I have always thought a laser level was a cool device. It is a great way of doing the task with a little technology and a lot easier than using a hose and water level. The laser level is also a lot cheaper than a decent transit – I got ours, after coventing it for years, on sale for $10. It even uses AA batteries, something I have quite a few of in rechargeable form, rather than those awful expensive button batteries I have seen in other laser levels. The only negative we’ve found is it does not work in bright sunlight so early morning or evenings are the time to use it outdoors.
Yesterday we got to use the laser level in a real project for the first time when we checked the height all the way around the question-mark shaped dam of Mystery Pond under the kid’s cable trolley run. This was to check the dam and spillway heights all the way around the complex curve so we would know where the water would overflow – soon. Eye balling it is rather tricky and not very accurate, as we discovered. Soon we’ll know for sure as the water is about half way up in the pond. The last two nights of rain helped.
Today I finished cutting the swale across the hill that will divert the remaining water from above the north home field over into the little pond. This will help dry up the north field and under the tree house making it more useful for grazing.
Holly, Will, Ben and Hope have almost finished up rock and stick picking so that the area will be friendly to small bare feet. They have raked most of the area to its final smoothness and seeded with grass. I moved several large boulders into place next to the yellow birch by hand to use for more benches. I had thought I would have to use the tractor to move them but was wary of doing that yesterday since the ground is so slick from the rain last night. Fortunately I found I could just barely roll them by hand. I built a little more stone wall today and have just one, maybe two more ten foot sections I want to do to complete the stone work. The other big thing we finished on the trolley run is seeding. It has been warm and with all this rain we may even get significant grass growth this fall to help tie together the soil.
We still need to put up the cable in its final configuration. I got some new, thicker and stronger quarter inch aircraft cable to replace the eigth inch cable we had been using. After that it is just a matter of waiting for the pondlet to fill and the grass to grow in. Either this fall or next spring we are planning to plant mint, day lilies and ferns around the area. The kids have four bonfires built around the area for upcoming cookouts after we get the trolley hung.