Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9,2009

As I typed the 2009 date I thought back to all the perceived problems we thought would happen as we rolled into the new century. And what might have been on my grandfather's mind as he sat in this house and rolled into the 1900's. Fleeting thoughts about this beautiful planet the Lord made and how some of us enjoy his creation. Lots of yellow birds and orange birds outside the kitchen window, Downey, Hairy, and Red Bellied Woodpeckers on the suit feeder outside the computer room window. Thank you Lord for a job well done.

Last night Pete and I finally got the main corn fields planted. We got a late start because we drug the old 4 row corn planter out of the weeds (it was one of the better planters in 1956) and we began its reconstruction which took longer than expected. We had to get all the mechanism to turn and function, had to change from 32" row spacing to 30" rows for both the seed placement and the fertilizer placement, had to set the rate of seed drop and the rate of fertilizer application. It took longer than we planed of course. When we were in the field ready to plant we suddenly thought "the markers are not set for 30" rows". We grabbed the manual to find how they should be set and guess what. It takes special pieces to set for 30" rows. The marker makes a line in the dirt to follow on the next trip down the field, so that the spacing between passes is also 30". Well back to the shop to modify the marker mechanism so they are in the right place.

All and all, things worked out pretty well the last few days. Earlier Pete had moldboard plowed all the fields. In the last few days I ran the digger and drag to smooth and prepare the field and Pete ran the planter. We just finished the last field when it began to sprinkle. We got the equipment covered and put the fertilizer wagon inside. Last night we got .32 inches of rain. Nice gentle rain. Those little corn kernels have to be loving it this morning. The sun is out today and will be beaming down on their little bed. Another week and they will be popping their little heads above ground. Thank you lord for good timing.

The shrubs and trees we planted last week budded out and have gorgeous little leaves along their stems. Although I weed whipped the ground bare where we planted them, they are slowly disappearing into a sea of grass. I guess I get another job, to drop a tube aroUnd the tree and spray roundup on the ground. That way I can let the regular vegetation grow (without mowing) and the new plantings will have a little space to grow.

Yesterday Forest brought down two hives of bees to sit by the middle pond. Lots of Dandelions to feed on and some plum and apple trees in bloom. Bees will love them. Morrells will be appearing soon. The rain will have helped them.

We need to work the animals today. Time to move them around and put some of them out on grass. Soon if you had a baby you get to go to the pasture. What an incentive. Also need to get the sprayer ready. Should be spraying for weeds within 5 days of planting. We may make this. Because we mohlboard plowed, this year instead of hiring my regular spraying guy to apply the multiple mixed weed killers, I am going to apply a preemergence herbicide at 1/2 the recomended rate and see if the corn will canopy and shade out the weeds. Have to get the sprayer going and calibrated. More work more work. More time? Less blogging.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5 2009

Haven't blogged in a long time. Many things have happened and not commented on. Spring is here and although we felt we were finally having a spring where we were on time, the alligators invaded and we're behind. A beautiful rain this morning and we don't have the corn planted. Last week with 4 Massey tractors, one was running. We're back with 3 running now. Maybe 4 by the weekend, don't need the 4th one, but it is broken in the middle of what will be a corn field with a broken front spindle so we can't even tow it out on the way.

We did have a couple of turkey hunters in the south home, bagged two birds and saw a lot of them. We also had a prof from UW Eau Claire with a bunch of students on a geology outing for the weekend. Should have stories from all of them, so they say. One of the kids caught a 22" Brown Trout in Big Plum Creek on saturday. Big fish, they ate it, didn't save a bite for me.

We planted 200+ trees and shrubs around the upper two ponds over the weekend. We need to do more wildlife corridors with browse and cover. We plowed a spot in the bottoms for a corn and ?? food plot and will expand this along Big Plum in the fall and next spring. We have been getting things done, but the corn is not in, and lots of other things are not done. It just happens that way when you are on the farm; you get bit in the b____ when you least expect it.

This is an example of how the Shoo-fly Landing is utilized, last Saturday, we were headed to Menomonie and noticed a bunch of canoes coming into the landing. The cars and canoe trailers had been there since Thursday or Friday. We found Shaun and a passel of UW Eau Claire students had started from Eau Claire and paddled to the landing. The next place to pull out is 9 miles further south. Couldn't find a better use for this little piece of America.

As you can see, I had to put my two cents in ... (according to the boss) ... Nobody probably wants to hear about my birds, but guess what, here goes! The first of May was exciting to say the least. My first Oriole was here and then on the second of May our first humming bird was here. It is good to know that they haven't forgotten where we live and where the feed is so abundant. While I am typing on the blog, the American gold finches are singing up a storm. It is so sweet to hear them. I am typing and looking out the computer room window and the Downy woodpeckers are on the suet packs.

Pete just called and said he was on "N" and would be here soon. His dad was taken to the hospital last night with chest problems. Pete had a doctor's appointment at 9:00 but will be here soon to start another day at the farm.

Today we are supposed to have the bulls tested for their testosterone levels to see if they are potent or impotent, whichever the case may be. Hopefully they will all be in good shape so they can produce babies for next year. We forgot to take any pictures of this happening. Our first bull went right through the end of the chute. He is one massive bull. We had to reload him into the chute and believe me he was not a happy camper. We finally got the testing done and he decided he did not want to go back into the pen so he took a little trip and ended up on the hill in back of the barn, bellering at us. As I said before, not happy at all about the situation. Carl and Pete went back later when things settled down and walked him back down to the chute. I'm surprised he even came down the chute to go back into his pen. When he walked down his head was down and his neck was arched and you could really see that he was upset. Usually the bulls are all very gentle. At this time I would not like to challenge him further. What a day!