Mapping the property

Drone Project.  Started a new project trying to map the property using drones and images coupled with ERSI  ArcGIS Pro to turn the drone images into a hi resolution map that can be turned into a 3D point cloud. This used with the ground based mapping robot “Max” then we can get the fine details into the map and then put in the variations into the map as the seasons and plants change.

Will also record our yard art and map new garden projects. will Be interested to learn how these tools can be used for all the  features and objects we have on the property.

Then the DJI spark drone is my next learning experience. Wonder how well I will do with it.  If I can fly it for a few flights. before I crash it. Has a lot of cool features but using the Samsung is a bit of a pain. So need to learn how to keep the Samsung connected. Also  the DJI go 4 app is a bit buggy and has been a trick to get everything hooked up.

Powering up the drone is also a trick it is a two press of the button  Press then press and hold. to turn on and off both the drone and the remote control.

Can wait to chase the deer and rabbits off the property with it. Wonder if it is possible to scare them away with the drone.

Planning on getting my 107 certification and a. drone from DJI part of the developers group. Will also use this to help with the 360 cameras and 3D mapping.

Matrice 100

So this is a start of a interesting transition from ground based robots to drones. Started the group of Infoblox HPEL’s to start doing robot stuff again and solving some of the problems with perception and mapping.


Center section

Over the course of the last 3 months we have had gardeners come  every other Friday for $100 a visit and trim the lawn and cut the over growth out of the center section. They have pretty much opened up the center area for the next phase of what we could possible do.

It is a lot of area. So much potential. Wonder what we will do with it !.

Weed whacking

July 7th spent about 5 hours weed whacking around the property.

First finished off the roadway all along the complete length of our property lines. I do not think this has ever been done in some sections. Also cleared out the grow around the utility boxes to the south of the driveway. This has been several years of accumulated growth.  This was a big job about 8 hours of combined work to whack, trim, haul. During the process lost the cap to the filament spool had to replace it for a complete new assembly for around $32. but also got a spare spool in the process. Had started doing the north part of the property from the driveway but got carried away removing some overgrowth. Was a 4 tarp pile to move.

Then cleared out behind the orchard. All the wild daisies had grown past their prime. This was about an hour of work. Trimmed back some of the plants to make it a bit easier to get back into the area.

Finally went and whacked the leech field, it had vines piling up on top of the ferns and weeds was about 30″ piles in some places. was easy to cut down the area took about  an hour and half.  Had to go back up and remote the roots of some pretty impressive black berry stalks / canes.

Things I learned about the weed whacker.

  • When you hit something with thrones it can pull the filament tight in the spool and jam up the feed.
  • Having a full length of filament out really cuts down the weeds but makes the back spray a bit of a problem.
  • It uses a lot of 50:1 will only run about 20 minutes on a tank of gas.



Gig Harbor Garden Tour

This weekend was the Gig Harbor Garden Tour. We scoped it out with Mardi’s visiting friend Karen Horton.We  saw 6 home on Saturday and the Final house in Horsehead on Sunday.  We even started talking about being a house on the tour in 2020. Who knows.

We got a lot of ideas and even purchased a bird house from  Jack.

If we do the tour will need to get some June color and use lots of Miracle Grow. We need to add some yard details, Trellis, Frames, Balls, Fountains? We could really use a water feature. Time will tell.

Mothers Day Weed Wacker

Added another gas engine powered gardening tool to the shed. A Stihl weed wacker  to knock down the brush growing along the roadway.  Learned how to run it and not get hit by the flying debris.

Not a favorite task but if only done a few times a year will deal with it.

Spring is here.

The weather has been great this weekend April 21. a big improvement from last week where we had to purchased rain gear and did a weekend of work in the rain. The flowers are all starting to come out. the Leaves are almost out on all the trees. The birds are making lots of noise. We are really cleaning up the forrest and it is looking great. Far more spacious and less cluttered with fallen branches, etc. Kind of spring cleaning.

Looks like we have 2 days of 70+ temp days without rain. Thinking of turning the sprinklers back on.

We now ave so many projects in flight, Not sure where to start. Good thing we have about 25 years here to get them done.

Really need to pressure wash, everything is tinted with pollen or moss. So looks like the next purchase will be the pressure washer.


Weekend March 17-18

Was perfect weather this weekend and last weekend sunny and dry we had Julie and Geoff out last weekend so not much got done.  Even with  March Madness got a fair amount of stuff done.

This weekend got some of the small tasks done, besides chipping and gardening

  • Replaced the GFR outlet by the greenhouse.
  • Painted out the white with green  spray paint on the the T-bar posts
  • Moved the Refrigerator  out of the studio and into the garage.
  • Cleaned out the green house.
  • Turned the water back on for the irrigation system.
  • Purchased a Makita Jig saw, pine planks, and shelf brackets for the Live edge in the studio.

California Poppies and Lupines

Can not get away from loving California poppies, We spread a lot of seeds behind the orchard and along the street side north of our driveway. Along with the  poppies we added alpine lupine  as a  back drop. Will be interesting to see if this work and they flower or turn up as food for the rabbits and deer.

Be nice if the poppies and lupine could self propagate.

Weekend March 3-4

Did a fair amount of  chain sawing and chipping and debris pile moving this weekend. We had good weather On Saturday afternoon, changed out the chipper blade for a new one boy what a difference had to chip the top part of the fallen tree and it just ate them down. Made 3 trash cans full in about an hour. Loved the branches.  Then later doing some smaller stuff and I think a rock got in and went to from self feeding got need a shove.  By the end of Sunday after about 3-4 hours of running over the weekend was going slow and needing to be pushed through.  But did 6 Trash Cans of chips over the weekend and completely removed the Debris field from the Green House Area.   Did  a fair amount of chain sawing and clearing the Fallen tree area to make it safer to walk through. Plus some of the branches are to thick for the chipper so cut into fire pit size. Have made a fairly good stack of fire pit wood.

The Chipper has been moved  to the Fire Pit area, South of the the firewood stack. Mardi came up with the fire pit idea and looking forward to making it happen. Trying to envision  some sight lines to add details.

Got radical on a few HuckleBerry bushes, I consider them weeds.  Cleared out 3 behind the Studio, will do more as time permits, uncovered 3 stumps the are far more interesting than the HB bushes. Plus there is a creeping ground cover that is slowing taking over that has to go. Will be hard to get all the roots dug out, but we have nothing but time. Just need to start playing defense and start pushing back this creeping unchecked growth.

Started pricing out gabion for a few sound wall, etc. Have started getting quotes for 3 x 3. 9ga  wire mesh in Stainless and hot dipped galvanized steel, Should be interesting to see the cost.

a 36 ” by 36 ” x 48″ base.,  with a  12″ x 48″ x 48″ wall on top. needs  30 linear feet of 48″ mesh. Need qty of. 3  of 48″ x 120″ panels wire panels  from Wilcox  $32 and  52 cubic feet of rock. Say 2 yards $80 for 2 yards. Then labor and clips and some posts   adds $20.  so a 4 ft section  7 ft tall is about  $150 or 80 ft is about $3,000. We will see

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Links to Gabion Suppliers



back to work

For my B-day Mardi and I went to Kauai for a nice 8 day rest and recharge, Got back to snow and a fallen 80′ tree that took out part of the back dog wire fence while we were away.  Good thing we invested in a  STIHL chain saw. Came in handy for Nick to clear the tree from the fence line so the dog wire could be secured to keep Ellie from escaping her area.

On Sunday  Feb. 25  ran the chipper for about 2 hours and almost completely cleared the debris from the Green House pile.  Just in time to start on all the fallen tree branches.  Ordered a new set of chipper blades from Power King. only like $23.00 each. Hopefully will ship so I can run some material this weekend.  The chipper ate a rock and is now is not cutting, basically smokes and nothing gets passed through.  So new blades are the only solution. We see about sharpening this blade.

Went to cut up the fallen tree. Took about  90 minutes with the chain saw to get the trunk and branches cut up so we can get into the area, Now we have room to move and can replace and tightening up that section of dog wire fence. The fence was put in Nov 15th so in less than 4 months needs to be fixed. Go figure.

Mardi has become very concerned about other trees falling in a wind storm, probably with good reason.  This tree was standing all alone in the leach field, and not sure but it looks like it was trimmed to remove some  branches to keep it from becoming a wind sail. But the job was poorly done and left the branches as torn not cut which might have weakened the tree. This tree had zero roots to stabilize it from the wind direction. The one root was healthy but had termite damage around it.

Thinking of make a totem pole out of the tree. Get a tracked back hoe and drag it down to outside the studio. Make a Chinese new year of all the families animals. on it.  Who knows.

The PWN and this property is different than another we have had in less than 4 months have had 2 trees come down that I needed to  to deal with.  The first was a small birch about 40′ tall then this one, a 80′ pine tree.  Starting a collection of logs from these two.

All in all we have tons of down trees of all shapes and sizes. Some by nature the others by man to clear out the forest so the original owners could have sunlight on the back yard.  We just have a lot of property and forest and blackberries and things to do.