I’ve worked with a brushcutter/strimmer or two in my time and enjoyed the experience but never actually owned one. I would say that next to operating a sharp chainsaw the strimmer is the next best thing – in fact – on reflection I would even put the strimmer experience on a par or even better than the chainsaw as the latter can be a pain to keep sharp.
Not so my new Honda brushcutter bought from Brian at West Coast Plant depot in Oban. The powerful machine bounces over hidden rocks and discarded sheep skulls with barely a pause as she chomps bracken and briar for breakfast —
I may only have had my 35cc fourstroke engined brushcutter for a few weeks but she has done a power of work in that time. For example – cut the overgrown farm access roadside verges that had made plotting a clear route for the hired removal van such a lottery and sorted out the wild bracken – brambles and suchlike encroaching on our big front garden —-
The big Sprinter Self-drive had been a particular cocern for as with any hired vehicle the insurance excess charges can be quite high and it was impossible to tell what sharp implement – animal – vegetable or mineral was lurking alongside the overgrown track.
Not exactly m’way standards but at least we can see where the track is now —
As luck would have it I did fall foul of an overhanging branch on Seil Island single lane section on my last run with the Sprinter. No doubt brought down by one of the tall timber lorries using this route. It pierced the windscreen showering the passenger seat with broken glass leaving me to drive the two hundred miles return leg complete with holed and shattered windscreen.
Fair play to Enterprise van hire – they took the damage in their stride and a full inspection cleared my account with the insurance excess untouched.
Now in a moment of madness which turned into a three hour challenge – my Honda bushcutter chopped down several years infestation of brambles and bracken on a neighbouring hillock leaving only the few rowan trees laden with their red berries to face the elements.
Time will tell whether the soothsayer’s are correct when they predict that a heavy berry crop is the fore-runner to a severe winter —
Being up there brushcutting made a welcome diversion from digging the roots out of the section of garden below which we have designated as ‘the vegetable patch’ and I got so carried away that admiring ‘the view’ took a backseat for a change —
The old steading out back took on a whole new perspective from this new vantage point and although it was a deal of work it turned out to be well worth the effort —
The view through the rowans and over the hillock to the western islands from the upper bathroom window on the end of the house has improved beyond my greatest expectations and opened up a whole new aspect to the property as well as saving the luckiest oak seedling – in the foreground – for posterity —
By a touch of good fortune she survived a close shave from the brushcutter unscathed and will in future be the best protected little tree in the country. The biggest danger to her well-being is that the roe deer we encounter on our evening cliff-top walks will stunt her growth by nibbling out the tasty top shoot —
Not no more they won’t —
for the little oak will spend her next few years reaching for the sky from an old stove pipe. That should do the trick and confound the hell out of the nibbling roe deer —
Later in the evening after dark – with lights out in the ‘throne room’- I had the best seat in the house as I watched the intermittent flashes from three lighthouses competing for my attention.
The Fladda Lighthouse and it’s small cousin across the narrow navigable channel in the Sound of Luing – the Duhb Sgeir plus the added bonus of the lighthouse on the Garvellocks in the distance made it like November 5th.
As the sun rose next morning, showering and shaving took second place to admiring our new view —
All the more reason to be first in the queue for the bathroom 🙂