Archive for the ‘Farm – All’ Category
Now with the snow gone and all, it’s time for a walk around the farm to see what’s up.
The plums are usually one of the first out of the gate.
This pear is just starting to bloom, while another variety has already finished.
This one’s just peachy!
Apples are a bit behind the rest of the gang.
This cherry tree was blown horizontal in a storm two years ago and I didn’t have the heart to take it out, and it looks like it’s making a case to stay, even though the trunk is horizontal – easy picking from the top of the tree!
A close-up of the cherry blossoms.
Mushroom logs are beginning to set fruit as well.
Garlic is looking on target as well.
Now that you’ve proved your strength, you won, now go away!
It’s still snowing and already both the highest May snowfall ever and most snow ever for the month of May (and there’s still 28 days left!).
These lilac leaves didn’t have a chance.
A country road in May.
I’ve been busy in this time of year when the ground is snow-free and vegetation-free to gather up years of accumulated scrap metal from around the farm, most of which predates our arrival here.
With scrap prices fairly high, instead of taking it to the landfill, I’ve been getting around $60 bucks a trailer load and have scrounged up four loads so far. It’s a triple win – the farm gets cleaned up, the metal gets recycled and I get paid to do it!
Many of you may remember that last year when I was cutting down the willows, the chain saw took a slice out of my leg (allowing me to recover and watch the first weekend of the NCAA BB games without guilt).
No such luck this year. After donning the chaps and steel-toes, I was able to cut down all the willows. This is a shot after the fact as we are collecting them all for the burn pile. I’m keeping them coppiced for ornamental and forage purposes.
The never-ending winter continues.
The few days it gets above 32, a bit of sap runs and then it freezes.
More snow last night. I had the pleasure of driving back and forth to Iowa City to pick up Linda from her weekend in Chicago. Love that drive with the snow, wind, slush, and semis!
Even though we have had seriously below normal temperatures, running 10-20 degrees below normal all month, the maple s are beginning to show signs of life.
This was the first year a tree I planted was big enough to tap!
We’ve had precipitation 10 out of 14 days so far this month. I’m ready for some sunshine!
The ditches are filling up with water as the snow melts and the rain has mainly been “on” for a couple of days.
This along the road where Linda Maizy commonly walk.
Maizy got a bonus walk today as we walked down to check out the meltwaters.
Even the temporary stream in the back pasture is flowing.
A panorama of the back pasture.
Last year at this time, we were tapping maple trees for sap. This year seems a bit more normal.
We’re on about 36 straight hors of snow after the prediction was for “occasional flurries” with some places getting up to an inch. The closest town to our west measured 14 inches and to the east 10 inches, so we probably got a bout a foot. Last week they warned us three days before about a major storm that turned out to fizzle. Now this one, they did not make any warnings until hours after the storm started. More of the same predicted for the first week of March, so I’m going with in like a lion, out like a lamb this year!
Today was a milestone day in Linda’s seminary studies. Our denomination has a “weed-out” point where a committee can say 1) you cannot be a minister, 2) go ahead in your studies, or 3) go ahead, but work on these things and check back with us at a later date. The interview was in San Francisco, and the committee looked at the results of her 2.5 day psychiatric evaluation, references, and course work. It was similar in feel to a prelim for a Ph.D. candidate.
Many of her friends and colleagues told her they’d be thinking of her and lighting a candle for her during her interview. Of course, I have a much bigger stake in her success than her friends and colleagues, so I decided, a candle would not do for me. My best option was to have a really big fire instead of a candle. So, it was time to light the back pasture on fire!
This area hadn’t been grazed for about 4 years, so it was full of dead grasses, waiting to have their nutrients returned to the soil. There was still some snow along the fencelines, I had perimeter firebreaks burnt, and always burned against the wind, so the fire didn’t move too fast. Kids, don’t try this at home – I am a professional and used to get paid to do this in a former life.
The resulting perfect rectangular burn.
This certificate that Martin made for Linda shows that the result for Linda was positive.
Those nicely tilled fields you may have seen in a recent commercial aren’t such a good idea over the winter…
The color of snowbanks near a fall-tilled field.
No school today, with the howling wind and the snow.
Of course, the next thing is the dep freeze, and although it’s still blowing pretty good, I thought it better to get out and clear the driveway tonight rather than in the sub-zero morning. I tried to put all the pile to the south and est of the driveway so i wouldn’t create a source for the snow to drift behind. There are very few things more enjoyable than driving the tractor for purposeful work!
Emma had a hankering for lots of fresh vegetables and hot soup so she made up this Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho.
Here’s the completed bowl.
The process to prepare the ingredients was not trivial. What’s invisible in this picture is what it took to make the pot of vegetable broth – all the vegetable that were boiled away and discarded (to the chickens) to make the broth. It was a great mid-winter meal.
Here’s something we haven’t seen for a while – red on the radar.
Thunderstorms and 39 degrees.
Yesterday’s ice storm did not want to give way.
Martin thought school should have been a two hour delay – and he was right – he heard that 5 buses needed a tow – and his bus picked up kids from one of the stuck buses.
Even a common Queen Anne’s Lace looks more elegant encased in ice.
Even though I’ve got photo editing software that puts this effect on any photo, the following are real, undoctored photos.
The view out the kitchen window looking towards the doghouse and barn.
A maple tree in the front yard.
The detached garage. Everything is shut down this morning because of the ice.
I was hoping for a power blip or two as I finally broke down and bought a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) this week so the computer would work through power blinks and shut down properly during an extended outage with battery back-up.