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Fallen, not yet replaced

I mentioned in Monday’s post about “another little matter” that I could have used the post driver for had I brought it on our recent trip to Roundrock. You see it above.

The former tree that we have tethered the front of our shelter tarp to for years finally abandoned its relationship with the ground. Sometime since our last visit, the ersatz post had snapped at the base, dragging down the front of the tarp with it.

The tree had been alive when we first tied the tarp to it years ago. We’d removed some lower branches, but it had a green crown that had found a bit of sunlight above and was doing fine. Then we arrived one day to find the top of the tree had snapped off and had fallen on the tarp. (I think I made a post about that then.) We cleaned all of that up and reattached the tarp; the trunk of this small tree was still solid, and it had stayed that way for years. Now the rot at its base has finished its work, and I suppose a strong wind making the tarp flap a bit was enuf to bring down the small tree.

This front tether is important because it keeps the tarp taut so that water (and snow and leaves) won’t pool in the otherwise slouching fabric. I’ll need to sink a steel post in front of the shelter so I can tie the tether to it in place of the small tree. Had I brought the post driver, I would have done it on our recent visit since I did have a spare steel post. Unlike the good soil in the pine plantation, the ground here is unyielding hardpan. I could not have pounded in a post using a brick (as I had among the pines).

So that will be on the agenda for our next visit (after firearm deer season is over in less than a week). I’ll have to remember the post driver, of course. And I imagine that about the time I get this fixed properly, the tarp itself will need replacing. It’s tattered in places where there is some tension on the fabric, and I won’t be surprised to find it has ripped beyond salvage.

Missouri calendar:

  • Scan leafless trees for gray nests of bald-faced hornets.

Today in Missouri history:

  • The University of Kansas Jayhawks defeated the #1 ranked University of Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Missouri by a score of 17-0 on this date in 1960, giving the Tigers a 10-1 season. But the Jayhawks were on probation and couldn’t play in the bowl game the win had earned them. Then it turned out that Jayhawk running back Bert Coan had been ineligible to play, so the Tigers won by forfeit the game (and the title) they had lost.

5 Responses to “Fallen, not yet replaced”

  1. karl Says:

    i have discovered the source for the mother lode of tarps. i used to be able to get them for $20 now it’s just a song and a dance. the dance involves my truck with obama stickers on it. a third of the original tarp still covers our storage shed 12 x 20. it has been there almost three years and is still going strong. i’d happily share the bounty. maybe some future transaction involving bunkbeds could include the exchange of a tarp or two?

  2. Beau Says:

    I’ve never found a bald-faced hornet nest- but from those I’ve seen, they sure are big. Looking forward to the Mizzou-Kansas rematch on Nov. 29th!

  3. Pablo Says:

    Beau – I came across a hornet nest at Roundrock once. Unfortunately, they hornets weren’t finished with it.
    Karl – How easy is it to drive a grommet through those tarps?

  4. rsobczak Says:

    It’s like home ownership. The problems never end. Life is by nature a fixer upper … more duct tape, caulk, and bailing wire than picture perfect engineering that never fades.

  5. karl Says:

    i use the native american tepee technique. a round rock, of which you have plenty, wrapped and tied like a noose at each corner. the result is a movable tie point which doesn’t require a grommet and compromise the integrity of the tarp.

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