I have been busy getting permits and utilites setup so that we have running water. It is a learning process to figure out how what when and where to get permission to do things... I now have a well with a permit from the Suwannee River Water Management District - that was easy the well driller took care of it. I had to get "special" permission to get electrical service for the well. Tomorow I will have the power pole put up and connected to the well pump.
We have been doing some survey work -- trying to determine the best spot for a homesite, well, septic tank and pole barn. It is tough going as parts of the forest are very thick with shrubs and vines. But so far we think we have a site picked out.
One tool that I "built" is our water level. It works pretty well for what it is. It can determine the elevation difference of two spots up to 40 feet apart -- and you can go around trees. It is actually very accurate.
As i am doing some minor brush clearing to make paths I keep finding cool food plants. I have found blackberries, blueberries, grapes and prickly pear cactus - those are the ones I am sure of. I am very sure that there are a good number of other things I have yet to identify - like we seem to have a good number of persimmon trees and any number of mushrooms.
We have a good variety of mushrooms growing around the place -- I have not done any research on what types they are so no eating them for now. Also in the oaks woods things decompose pretty quickly.
These are a series of woodcut prints that I found to make my new header image. They came from a website on the California State Uni. in Long Beach - don't try to find them on the American Indian Studies - they seem to just be there from a previous version. I found them with google.
I have a game camera to take pictures when I am not there. It is pretty cool it works night or day using motion detection.
As I have been working / enjoying our forest it has become clear that we have lots of ticks. Now I am a very "live and let live" kind of a person but if the ticks want my blood (I have several scars from fresh tick bites) they have to go.
One possible solution may be Guinea Hens -- seems they love to eat ticks and are very hardy. It will take a while before I can test this out but I was researching it today.
I spent a good bit of time today looking for "data" about Timucua Forest -- 51.5 inches of rain a year is pretty good with May and November being the "dry" months with only 2.3 inches of rain. This data takes monthly averages from 1981 to 2010 at a weather station about 15 miles away. Looking at the 2 other closest ones the averages were very similar.
I am happy to report that on March 28th 2013 we closed on our land. I had a survey done with markers placed every 100 feet on the sides and back. So now the work begins. There is no real plan expect to put in some metal fence posts where the survey markers are - we want to know where the boundarys are..