Friday, April 08, 2005

Picea Orientalis Skylands and the story of the Rocks

This is the pine tree we planted going on 2 years ago when it was first planted.
(see below photo)

tree  Posted by Hello

This is how it looked last summer(see below photo). See those boulders around it? We had those delivered to the alley about 20 feet from where they are now. We had quite an afternoon moving those rocks.

First off, the guy who delivered them a kind of Harley biker-looking type guy almost ripped his arm off while lowering them off the truck with a boom crane and nearly missed taking out the power lines all in one fell swoop. You can see the power lines in the photo. Then he emptied them all onto the ground with a loud clanging and rock clicking sounds. I appraised the rocks and pointed out a smaller one "Oh, I'll take that one- I can carry that." And he said, "Oh, I'd like to see that."

I had thought the smaller ones were about 50 pounds no biggie. I've moved dry wall and top soil bags, particle board, no problem. I was mistaken! I tried to move the smallest one and realized it was complete dead weight. No wonder they use stones to sink a body!

So there we stood with a pile of river rocks and 20 or so feet to go. It was then that Steve came up with a brilliant idea: move the rocks using the methods of the ancient Egyptians.

"Perhaps the Egyptians rolled the stones by placing them on platforms and used round logs under the platform to push the stones along. However, the same difficulty of getting the 5-ton block off and on the platform exists." See this website for further dicussion of the Egyptian techniques for moving heavy objects.

Instead of logs, we used broom handle sized wooden dowels, which being the crafty woodworking types, we happen to have a few dozen on hand. Personally, I still can't believe we moved all these rocks without any back injuries or crushed fingers or feet.

At the end of the day, we got stuck on the very largest boulder but we were rescued by Dan, the local good samaritan who happens to manage the apt. building down the street and saw us in the alley all red faced and breathing heavy and took pity on us. Dan reminds me of the classic muscleman in the circus- he has a very big neck and he's a strong guy. He helped us get that last beast of a boulder in place.

Our tree with the rocks that will be there forever. Who would move them?
We moved the log from the lake 7 blocks using a wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow was ruined but we got a free log!

A Picea Orientalis at full maturity (not exactly the same as ours) at the Chicago Botanical Gardens in Highland Park. This species is known to be compact and good for city environments because it doesn't get too big, but we've heard some conflicting reports. That's Steve by the tree to show scale.

1 comment:

kingstreetfarm said...

Hey! Matching stone circles! Way to go, I admire your ingenuity with the log, and the end result looks great. My Dad and I basically just sweated, heaved, and in some cases employed a wheelbarrow to make our "Ring"...and in the springtime, you'll be able to see the fruits of our labors when the daylilies come peeking through.

Great site, thanks for visiting ours as well!