Sunday, 25 July 2010

Massive Oak Felled on a Morning that Opened Up the Sky

This was the morning that opened up the sky. The tall trees that have been blocking the southern exposure have finally begun to be felled. Because of their size, felling these trees needs a fair sized gang of people, with a reliable leader, professional felling crew and their supporters. Thanks to Prof. Fujita's networks and to my immediate neighbor's family, we got ourselves together just such a crew.

The Crew (left to right) Mrs. Fujita, Mrs. Simizu, Mr. Nobuta, Prof. Fujita, Me, Mr. Uneo (taken by Miki)

So, here are some great pictures and a video from a morning of tree felling. The video and pictures were masterly taken by Miki, the daughter of my immediate neighbor, Mrs. Simizu. Miki works in the film industry and one can tell from the skill of the camera work! The video shows us taking down the largest oak on the property. The oak is being pulled by the new hand winch and has already been sawed by Mr. Nobuta. Watch this monster come down and take the top part of the Japanese Cyprus next to it down with it!

A huge thanks to all those who helped this morning! Mr. Nobuta came up especially to lend a professional hand to the felling; Mrs. Simizu and daughter Miki helped to clear the trees once felled, Mrs. Fujita helped to keep us hydrated, Mr. Ueno provided an extra hand and chainsaw and Prof. Fujita was our great leader as always.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Architect Sketches Marked out on Land

Returned from a work-trip to the US to a beautifully cleared plot. Turns out Prof. Fujita worked tirelessly to cut the felled trees and branches that were lying on the land while I was away. Thank you Prof. Fujita! Mr. Ueno also contributed greatly, removing all the wood he needs for his wood-stove for the winter.

Due to efforts of these great folk, Fujita and I were able to head down to the plot on Friday to mark out the boundaries as per the architects' design.

This video is a quick walkthrough having marked out the boundaries.

Video shows Prof. and Mrs. Fujita, their dog, and my lovely neighbor, Simizu. There is a longer version of this video on the video walkthrough history page.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

First Sketches of New Designs come in from the Architect Team!

The super architect-team has supplied me with some new sketches of the new design ideas I worked out on my home design software. Some very nice ideas here. Please do feel free to leave comments!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Timberrrrr! Land and Tree Clearance on the Plot

I have taken a couple of short video clips to show what a typical working day looks like now on the plot. A big thank you to all the neighbors who have been helping in these videos! (Simizu, Miki, Ueno, and Fujita)

Ueno fells one of many trees!

New Hand Winch Will Seal the Deal

When the rain hasn't been pouring (rainy season) I have been chopping down trees with my newly received chainsaw.

Clearing some of the trees on the south side of the land, however, is a job for a professional tree surgeon, and bringing such pros is expensive.

Prof. Fujita has recommended I meet an ex-student of his who is a professional but would fell trees as a favor.

I met Mr. Nobuto this morning and he came to look at the lay of the land. He said that with a hand winch to control the felling direction, he could do all the trees that Fujita and I identified as needing cutting.

On returning to Fujita's house, we found this hand winch on the internet ($670). Prof. Fujita and I will share the cost, and as such this represents my second official purchase. The winch will come in handy for a range of tree felling in the future, and can of course be used for other applications too.

I am constantly touched by the generosity of Fujita and other neighbours. Hiring professionals to achieve what we will have achieved on land clearance alone by the end of the month would have cost thousands. Due to the kindness of these folks, a bit of my own sweat and around $300 on a hand winch and $300 on a bush cutter (both of which are items which will be used into the future) the land will be ready for the house within a couple of weeks!

Monday, 5 July 2010

More New Designs

(Update: compare the designs in this post with the latest design). Several new ideas for the house. These don't contain the walkway entrance yet but I am thinking to preserve this from the basic concept. New in these designs is the spiral staircase that goes up to the study on the 3rd floor. This means that as one walks up, it will like climbing a nearby tree. In the winter, the views should be fantastic as one walks up. In the summer it should really feel like one is climbing up into a tree house.

In the meantime, land clearance continues. Was down at the site yesterday with the neighbor, Ueno, other neighbors and have been doing lots of tree felling. Prof. Fujita has also very generously given me a chainsaw. Pictures and short video clips to follow!