Monday, March 22, 2010

The tree in the fork conundrum

As I mentioned in my post of Dec. 23 of last year, we had a large tree fall in our backyard that wedged itself completely in the fork of a sumac tree. The middle of the fallen tree was almost 8 feet off the ground. I cut away the limbs and tried to budge the trunk with my tractor scoop to no avail. I decided it prudent to call in some help.

My neighbor happens to have an engineering degree from Cornell in addition to a very large chainsaw. After analyzing the situation, Larry decided to take the bull by the horns and just cut the trunk in the middle. He sawed a deep V on the top of the trunk and then cut from underneath. When the two pieces fell the ground shook. We wrapped a logging chain around the end still in the tree and pulled it out.

I'm still trying to find out what type of tree it is. The wood is extremely dense and heavy without much grain. The worst thing is that the ugly sumacs are still standing, reading to catch the next tree in its trap.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The first day of spring usually means . . .

. . . an empty woodshed.

Take a look back to my post of Nov. 6, 2009, where I was excited about my full woodshed. If my calculations are correct, the shed holds about 1.4 cords of wood. With only the one wood stove going, I estimate we saved about $500 on the electric bill this winter, not to mention all the calories burned off in cutting, splitting and hauling the wood.

If you look to the right of this post, you'll see one of my favorite proverbs on the subject of "enlightenment." So, one of the first projects for this spring is to chop wood.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Emerging in 2010 with Pre-Emergence

The is the first year I've worried about weeds in the lawn around the house since I was glad to have anything green after I beat back the encroaching forest.

The first week of March is a good time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide with fertilizer. Here's a tip: Scotts is a good brand, but something like Lesco has the same makeup and is about $20 a bag cheaper. If you wait too much longer, a pre-emergent won't do any good. It must get into the ground before the weeds start growing. In about six weeks I'll have to apply another round of herbicide, this time without the fertilizer.

I also took the opportunity to spread 10-10-10 on the grass I planted in the fall on the lower level. I always mix 10-10-10 with a little agricultural lime. I spread it fairly lightly because this is the grass I don't want to spend a lot of time mowing.

We're supposed to have several days of rain. If so, good timing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The exuberance of a warm day

Willie the white boxer enjoys the first warm day of the year sleeping on the back porch stoop. Due to the lack of pigmentation in the hair and skin, white boxers need to be kept out of the sun in the summer months. They can get a sunburn just like humans. On a sunny day in March, however, it's hard to keep cold-natured Willie out of the warm sun.