horseflies and blisters
Sunday, August 7 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
After drinking me coffee and then some kratom tea, I tried to get the dogs to follow me to the lake, but they stayed behind at the cabin. So I went down there on my own and made further improvements to the grade of the new diagonal section of trail. This was a hot, sweaty, filthy business, so when I had done all that I felt that I could, I jumped into the lake an submerged myself up to my neck.
There had been a rain last evening and the canoe had been docked at the time, so it had an inch or so of water collected in it. I took it on a short paddle south along the shoreline, removed some monofilament fishing line I found hanging in a red maple (saving it for later; such line has many uses), and then returned to canoe to its proper place, which is upside down next to the tree dock.
Back at the cabin, the dogs hadn't moved from where I'd last seen them.
Yet another long-procrastinated task at the cabin has been to build a proper bluestone walkway from the area where we park the car(s) to the front steps. Over many weeks, I have hauled plenty of slabs of bluestone up from the Catskills, and its been lying in a broad archipelago on the sandy (and increasingly weedy) soil of the front "yard." To make a walkway, I would have to play a game of Tetris with these pieces to make them fit reasonably snugly together. Also, since the pieces are of varying thicknesses, I would have to sink some of them deeper into the sand than others so that their top surfaces would lie in something approximating a plane. But another thing I wanted to do was to run an underground power cable up to the top of the hill above the cabin so that in the winter I wouldn't have to drive the Chevy Bolt down that especially steep, curving grade; I could just park it at the top and charge it up there. So in addition to leveling a few slabs of bluestone at the cabin end of the walkway, I also used a small mattock to dig a fairly shallow trench (six to eight inches deep) and began running the outdoor romex in it. As I laid down the wire, I covered it with strips of styrofoam (most of it packing material from the recently-assembled Adirondack chairs) to both protect it from sharp-edged rocks and to serve as a warning if I ever find myself digging in that area again.
The temperature was brutally hot even here in the Adirondacks, with temperatures in the upper 80s. It didn't take much work in this weather before I was drenched in sweat. It wasn't long before I was working entirely naked, pausing now and then to hose myself down. I hate using insect repellant, but I'd started off by spraying myself down with Off! Deep Woods, and it wasn't long before that was all washed away. I was, of course, harassed by the usual cloud of deer flies, which I'd kill whenever possible. But there was also a steady stream of horseflies, a large fly that inflict a painful bite and often do so immediately upon landing. I managed to kill a few of those as well.
By the early evening, I'd worn painful blisters in both hands (particularly on the right (pinkie) side of my right middle finger. So I gradually wrapped up the work, closed down the cabin, and then drove back to Hurley.
The new power cable ditch through where the future bluestone path, looking north.
Click to enlarge.
The new power cable ditch through where the future bluestone path, looking south.
Click to enlarge.
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