Some people have a song that gets stuck in their heads, like the one from Disneyland that has all the little dolls singing ( I will not name it lest it gets stuck with me).¬† Or it may be as simple as one word that causes consternation, if said enough times it morphs into an odd sounding word. This story is about those nagging things we just can’t seem to get rid of, I’m talking about earworms.

It may be because of the extra time spent on the tractor with only my thoughts to keep me on the goal to get a majority of the ding weeds knocked down before they all go to seed, but I have recurring words, phrases, people’s names, issues and other nouns (for some reason verbs don’t seem to bother me as much) circling around and driving me to distraction. The earworm for today happened to be bifurcation. Continue reading


Hide And Seek

Seedlings obsured by weedy vegetationWhile we continue our vigil for the random critters who want to disturb our seedlings with their protective cages, we are noticing that the vegetation and especially the weeds have had a tremendous growth spurt making the seedlings nearly hidden in the green growth.

Since we are no longer able to able to check the seedlings with a simple drive by of the separate planted plots, we get off the skid road and walk in to check each individual tree.

cages around seedlingsGetting this closer look shows that some of the plantings are growing as fast as the weeds and some are reaching up above the protective cages. Instead of just replacing those bamboo stakes that have been pulled out of the ground or plastic cages that have been lifted off the trees we are also re-sitting the cages so the tender tops are protected by the mesh.

Following The Dozer

We had a couple of days with a little rain, but now the skid roads have dried off enough to make the steep climb up into the forest. Mike went first with the bulldozer with the dogs anxious to work and I followed along with the Gator loaded  a couple of saws, the falling axe and wedges.

Following a bulldozer on a logging roadBy installing the road last year, we have better and easier access to areas of the forest where only the dozer could go before. Across the top of the hill is sweeping criss-cross patterns of roads that are wide, clear of limbs and easy to drive.

We have a small patch on the other side of this hill that has some trees that are in need of cleaning up.

Looking up to the treetops in the forest There are several smaller trees that have defects that will be cut for eventual firewood bundles and one larger tree that is big enough to make logs that has a broken top.

When in the woods we spend a lot of time looking up to check the crown of the trees, to determine how thick the canopy is, and to find those that have perished and no longer have a live top. We are also looking for broken limbs or tops that can come crashing down as we are working below.

More About Bees

Paper wasp nest under eaves of houseMike found and annihilated another paper wasp nest found, of all places directly above his head, under the eaves of the house. This is where Mike has his lawn chair for breaks throughout the day, good thing that it wasn’t a recliner or his head would have been directly below the growing hive.

On the other hand the beneficial bees, the ones that pollinate and do not bother with torturing humans, are busy with all the flowering plants right now. The daphne plants that had a setback from the late frost are finally blooming to capacity right now as are the roses, sage and lavender. We see the plants loaded with bumblebees and honey bees as well as being attractants to several varieties of hummingbirds. Continue reading

Given A Morning Off

Firewood orders were light this week following the holiday so we had the day off from delivering wood to stores. Finding myself with a morning off does not happen very often so as soon as I had my morning chores done, I loaded the car with containers and headed off to a local, organic, u-pick farm for blueberries. The few bushes that I have in my garden seem destined to be little more than bird feed to the hordes of feast-ers as they swarm the bushes before they even get close to being ripe. Continue reading

First Cabbage

Half cabbage in foreground, chopped in backgroundIt’s always a race in the garden as the summer swings into full gear. I plant both red and green cabbage.

Green was the winner for the first head of the season. I find that I like the taste and texture of the green cabbage better for coleslaw and you don’t get that pink juice look as the red leaches into the dressing.

But I prefer the red cabbage in the garden because they are less likely to be attacked by pests. The red has less trouble with aphids, slugs and the pesky cabbage worm (its that white butterfly/moth that flits around and deposits larvae that turn into the green worm that can burrow in and devour more greens than I can while leaving clumps of waste deposits of its own).

However, I do not leave the cabbages to fend for themselves. I use a mixture of flour and ground pepper to shake onto the leaves for a natural pest deterrent. A ratio of about three flour to one pepper seems to be the magic formula for me but a caution is needed about using the mixture. Be very stingy when applying to the plants, a light dusting every couple of weeks is enough. Too much flour when mixed with rain or watering will clump large amounts of flour that eventually settle into the base of the leaves where it slowly rots in the summer sun. One year the stems of the cabbages rotted off as the putrefying mixture ate its way through the plant.

Back To Rotary Mowing

Tractor with a rotary mower in a pasture.Now the the hay equipment is put away for the season and the small tractor has been freed up for other duties, the rotary mower has been put replaced on the back end of the tractor.

The mower will be used in the smaller pastures and around the hayfields that have gone mostly to dog fennel, dandelions, Canadian thistles, bull thistles and other assorted weeds. Mowing these smaller fields will eliminate the overgrowth of the unwanted plants and allow for grass to again take over if we get a little moisture before the weeds rebound.

This task will be one of those, when-I-get-around-to-it kind of jobs and will be done in small time increments around more important things.