You may have been able to tell from the pictures of the tree clearing that we left pretty hefty stumps above ground -- the majority were at least four feet tall. We haven't been quite sure what to do with stumps (and have been thinking about it for a while, given that we knew about the need to remove them almost from the moment that we bought the lot).
You can imagine our relief, then, when our contractor, Davido, called one morning and offered to bring an excavator around to dig them out.
Turns out that Davido was working on another job in the area that required this, and he and the excavation sub-contractor were able to save us some transportation costs by bring this bad boy over to the lot this week.
We are a bit saddened that we weren't around for the actual stump pulling. I bet it was exciting, with that bucket and thumb tearing away at the stumps. (It's so awesome to see heavy gear on our lot -- gives us hope that maybe someday we'll actually get a permit!)
We stopped by at lunch time of the second day of removal and the lot looked like this already. And although the stump removal wasn't free/cheap, it took them only a couple of hours to get everything cleared.
Compared to the DIY options (trimming the stumps to level ground with another round of chainsaw action, then renting a stump grinder, tackling the 12+ stumps on our own), this method was priceless.
And, we're still waiting for a building permit. If I can paraphrase a bad piece of religious folklore: No one ever told us it would be fast. Only that it would be worth it.