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Friday, November 9, 2012

An Omnibus of Activity

Frank and Debbie visited recently and we kept them busy. One of the tasks was constructing and installing a 100-yard target at the range. Debbie is shown here taking some of the first shots at the new target with the .223 "varminter".

Another task was salvaging this culvert. Sometime before we arrived, it washed downstream in a flood from a former creek crossing. We found it standing upright in the bed, buried several feet in mud, and had been waiting for more helpers before attempting to move it. We shoveled enough mud to get it loose, then applied chain and tractor power in several configurations before freeing it and pulling it out.

The culvert isn't nearly large enough even to pass a two-year flood so our current thinking is that we'll use it for a low-flow crossing, weighted with chunks of concrete, and with stone approaches that will simply be overtopped during floods. Water is so dense that not only does it have great pushing power but also produces large buoyant forces, physics evidently not well understood by whoever previously installed this culvert, and also the ruined bridge farther downstream.

Halloween is another cross-quarter day (those that fall between the solstices and equinoxes) and we set another two points on the observatory at sunrise (which was rather spectacular) and sunset.

The northwest field will be the beginning of our cider apple orchard, and we decided to build several swales to capture and infiltrate runoff from that rounded hill before we install the trellises upon which we'll plant dwarf and semi-dwarf trees at a density of about 340 trees per acre (16-foot row spacing by 8-foot tree spacing). We have a new (used) piece of kit, this PTO-driven tiller, which did an admirable job breaking up the pasture turf. We then switched the tiller for the blade, moved the loose material downhill to make berms, and compacted the berms with the tractor wheels.

We have arranged with a "sharecropper" to hunt deer on the farm, as none of us have any experience; this takes us a step closer to resolving some of our qualms about killing animals if we intend to eat meat. If you click on the photo you can see the stand he erected on the verge of the woods. In recent weeks I've seen a four-point buck and several does, and a half of one or another will wind up in our freezer if the hunter is successful.


  1. Of course if you kill it, you got to gut it, hang it, and process it. DV

    1. Of course. The issue has philosophical and practical aspects.

  2. Someday I'll stargaze at your observatory. (while listening to shoe gaze).

    1. You're welcome anytime, Darrell. If there are clear skies, I'll try to be out tomorrow morning in the pre-dawn to observe the Taurid meteor shower.


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