Clearing the Wilderness: Backyard Transformation, Day 1

Though we had a rain delay yesterday, it’s mostly worked out for the best. With work starting a day later than planned, crews showed up today to tackle our backyard.

As they wandered into the thick of things, the foreman was asking me how far back it goes. I told him that it went all the way to the fence. One of the guys, on hearing this, said to the foreman that he didn’t find it. He said this in Spanish, but I picked up enough to understand – and started laughing. Our backyard was so overgrown that even when he went looking, he couldn’t find the neighbor’s fence in back.

The work begins! Though there was some initial clearing and moving around of things, the real work happened when…

… the bobcat arrived. This thing tore through the yard like it was nothing, and almost immediately made a swath through the overgrowth. It was jaw-dropping to watch.

We had a sense there was a lot of brick, hidden underneath things. Here’s a patch, right near where the driveway ends. Had no idea this was here this whole time!

As Liz and I were watching, we kept shaking our heads – remembering how long it took to clear just a little bit ourselves.

A lot of trips, in and out, all day long.

Here’s some video I took, of the bobcat in action. The quality here is a little low, due to this being a Periscope stream originaly:

A lot more of the yard clear, and the back fence starting to peek through.

Look at that… terrible looking fence! That guy has certainly been here for a while, but given the curve of things, this is another one of our future projects. Fences are… surprisingly expensive. But for now, it’ll serve. We’re just happy to see it again!

A lot of roots that were dug up. I was hoping this would be part of the process, but I ended up seeing way more than I thought I would.

A larger view of the yard.

Some tools of the trade: shovel and a chainsaw.

A fern that the workers kept. I imagine they get to cherry-pick from the plants they clear, keeping things they might find valuable or might be able to re-use. Sorry, Alex.

More more cleared.

On our way out to get lunch, we stopped to watch the bobcat make a few trips at the front (most of our viewing had been from the backyard).

I wonder how many total trips he’s taken today.

Bobcat clearing, with some workers tackling the fence. Note the clean/level area way in the back, by the Eastern fence.

This video is a bit better. Liz and I were watching this, and commented how we could have just stood out here for hours, watching.

The neighbors’ yard is looking a little more defined.

Level spots appearing.

The crew, working on leveling the neighbor’s side.

More relocating of soil and roots.

There’s a large pile near the cellar door, where things are now being placed.

From my view upstairs, it looked like the crew was going to get everything done in one day. When I went out to ask them if they’d finish today, I spotted the large mound by the back, and immediately felt silly.

It’s still amazing to think that all this was done in a single day.

Muddy driveway (though the crew did spend a lot of time shoveling this area up, clearing the sidewalks at the front, and also cleaning up the street).

A view of the full backyard.

Looking at the neighbor’s yard, from our back porch (there was a set perimeter they wanted to keep untouched).

Looking over at the neighbor’s portion of the yard.

Looking outward, from our back porch.

A big pile of soil and roots. This is actually quite bigger than it appears here.

An older Coke can, that the crew left for us. I couldn’t tell how far back this goes – 80’s perhaps?

Later in the evening, Liz spotted a small rabbit (one of a few we’ve seen). A little puzzled, a little amazed at all the changes. Very much like us.

Yardwork, and the Slow Realization That It’s Going to Take a Really, Really Long Time
Backyard Tree Removal: Before and After Photos
A Path Through the Wilderness
Front Yard Transformation in Under a Day: Amazing Before and After Photos
Single Day Front Yard Transformation: Before and After Photos

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