’t think about was that he lives on 5 acres and, in my brother’s words, living on that much land is “90% maintenance”. For example, it takes him three hours to mow the lawn and the majority of his land is not lawn.
Throw in a freak windstorm that knocked over about a half dozen trees (entire trees) and countless branches and you’ve got a nice little project to get your teeth into.
For a bloke who spends most of his workday on his arse in front of a laptop, the chance to do something outdoors and physical was fairly appealing. After about 30 minutes in the hot sun I was ready to call it a day, but since my nephew was still soldiering on, I felt the peer pressure not to wimp out.
The next door neighbour came over with his chainsaw to help cut up some of the bigger stumps for firewood and easier moving. This guy was well into his 70’s and had a pacemaker, so there was no way I was quitting before he was. That night, after a couple of beers while watching Australia battle it out against Scotland it was a struggle to keep my eyes open.
The next day was more of the same. The neighbour was over again with the chainsaw and he’d also brought his old ute which was very handy in pulling out stumps and carrying big loads of tree detritus down from the top paddock to the fire pile.
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In a few weeks once all the green stuff has dried up, my brother will get a permit to burn all this stuff. He has to be careful that the fire does not spread as his hose does not reach far enough to control it and there are grassy fields only a few metres from the pile.
Here is the size of the pile when I left, two piles that joined into one: View image
And for scale: View image
And to give an idea how freaky the storm was, this tree is about a kilometre away and Jacaranda flowers (the purple things) fall off very easily in a strong wind. In a wide open field, all those flowers are still intact.
Hopefully I’ll get to go up when my brother lights up the pile. It’ll be huge.