by Tammy Taylor~
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Right next to the house lies our barn paddock. It is a small paddock that features our amazing 1880’s barn as well as a small fenced area. This paddock is used often to wean calves, work the herd or separate specific cows for whatever reason. In this paddock was a huge, very old cedar tree. I loved that thing, it was massive! But last year it died and RancherMan had to pull it down. Broke my heart, y’all! He took one of the huge limbs and made me a laundry pole, I love that. And he used several of the straight branches to make beautiful walking sticks too. Then the rest of this tree was hauled to our burn pile.
But with our annual RanchFest family reunion coming up I panicked. In a few days that bonfire will be lit & it’ll be gone forever! So I asked RancherMan to go to the burn pile & cut off about 5 ft of that huge tree. Puzzled, he placated me…
I told him I wanted to make a solar light feature for our home’s front walk. I asked him to saw the cedar log into different and graduating sizes. One log should be around 2 feet long, another 1.5 feet and the last about 1 ft. He sawed them to length for me. Oh I love that cedar’s red heartwood! Oh, and that smell of fresh cedar. (breathes deeply) Delightful!
I’d already purchased 3 *solar lights. There are many different styles and although I could have purchased some plainer ones for almost nothing, I wanted these because they were a little more decorative. I like the design with a small cap over them, classy without being too flashy. They’ll look perfect in my new solar light feature!
After the logs were cut & sat up on their ends RancherMan took a paddle bit and drilled a hole into the top of each log. This hole was the perfect size to receive my solar lights.
I bundled the three logs together and we used heavy wire to bind them tightly. RancherMan then used industrial staples to attach that wire to the logs for extra durability.
But that wire is ugly & I didn’t want it to show. How can I soften that look? Humm…. I took some jute and twisted several strands together to make a thick rope.
I wrapped the rope around the logs covering the wire and fashioned a rustic knot that I thought looked cool. Finally, we cut the stake of each solar light down to about 3″ long & pushed each solar light into a log.
Let’s stand back & see what we think. OH YEAH! I love it! The rustic look is exactly what I was looking for.
These lights come on automatically at dusk and light the sidewalk to our front door. The project was quick & it only cost the price of those solar lights and a short length of twine that we already had in the shop. And now even though it’s gone, that beautiful cedar tree continues to serve us well!
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