In which the horse fence looks more like the dock for the local fishing fleet

Everything rots here.

Here in the Swamplands, we take decay for granted but even natives like me were startled a few days ago when a guy in downtown Seattle got stuck in a hole where the cement sidewalk had rotted away.

It makes sense that anything not made of rock or Rubbermaid® will eventually deteriorate in any climate, but around here, the trees get moldy. Therefore, we take extra steps when it comes to preserving stuff that needs to be both sturdy and steadily rained on.

Building the perimeter of the sacrifice area and the anchor points of the fence out of railroad ties made sense to us, because Jim and I both associate the smell of creosote-enhanced posts with the pilings used to anchor docks and very large boats.

We figure, if creosote will preserve posts for several decades while they are half-submerged in Bellingham Bay, it should work out just fine for fence posts on a farm at an elevation of 300 feet above sea level.

Today was railroad-tie planting day. We didn't get them all in the ground, but we did build a significant forest of posts that smell exactly like the docks on a warm day.

Jim used the fence post level to make sure that the posts were actually pointed straight up. His back is feeling better, thank you, and he is being much more careful now. Notice the stylish orange garment.

We reinforced the straight-up-ed-ness with temporary support boards.

Then, dump in redi-crete, straight from the bag. Tamp it down with the rock bar to get the bubbles out of the powder, and to make sure that the mix is evenly distributed around the post.

Next: water. For posts near the house, we used the hose. For posts further away, we filled buckets from the water tank in the back of the truck.

Stir the water into the concrete mix with the rock bar. At this point it looks like lumpy grey cake-mix. Yum.

This is how it looked when we quit for the day.

I felt like I should tie up my boat and go ashore for a cup '0 rum.

When it was time to lay out the posts for tomorrow's planting task, Willy got to drive the truck while Jim and I pulled posts out of the back into position.

Willy was nervous, but I was the one who goofed and dropped a post on my own foot.
Yow. No broken bones, but I'm definitely spending the evening with my dear friend Mr. Ice Pack.


  1. "Sitting by the dock of the bay...watching the tide rollll away, yeh!" lol! It does remind me of a dock. Maybe you could place a boat nearby, tied to a railroad tie, as a sort of whimsical decoration?

    Whew! I know how heavy those ties are. We use them alot for lining gardens and building retaining walls. I can't imagine building fences with them. Your fence will be so strong, you could keep bison in!



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