Since Sunday, Mar 26 2017 

me scrubbing stairs is hardly an exciting thing….

Here is a cartoon from a few years back, from the guest book, right now the ice on the pond in question is still there and rather rotten, no fishing parties yet:

Trees again Friday, Mar 24 2017 

One hemlock: gone. One black cherry: gone. Three ashes: gone.  All little guys, no more than a generous eight to ten inches in diameter (the cherry was four). The hemlock was interfering with the power line rather badly, the ashes (and the cherry which had to go to get the ashes) were just simply in the wrong spot. And also either close to power lines or close to trees we didn’t want to squish. Which was why I hired the job out to a guy with a bucket truck.

Now to reassess the areas and figure out what is really best suited to be there. I should probably rebuild that fence again, which runs through one of the areas in question. It was a nice fake zig zag, but it was made with sugar maple poles some years ago, and has rather fallen apart. Sugar maple rots remarkably quickly, even in a fence where it isn’t touching the ground.

Something to contemplate while waiting for this snow to melt.

Planning Wednesday, Mar 22 2017 

Since the weather isn’t cooperating in the slightest. Contemplating the best way to deal with the walk up from the barn….it has to be something a good sized snow blower can deal with. Shovels are out. Something that isn’t slippery, something that works nicely in the informal landscape, but is a straight path (see snowblower).

Possibly poured concrete, maybe with brick headers set to break the monotony and to be decent expansion joints. Maybe with a brick or stone turnaround at the top? Poured concrete is the most cost effective, despite the challenge of pouring it, but getting it to look good…that requires thought.

Still the mud doesn’t work, and shoveling….well for a lot of reasons I’m aiming at long term, labor saving improvements that will let either older people, or one person, deal with the place sensibly. The upfront costs are probably less than the long term ones, and as long as the aesthetic trade-off is minimal it makes sense. (in this case it is a positive in any sense, since Mud) The visuals haven’t quite clicked yet, but I daresay they will.  Who knows, maybe we will even deal with the power lines at the same time!

Good deeds Monday, Mar 20 2017 

I always have a justification for never getting around to washing the windows: it cuts down on the number of bird strikes. Sadly, once in awhile they do happen.

Yesterday I found this guy splayed out beneath a window looking rather drunk. Sitting very quietly in my hand in a warm sunny spot, first with a hand over his eyes, than just wrapped up, and then perched on a finger, for about ten minutes did the trick. (I didn’t want to leave him in the snow since a) it was cold and damp, and b) the neighborhood cat had just been down at the barn.) He finally perked up and flew off to the peach tree looking vaguely puzzled but no worse for it. The trick to picking any bird up is to get over the wings and in front of the feet with most of your fingers. The feet are the tricky bit, ideally you want to end up with them correctly positioned in your hand so that they can cling comfortably. But first is to get the wings controlled. Using your other hand to shade the eyes is also a good thing.

One of our prettiest sparrows:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Fox_Sparrow/id

 

Photo for the day Sunday, Mar 19 2017 

Old field stone wall, plowed to the uphill side, rough pasture to the down hill side.

This was taken in January….if I went to take this picture today, I would need snowshoes and the wall would be buried!

I know, I know Friday, Mar 17 2017 

Not much happening here! Waiting for spring mostly and being utterly consumed by work and an independent project.

Hopefully, that should even out next week in time for better weather and then we can see what is left of the gardens. Good thing we didn’t get ahead of ourselves and take any leaves off of things out there. March always takes longer than it ought. One gets impatient.

Not quite Wednesday, Mar 15 2017 

Two feet, but close. And not melting anytime soon. March in New England can throw a wobbly with the best of them! It is awfully odd to see things looking and feeling like January, but with the wrong sun angle. We are awfully, awfully sensitive to that bright yellow thing up there in the sky!

May it all melt slowly and gently and at least take the edge off this persistent drought.

Brrrr Monday, Mar 13 2017 

It is cold out there! Spent the better bit of yesterday and today helping to move some older, very useful, but very recalcitrant farm machinery. It was fun though. Learning a bit more about tying down loads and moving things. And how not to move them.

At the end of the day, an essentially brand new, solid, much bigger Brush Hog (which has a date with the lower fields as soon as this snowstorm goes away). Another, heavier tractor in essentially perfect condition; it is probably destined for a forestry operation in the next few years. An arch (think a crane that can attach to any 3 point tractor hydraulic system), a disc harrow, a rake harrow, a lawn ornament plow (it was thrown in to the deal), assorted metal T-posts, and some hand tools.

We did turn down the beat up disc harrow, the old no-climb fencing, the old tomato cages, and God knows what all else hiding in the barn!

Back to winter Friday, Mar 10 2017 

Reposted photo, but it looks pretty much like that right now.

Not looking forward to moving some equipment on a windy hilltop tomorrow, but a friend’s old farm house sold (they are moving from Connecticut to New Hampshire…I can’t possibly! imagine why!) and we promised to get the equipment out of there so the closing could go ahead. But that is what hand warmers and good boots are for!

The death of an ash Tuesday, Mar 7 2017 

Mostly dead since a lightning strike several years ago (on top of an older strike that caused all the rot you can see above) the bit of rain, on top of all the wind, was just a little too much for it. Thud.

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