I’m currently writing my new book about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho. Every day, the process goes like this. First I write my thoughts in longhand on sheets of printer paper. Then I scoot over to my computer and transfer that to my manuscript. Sitting in my saddle of course.
By mid-afternoon, I’m ready to stop tap, tap, tapping away on the keyboard and knock the hell out of something. Not because I’m mad or angry or frustrated. I just want to get out of the cabin and use my body. Recently I decided to replace the barn yard stock panel fence with a locust fence. In the next few posts, I want to share some pics of how it’s going.
Where the Locust Grows
My wife Julia and I live on a mountain property in western North Carolina. It’s rolling land. The hay pasture is 1,300 feet above sea level. Our property maxes out at 2,100 feet atop White Mountain, the mountain behind our cabin.
That’s where the locust grows.
I consider locust the best wood one earth for fences. A member of the acacia family (yes, think distant relative of buttered peas) its main attraction is that it’s incredibly rot resistant. Stick a sound locust post in the ground and chances are good it’ll outlast you. Might as well carve your grave marker on locust because I suspect it outlasts granite.
The downside is it’s hard to find commercially. And when you do, it’s expensive.
No problem. We’re blessed with enough locust up the mountain to build miles of fence. Recently I headed up the hill to harvest some logs and, while I was at it, split some of those logs in to rails.
Here are some pics I thought you’d enjoy.
Harvesting Mountain Locust for Posts and Rails
Making Locust Split Rails
In addition to harvesting posts, I needed some locust rails. These would be used for fence posts and corner bracing. Here’s how I split those out.
I hope you enjoyed these photos. I’ll put some more up shortly as I start building the fence corners. I sure enjoy working with locust. Here’s a post you might enjoy about harvesting locust posts with a mule.