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May 17, 2011


Goliad, we’re clear for take off!

by Shane and Samantha

"That is a mighty fine piece of machinery!"

The land clearing process was a work of art.  The uncleared land was the raw canvas, and the back hoe worked tirelessly like an artist’s favorite paintbrush.   As each layer was peeled away the beauty and shape of each tree was revealed.  Animals scurried out of the way and the land began to take shape and offer her palatte for us to build our home.

The first task on the list was to clear an area for a burn pile.  Randal’s method is to “take the path of least resistance” and let the mature trees guide his path.  A seasoned veteran at clearing land, he keenly sizes up and judges each tree and shrub so he can weed out the undesireables.  The trees that look promising are left and then later he returns to perhaps thin more out based on other factors such as shade quality, competing trees and the potential size and shape of the tree once it’s had some time to fill out. 

pushing brush to the burn pile



Randall has a unique way of clearing the land that ensures that the plants he digs up won’t grow back.  Most people clear land by using the bucket to simply sear off the plants and trees at ground level.  This leaves the root base, which sometimes consists of huge root balls, that can later form shoots and grow back into full sized trees by the next growing season.  Randall counters this potential issue by using the back hoe to dig deep and then pulls the brush up by the roots.  He uses the back hoe to shake each pile free of any dirt from the roots and sets the pile to the side.  Once he has a large enough pile of brush and trees he uses the bucket to push it over to the brush pile. 

cleared site of our home!

beautiful Live Oak that was hidden behind the brush

And this is exactly what he did.  Little by little Randall cleared a beautiful spot for the home.  He revealed a small grove of Oaks to the East (by the master suite), a few single trunk well formed Mesquites to the West (by the children’s rooms) and beautiful Wild Persimmons to the South (in view from our future back porch).  Shane was in awe how each tree looked so completely different once the brush was removed from around the base.  The beautiful potential of our land was made clear to him, and although he won’t admit it, I’m sure it made him a bit misty.  I know I was as he described it over the phone.

can you see it?

Shane came home for the weekend, and today he’s heading back down to Goliad to pick up the septic tank and start that process.  Although I miss him terribly during the week (I have to stay in Houson since Ian is still in school), it’s a small price to pay for getting a head start before the heat of summer sets in.  I’m looking foward to heading down this weekend to check out the 10,000 lb septic tank!  Who knew I could be so excited about such a thing? 🙂

Read more from Land Prep
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clara Martin
    May 17 2011

    thanks for the update, it is great fun watching the project develop.


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