Nothing says “summer is here” more than a couple of muggy mid-90 days over Memorial Day weekend, building a tree house and catching fish in the pond.

our treehouse

Last weekend, I completed our treehouse. Well, it’s not so much a “house” as a platform in the tree – about 15 feet (5m) above the ground. It is completely off the ground, held up by 4 big lagbolts in the tree. I Googled “How to build a tree house” and did some research about best practices building a tree house. I wanted to make sure that the structure is sturdy and safe, but I also wanted to avoid serious damage to the tree. All the experts make it very clear that you want to use large bolts and as few of them as possible.

Initially, I wanted to build the platform on top of two branches, but after spending some time up there on windy afternoons, it was clear that that was a bad idea. I still built the frame of the platform on those branches. But when I installed the supports, I pushed up the platform off the branches, so that the entire weight of the platform now rests on those 4 lagbolts anchored 6 inches (18 cm) deep in the trunk of this beautiful oak. Yesterday, I installed a simple railing and a pulley. If the kids get into it, and use it, I’ll probably expand on this idea, and maybe turn this into a “real” tree house.

Down at the pond, Laura spent a lot of time fishing. We had spotted some Sunfish (Bluegill) in our pond and she wanted to catch one. She managed to catch one with her fishing rod, and another one with a cast net.

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