Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Agility Area

While I was gone, my dad worked a lot on the yard, and it looks fantastic.  That's a good thing, but it means that now I'm too guilty to actually do agility on it, for fear that we would tear it up.  With that in mind, I've been working on our wooded area.

Some lily of the valley has started to encroach into the area, but it's easy to pull up, which I've started to do.

I did a major reorganization of all the obstacles except the dogwalk, in order to give us some new variety for our courses.

Next I started making natural stanchions.  We have a bunch of fallen trees, so I figured I would just cut them into 20" sections, stand them upright, and use them as jumps.  It works really well!  The trees are about 9" diameter, so it takes a while to cut them with my saw, but tomorrow I'm going to get out the chainsaw and really go to town.  I've done 5 so far (I know, an odd number isn't very helpful) and would like to do at least 5 more.  The only downside is that they're fairly heavy, and I certainly can't pick up the whole jump at once like I would be able to do with real jumps I could buy.  These are much less bright to the neighbors, though, they're free and they are completely natural.

The next order of business is a little more difficult.  There are two trees in the area which are dead and leaning on other trees.  We're going to have to pay for a professional to come take them down.

Finally, I've cut down a handful of saplings out there, and while I'm usually pretty good at avoiding the stumps, today when I was really trying to get Jonah to pick up speed I tripped on one and fell flat on my face.  I was fine, but Jonah was quite startled and it took him a minute to get back to full speed.  Poor guy.  So, I'm going to see how much I can do with an axe, but we might have to ask the tree guy to work on the stumps as well.

Aside from that, I'm quite pleased with the current situation.  The mulch footing is still looking fabulous.  We'll have to see if I decide to make an A-frame, and I was sketching out makeshift ways to make a broad jump the other day, but other than that we've got pretty much everything we need.  I can make full length courses now right in our own yard.  That's hard to beat!

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