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chimeric
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spent most of last week up in the DFW area.  had no idea there were swamps up there.  worst part is got about 90% done and was looking to finish up yesterday afternoon when a damn-near tornado came rolling through.  so i gotta go back.  unless the client sees what we got so far and is sharp enough to see the writing on the wall.  

one of the hardest weeks of work i've ever done.  7 out of the 8 acres looked just like this (and the picture has 3 different cut lines showing):

IMG 6489

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Just A. Surveyor
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Looks wide open.

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A Harris
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There are many waterways, lakes and bottoms around DFW.

As much rain as there has been across Texas, most everything around any waterway is near swamplike.

The humidity and barometric pressure factors make 87°F feel like 95°F.

We have lots of places that you can see a long way thru the woods, just too much dead limbs and briars to be able to walk across and flag a line.

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Allen Wrench
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It doesn't look too bad at first glance, but I'm guessing all that vine stuff is like barbed wire and you're constantly getting your feet tangled in the stuff on the ground.  Plus, I'd also assume there's unimaginable heat/humidity and no wind, biting insects of some kind... I've never been to TX but I don't know how you folks can survive down there.

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chimeric
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your assumptions are pretty much spot on.

 

took that picture right after i finished cutting the third radial line from that setup.  that's most likely why some tough georgia guys might think it looks like cake.  the one on the left is obvious, i reckon the nature of the panorama shot makes the one up the center and the one on the right not as visible.

don't get me wrong- i've had harder days of work.  but 5 days straight of that added up.  i'm no spring chicken anymore, but i still have yet to see the guy who can make me look like a lily in the field.  this job thoroughly wiped me out.  yesterday was just cad work and getting caught up in the office, felt like a zombie all day.  this morning i still feel pretty depleted, but better.

this job is a bit of a pickle- for what the intended end use is it really should just underbrushed and/or cleared first.  but the local tree ordinance is such that, combined with the history of the tract (aerials show it hasn't been touched since at least '79), means there few, if any (that i could find anyways), corridors by which you could get a bobcat, a truck, or even an atv in to do any kind of meaningful clearing without taking out a hefty number of trees that would count in the tree preservation equation.  client also wants geotech info now, and despite me telling them and the geotech guys that 14 of the 18 points are impossible to access in any way other than by foot, they still wanted the points staked.

ended up getting most of the ground shots by running radials off of cut spur lines, at such a density to adequately represent conditions.  started trying to set POLs every 100' and run a grid, but just ran into situations where once you cut past the initial outer wall it became clear that it was a pure chance as to whether you'd hit a wall of wood or not.

what's plainly evident to me, at this point, is that this tract is WAY further into the floodplain than any maps (FEMA or otherwise) indicate.  it's visible on the ground back up in the woods, and also now that i have a few hundred ground shots with good elevations on them.  meeting the client today- at this point i'm almost hoping i get paid for time spent so far and the whole thing gets sh*tcanned when they see the situation... as opposed to having to go back up next week and finish off the topo.  and that doesn't even consider they need a tree survey, which... i'm guessing there are upwards of 1500 trees that would need to be tagged and shot.

 

oh- forgot to mention.  got poison ivy under my eyelid.  luckily i don't react that badly to it, but it's not comfortable...

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Daniel Ralph
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got poison ivy under my eyelid

This. Ruined. My. Day. 

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Just A. Surveyor
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"took that picture right after i finished cutting the third radial line from that setup.  that's most likely why some tough georgia guys might think it looks like cake."

I sure hope you were not referring to me with that comment as the older I have become the greater wuss I have become. I am quite the wimp right now and the mere sight of a saw briar might send me into shock.

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chimeric
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Just bustin yer chops is all. I’m sure we were all better back in the day, just too stupid to realize it then...

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BlitzkriegBob
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The OP doesn't say exactly where within the Metroplex he is working, so it's not necessarily Texas.  Fort Worth is great, but I've always considered Dallas to be South Oklahoma.  Too many yankees and that cowgirls football team.

If you draw a line from Bedford down to Mansfield then that's the dividing line.

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Andy Nold
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Some people can't see the briar for the trees.

As a first time rodman on summer break from surveying school, I did some similar work in Flower Mound. I cut 150 feet into thick vines and brush. When I got to my destination, I looked back and saw that I had cleared an almost perfectly square hallway through that mess. Thick vegetation and humid. I don't miss field work in North Texas.

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R.J. Schneider
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Cut Line photo CutLine05.jpg

'I looked back and saw that I had cleared an almost perfectly square hallway through that mess.'   👍 

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Just A. Surveyor
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In my younger days I was party to a lot of line cutting and quite often it looked just like that. Privet was the worst, because you could not just cut it down like briars and stomp on it, privet had to be cut and dragged out of the tunnel one at a time. Very long and whip like. 

I avoid jobs that require anything more than minor cutting and simply tell the folks Lincoln freed the slaves and if I am to survey their properties I will have to charge them a lot more to hire a forestry mulcher because it can do the clearing a lot faster than me because I refuse to do that kind of stuff anymore. 

In a demonstration of abject ignorance and stupidity all those folks who I tell that to are unwilling to pay for someone with a forestry mulcher even though it would be significantly more efficient and cost effective to do so.  A mulcher can clear far more, much faster, and still folks would rather someone would like a slave.

So I rarely do those kinds of jobs.

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