March 31, 2007 – March In AND Out Like a Lion!

This year March came in and went out like a lion. March came in with the double-whammy of the ice storm and snow storm and left with powerful winds in the neighborhood.

We barely missed watching this garage, whose remains are pictured above, explode.  It was a big errand day (I drove 165 miles today, with no one trip more than 15 miles).  One of the errands was picking up Claire from school after a quiz bowl and driving to State Center for an appointment with a tax accountant. 

As we were leaving Marshalltown, the front moved through, with blinding rain and some wind.  About three miles before this scene, the rain stopped and we saw this building wrecked and its contents spewed across Highway 30 and Hart Avenue, about 4 miles north of Melbourne.  Claire snapped this picture from the car as we drove by (slowly).  It just happened a few minutes earlier as the storm was a very narrow band.  I submitted it to KCCI TV and friends alerted us that they saw Claire’s photo of storm damage on the 10:00 news.

one year ago…

March 30, 2007 – Mushroom “Planting”

Today was the second time we “planted” shitaake mushrooms in logs. The logs we did last year have not yet fruited, but the time-frame is usually 12-18 months, so we are still waiting.

This a log before the process starts. The ideal log is about 3-8 inches thick and about 40 inches long. Oak is the best, but most non-conifers work fine. Harvest logs while dormant. We had a good supply that broke off in ice storm.

The first step is to drill holes in lines about 6 inches apart and in rows 2 inches apart.

We ordered spawn on wooden dowels that are pounded into the drilled holes.

The final step is to seal each plug and the ends of the logs with wax, to preserve moisture.

Here’s a completed log. The last step for a while is to stack the logs in a shady, moist spot until they start fruiting in 12-18 months.

one year ago…

March 28, 2007 – The Goose Gets a Gander

Today, our two geese have a chance for a more complete and fulfilling life with the entrance of a gander! He’s in the middle, we’re thinking of calling him Mr.Toulouse Goose, or Mr. T. for short, but our shortest human rejects Mr. T. Martin prefers the  longer version.

You can read about the utility of the geese in solving our chicken predator problem in the October 26, 2006 blog entry.

one year ago…