What are you doing today, spring time edition

Bearskinner

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I know it’s near summer in southern areas, but a rainy spring here up north. Just turning on the lawn sprinklers, fire and run all the yard and garden equipment. Spent a day gathering branches, and started sawing a few downed trees, in the close acerage forest. Drug the land plane on all the walking trails to level out, and clear debris and branches.
Ready to start sawing rounds for firewood for late season cold. It’s good to saw and split while it’s still cold out. We use wood heat 6 months a year, and bu cutting my own wood, I can heat the house for $200. A year.
 

California

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Ha!

At the moment I'm taking a break from drafting a reply to the insurance agent. He sent a renewal questionnaire. The old farmhouse fails on every issue.
No there aren't earthquake restraints, nothing to tie them to. There isn't a perimeter foundation. The 700 sq ft farmhouse is on short piers.
Dies it have all Federal Pacific breakers, a company driven into bankruptcy because their breakers ... don't? Yep. The barn panel too.
Age of house unknown. I didn't tell him the bathroom was clearly the first add-on.
Plumbing? No, not code compliant. (As an unpaid teenager in the 60's I did a major project replacing rotted pipes - using all used materials and without a pipe threader. Dad was cheap.)
No I refuse to remove the grown Redwood trees (4~6 ft diameter) that are too close to the guest cabin. (I would rather let that building go uninsured, its near valueless). Grandma and I planted those.

This insurance reply is an interruption from pulling together all the information to create a Trust, at the demand of Daughter who will have to take care of things eventually. Daughter and Trust Attorney want all sorts of obscure info I can't find easily.

That was an interruption that took precedence over collecting and summarizing farm records to do my taxes, which I was working on before.

It's killing me that I can't just turn my back on all these issues on a beautiful day and get back over to the ranch. I'm stuck in my house in town until I get this stuff taken care of.

Ok, back to work now. Bah. :mad:


I hope everyone else is enjoying their place.
 

Gary Fowler

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From the amount of post recently, it looks like everyone, myself included, have other things to do than do welding projects. This time of year, unless it is broken, it doesnt get worked on till fall. I just got finished mowing the 6 acre yard with the help of my son in law who is here visiting. Daughter washed all the cars while we mowed to get the pollen off which was pretty bad this year.
Monday is mowing day for my sister in law's 2 acre yard. I thought I had lots of trees, but hers is like a forest with grass. It takes me just as long to mow my 6 acres and her 2 acres due to all the trees and other obstacles.
 

bplayer405

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Me and the misses took the 4-wheelers out today to some hunting ground in search for morels. Found 1 almost as big as my fist. Took that one to a better location (for us) and replanted it. Hopefully next year there will be more there. Ended up digging up some raspberry vines for a start up at home. Always something to do.
 

Bearskinner

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Yup, nothing to weld. Sawing logs into rounds fir firewood, fir next year, mowing and piling slash to burn. Always something going on this time of year
 

Oliver 1555

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Working ground for a farmer - planting is almost done.
 

California

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Updating from my rant of April 26 above: Got the taxes in, for me, and the kids' returns. Got a year renewal on the ranch insurance but they will cancel me then. The old farmhouse can't be made earthquake resistant with no perimeter foundation. Looks like I'm headed for expensive non-standard insurance, or else replace the building with a Manufactured Home on the same 14x50 footprint.

So I got back over to the ranch (apple orchard) and got back to stuff that's fun. Three days on the smaller tractor, out watering new trees. It takes that long because every year I have to create a reservoir around each tree big enough for 15 gallons of water. And then as I put in the water, seal the gopher cavities that suddenly appear like flushing a toilet. I stomp in dirt clods until the hole is plugged. A couple of holes took 40 gallons of water each without any sign of filling up a cavern underneath. Hopefully I drowned a few gophers before I gave up and capped those holes with a clod.

Note the level water in the watering trailer. This ground is steep. I have to shovel quite a bit of earth to make level reservoirs around the trees.

And a comment on my watering rig: That's a lawn sprinkler anti-siphon valve at the top of that vertical pipe. As soon as I turn off the 12 volt bilge pump down in the tank, that one-way valve sucks air to break the siphoning effect of the watering wand. Not only does no more water siphon from the tank, but also the wand becomes feather-light after it empties. I recommend this, for anyone who delivers water like this.

A ranch welding project I finished recently was adapting a back blade so the quick hitch could lift it. I welded on a frame extension with a second set of pins a couple of inches forward, and higher, than the originals. The original pins were too close to structural members. I'll soon write a thread with photos describing that project.

KIMG0712rWaterOnSlope.jpg
 

Gary Fowler

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Updating from my rant of April 26 above: Got the taxes in, for me, and the kids' returns. Got a year renewal on the ranch insurance but they will cancel me then. The old farmhouse can't be made earthquake resistant with no perimeter foundation. Looks like I'm headed for expensive non-standard insurance, or else replace the building with a Manufactured Home on the same 14x50 footprint.

So I got back over to the ranch (apple orchard) and got back to stuff that's fun. Three days on the smaller tractor, out watering new trees. It takes that long because every year I have to create a reservoir around each tree big enough for 15 gallons of water. And then as I put in the water, seal the gopher cavities that suddenly appear like flushing a toilet. I stomp in dirt clods until the hole is plugged. A couple of holes took 40 gallons of water each without any sign of filling up a cavern underneath. Hopefully I drowned a few gophers before I gave up and capped those holes with a clod.

Note the level water in the watering trailer. This ground is steep. I have to shovel quite a bit of earth to make level reservoirs around the trees.

And a comment on my watering rig: That's a lawn sprinkler anti-siphon valve at the top of that vertical pipe. As soon as I turn off the 12 volt bilge pump down in the tank, that one-way valve sucks air to break the siphoning effect of the watering wand. Not only does no more water siphon from the tank, but also the wand becomes feather-light after it empties. I recommend this, for anyone who delivers water like this.

A ranch welding project I finished recently was adapting a back blade so the quick hitch could lift it. I welded on a frame extension with a second set of pins a couple of inches forward, and higher, than the originals. The original pins were too close to structural members. I'll soon write a thread with photos describing that project.

View attachment 1586
How often do you put 15 gallons of water around each tree? I would think they need that at least weekly or more frequently. I planted 6 new trees this year also. Havent needed to water them at all due to weekly rains (sometimes rain all week).
 

California

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The replacement apple trees were planted 2015 and 2017. (The watering trailer photo is from a couple of years ago). About half of those trees took off and are thriving by now, they no longer need watering. And half still need to be babied, I think because of so much gopher damage to their roots.

Here's a photo from 5/11, a few days ago.I put 30 gallons of water down this hole and it was still taking water faster than I was pumping it through my 1.25" diameter watering wand. This tree has grown from its original 3/4" diameter but isn't as bushy as others planted the same year, so I continue to include it in my watering.

Yes, I water weekly for the first couple of years. After that, a few times during our rainless summer. As soon as I see leaves curling which is a sign of stress.

I think the problem with trees like in this photo, is that these replacements were put at the same orchard grid location where a mature tree had died with a big gopher meeting hall beneath it. Tree sites on the grid never got disced. So the gophers were never disrupted, and they are still there waiting when the new tree is planted at the same location. When I dig out a stump with the backhoe I disrupt an area at least as large as a dining table to discourage this, hoping they won't find the new tree for a while. This was likely a location where no roots remained to be dug out, so the new tree may have been planted over an undisturbed gopher colony.

A neighbor tried trapping gophers but decided it was hopeless after the first hundred. For a family garden, burying wire mesh keeps them out but that isn't practical for a whole orchard.

What sort of new trees did you plant? And what region are you in, with so much rain?

20210511_105055rWatering-GopherHole.jpg
 

Dirt Guy

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The best way I have found to get rid of the gophers is to hook an 1/12 hose to my Honda generator muffler pipe, then the other end down the gopher hole. They take a nap and never wake up. Seems to work for me I am in Spanish Springs, Nv. about 15 miles north of Reno, Nv. I also found it woks on moles .
 

California

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The best way I have found to get rid of the gophers is to hook an 1/12 hose to my Honda generator muffler pipe, then the other end down the gopher hole. They take a nap and never wake up. Seems to work for me I am in Spanish Springs, Nv. about 15 miles north of Reno, Nv. I also found it woks on moles .
Neighbors here have tried that, also my grandfather back in the day when car exhaust was a lot dirtier. Not much luck. There must be thousands down there ready to move into unoccupied tunnels.

A commercial orchardist here bought a Gopher Blaster. It puts propane then oxygen down the gophers holes, then ignites it. He said gophers and dirt go flying out of unexpected spots all over. But long term that doesn't make much improvement to the tree damage.

It just ocurred to me that with the gopher meeting halls located beneath my new trees, the Gopher Blaster would probably launch the trees I'm trying to protect right out of the ground. Oops.
 

Gary Fowler

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How often do you put 15 gallons of water around each tree? I would think they need that at least weekly or more frequently. I planted 6 new trees this year also. Havent needed to water them at all due to weekly rains (sometimes rain all week).
I am in south central Arkansas and we have been getting lots of rain this year. This week it has rained every day and night for 5 days and still cloudy and misting rain (flood watch in effect) so the ground is saturated. I have been mowing the high spots between rain showers but the low valleys between the hills cant be mowed till I get at least a week of hot dry weather to dry them out since most have several inches of standing water now.
 

California

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I am in south central Arkansas and we have been getting lots of rain this year. This week it has rained every day and night for 5 days and still cloudy and misting rain (flood watch in effect) so the ground is saturated.
Wow. I wish you could send some of that to us.

We've gone from Severe > Extreme > Exceptional drought this year, here north of San Francisco.

5/20/2021 Drought Map. This is the original that is re-posted in all the news:
 

Gary Fowler

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We usually hit drought conditions around August. One year it rained all of May then just a shower or 2 of less that .1" \ which barely wet the grass from June till October. Water bill was high but we kept the yard green but the pastures were all brown. Cattlemen were hauling hay from Texas to feed the cows.
It didnt rain yesterday nor Friday and just a sprinkle all day long on Thursday. Today is sunny and hot (87F) as I am writing this. I got most of my yard mowed even though some of it was showing muddy tracks . Some areas that are wet season spring feed dont usually dry up till July and I couldnt mow any of that.

I did fire up the welder and fix a steel stool for my neighbor and make a U shape to hang my steel targets for pistol range from (got to weld on some hangers and buy some concrete to anchor it with but the frame is finished. Used the Miller to weld that frame since it was really rusty metal and pitted so even after grinding it still has some rust. I havent decided if I need to put a lower rail on for more targets yet. Got to hang the top rail targets first then see how much space is left.
Next cool day I will fab up some chain hangers and weld on the rail(s). Not any hurry since the 2x4 frame is still standing but is getting a bit wobbly. I will likely move it down to my 200 yard range after I get the pistol frame up.
 

Gary Fowler

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Finally got my new steel target stand planted in the ground. I had some old 2" pipe someone had given me so I made a U frame to hang some steel targets that I built many years ago. I had mounted them on wood frame that had since rotted / got riddled with bullets and were falling down. I mounted 4 targets on the top, then I found a section of 1/16" steel from an old fluorescent light fixture that I scavenged to make a second tier to hang 4 more smaller targets.

I should take some photos of it I suppose but that is just too much trouble to upload here.
 

Gary Fowler

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My last project was welding up the FEL bucket on my B26. I just noticed that a hole had worn in the back of the bucket from back dragging with the back of the bucket. I used my Vulcan Omni-Pro 220 and welded up the hole. I then decided to reinforce the back corner edge, so I found some 1x1x1/8" angle in my scrap pile. I welded that to the back of the bucket as a wear plate. I wish I had some armor plate but I used all that making steel targets for my shooting range. The angle should work for several years though.
 

California

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... I should take some photos of it I suppose but that is just too much trouble to upload here.
?

It's not that much trouble! Photos really add to a reader's understanding of a post. Especially on a technical site like this, where your topic may be unfamiliar to the reader.

What I do:
- Upload all the pix from a specific day, from phone or camera to PC, with cable. It's easier to find the best photo on the PC's larger screen.

- Edit with Irfanview. Sometimes crop or click 'correct colors'. Save at a size no larger than can be displayed on a monitor. The native photo size is unnecessarily large and will make problems for someone on slow internet.

- Upload. Click the draft photo, this reveals corner flags. Drag a flag to make the photo into a smaller thumbnail.

- Post!

 

streem26

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The replacement apple trees were planted 2015 and 2017. (The watering trailer photo is from a couple of years ago). About half of those trees took off and are thriving by now, they no longer need watering. And half still need to be babied, I think because of so much gopher damage to their roots.

Here's a photo from 5/11, a few days ago.I put 30 gallons of water down this hole and it was still taking water faster than I was pumping it through my 1.25" diameter watering wand. This tree has grown from its original 3/4" diameter but isn't as bushy as others planted the same year, so I continue to include it in my watering.

Yes, I water weekly for the first couple of years. After that, a few times during our rainless summer. As soon as I see leaves curling which is a sign of stress.

I think the problem with trees like in this photo, is that these replacements were put at the same orchard grid location where a mature tree had died with a big gopher meeting hall beneath it. Tree sites on the grid never got disced. So the gophers were never disrupted, and they are still there waiting when the new tree is planted at the same location. When I dig out a stump with the backhoe I disrupt an area at least as large as a dining table to discourage this, hoping they won't find the new tree for a while. This was likely a location where no roots remained to be dug out, so the new tree may have been planted over an undisturbed gopher colony.

A neighbor tried trapping gophers but decided it was hopeless after the first hundred. For a family garden, burying wire mesh keeps them out but that isn't practical for a whole orchard.

What sort of new trees did you plant? And what region are you in, with so much rain?

View attachment 1587
Get a wiener dog. I raised 4 litters of pups and they ALL hunted mice, rats, squirrels, gophers, moles, and rabbits. I didn't have to train them I just let them in the yard and they did the rest. It's not the quickest option, or the most frugal option but I never had a problem with any of those pests ever again.
 

California

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That should work! :p

The latest attack on new trees has gone beyond gophers. Now badger holes, going in at a 45degree angle. Holes big enough you could stuff in a football out of sight. I took one photo where I poked a hoe handle, to more than half its length, under an immature tree like the one in the photo. It took about a cubic ft of dirt to fill that hole. I hope the tree survives.

I don't think aggressive dog(s) are a good fit here. My neighbor recently evicted a tenant whose terrier kept killing and shredding her pet chickens, and they roam over here. I wouldn't want to cause drama like that.

Maybe the weasel that appeared recently will make a dent in the gopher population. I've read they eat a third of their weight in meat every day. This little guy pops up out of gopher holes everywhere.
 
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