To Fell A Tree

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There was a solar eclipse today.  I didn’t take a photo, but this is what it looked like.  Partial eclipse, total let down.  Too cloudy.

We’ve been wanting to take this tree down for awhile.  As you can see, it’s right next to the power lines.  We get very strong winds here.  When the wind comes, our sleep is interrupted as we worry about that damn tree.

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The tree died because it was strangled by steel wire used for a clothes line.  When we moved to the farm, Brent pushed in a post next to the tree. I took the wire off of the tree and onto the new post.  But, it was too late.

We aren’t experts with giant tree felling.  But we have friends that know this area.  He came over to get ‘er done.

A very long rope was placed high in the tree then attached to Brent’s tractor in the distance.  Mr. Fellow made sure the rope was taut and then did the first cut.  I thought I was there to take photos, but no I was to raise my arm when the tree began to move.  I had been crunching numbers for hours before this with a small break to look at the clouds and envision what a solar eclipse might look like.  Head in a fog, I wasn’t prepared to signal the moment when the tree moved.  What if I got it wrong?!  I started mentally playing out the scenarios when the tree falls in an unexpected direction.  What do I say?  Mr. Fellow has noise cancelling ear muffs on!  We agreed on one signal, the one where the tree moves in the right direction.  I scoot back because one of my mentally construed scenarios was that it might fall on me.  I focused and had my arm ready.   The tree made a move, I raised my arm, Mr. Fellow signalled Brent, Brent eased the tractor forward and the tree fell.

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Right where we wanted it to.

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I’m bummed that I didn’t catch photos of the tree mid-fall.  It was impressive.  You didn’t see it fall, but it made a sound.

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Cozy Calves

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While waiting for the water bowl to fill, I grabbed some shots of the calves.

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When the cows are moved, the calves get excited.  They run around and then get bored.  The sun is on today, so they snuggle into the grass while they wait for mum to have her tea.

Lots of chatter about the water cooler today.  I stood there for thirty minutes or so waiting for the bowl to fill.  But it was sunny and I haven’t sunbathed for years, so it was good times.

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The herd gets cozy when it’s warm.

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The grass is good.

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Poor mum can’t have a break to take a drink without junior.

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Milk Nose and Ear Tags

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After a calf has a feed, they get milk nose.  Milk all over their face.  They really get into feeding.  They butt their mother’s udders with their head and then feed.  I’ve fed a bottle calf before, you must watch out because they will butt you too.  They’ll butt anything to get more milk.

Brent tagged another calf today.  Can you see him?  He’s in the middle of a curious herd.  Don’t try this at home.  He has a technique.  A technique based on a foundation of calm.  If you are calm, then they are calm.  We’ve tried other ways of tagging a calf that were successful, but this year has been smooth.  He also castrates the boys as well.

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I’m not a fan of tagging calves.  It can be dangerous.  Have you seen those horns?  But regulations say we have to.  In France, you tag both ears.  I see that America has gotten off easy with one ear tag.  If you don’t tag the calf the first day, you will never catch it.  I believe there are rodeo events based on this principle.

Check Out This Book

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He says.  Well, okay.  I’m always up for a culinary challenge.  Let me randomly pick a recipe.

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Okay, one can of Le Spam.  This could take some time.  … thankfully.  Perhaps a duck confit substitution?  or another random recipe selection.

Woodhenge

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This is Woodhenge.  Brent took the photo above a month after we moved to the farm ( October, 2010 ).  It was early morning.  I’m not sure what the structure was intended for.  It rests in a paddock we call “Detroit.”  Detroit was named because it was overgrazed for too long. Then the auto industry of fertility left, leaving the paddock full of thistles and weeds.

We didn’t do anything major to Detroit.  We used it as a sacrificial paddock as it is close to the yards.  Brent over-seeded clover and rolled out hay.  The cows graze Detroit to work the soil.  Year after year, Detroit seemed to perk up.  Now, Detroit is full of many grasses.

Detroit is green, green, green and the thistles and weeds have lost.  But, check out Wood Henge!

Our silly cows used it as a scratch post and this is all that remains.

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I took this photo today from a different angle.  Don’t worry, the old trees in the “before” shot are still there and even bigger.

What A Difference A Toy Makes

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I’m the sort of parent that fully supports toys for children that promote their product ” Now! With Just One Piece! ” Love those. Any number above that, screaming in bold caps at toy consumers, captures people without children or my mother. 25 pieces!  35 pieces! 75 pieces!  It’s a perk!  More for your money!  My mom would pay extra if those 75 pieces also made noise and did not require batteries.  BUT ( and what is your big BUT? )  this 75 piece set has learned me something new.  Snap Circuits Pro, is amazing.  Durable.  Levels.  Information.  Fun for a girl or a boy.  75 pieces and hundreds of exercises teaching this dude electronics.  He can’t stop himself.  He loves lego sets, but once assembled ( t = 6m23s ) he looks around for something to do.  He did the first three “sets” in the book and couldn’t wait to do more.  Actually, he got so excited, he finished exercise 3 and then skipped to exercise 215. He asked Dad for help.  We had to rein in his instant gratification tendencies and said, ” do each level and check it off as you go. ”  Can’t blame him, who wouldn’t want to chuck off a helicopter by sound and make a happy birthday song with a circuit.  It’s the sort of toy that I sat by him, doing a bit of computer work waiting for him to go to bed.  Then saying, “well, I think you should wrap it up and get some sleep.”  He would be at it all night.   I’d find him in the morning with slober on a little green piece that met a blue piece.
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This toy also embraces failure.   Otto set up a circuit to fly the red propeller thing.  Round and round it went, but it did not fly.  “Mom watch this!!!”  But it did not fly.  He miserably turned off the circuit and the little red propeller flew high in the sky.  Oh the laughter.  From Otto and from me.  It WORKED!

I’m absolutely not paid to write these words.  I am impressed with this set and all its pieces.  I felt the need to share the love.