Friday, November 16, 2018

Weekend Steam: Russian Locomotives!

Thank You Merle, for keeping us in good videos!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ticked Off!

Lisa found it.  She was out in the timber with me and she zeroed on a spot.  I checked right away to keep her from eating something nasty, as dogs like to do.  A deer had been shot through.  Blood sprayed from both sides.  I looked and found four good bleeding spots, but no trail to or from.  I spent a long time circling and searching; these four spots were all.  So, someone shot a deer with a rifle, before firearm season (No Rifles Allowed in Illinois), and retrieved the deer with a four wheeler and got it out before I found them, on land that is posted.  I have let my reputation with trespassers mellow, and that is a mistake.  They will be back, and that will be their mistake.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

People Think I Won't Notice!

I have to run off trespassers regularly.  I had some Amish guys trespassing last year, and they pretended they didn't know there was a boundary.  That is the same excuse that today's trespasser used.  He told me he had permission to hunt the property east of us and didn't see the boundary.  He had to carry his stand over the old boundary fence, and since he didn't mention tripping on it, I assume that he did see it.  I was polite, though, because I don't want a fight.  I just want them to leave.

He did leave.  I checked his stand this afternoon and he was disassembling it and getting ready to move out.  I ran some orange flagging through the woven wire so he could easily see it from his stand.

I am still amazed at the hunters who want me to think they are the Lone Outdoorsman when they can't find or follow a fence or navigate with a compass.  We need to bring back the Boy Scouts, where kids learned these skills.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Here is another rare treasure from the Ruger vault!  Back in 2005, Ruger made commemorative .357 Flattop Blackhawks to celebrate a half century of this iconic revolver.  This Blackhawk was engraved, and it was not a catalog item.  It is extremely rare!  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, November 14, 2018.  $780

Monday, November 12, 2018

Tuesday Torque: 5 HP Barn Fresh Galloway

Here is another good one spotted by Merle.

If you are lucky enough to come across an old engine in a building, please don't give in to the temptation to spin the flywheels. Go to a few engine shows and you will see repaired rocker arms. Those usually happen because someone spun an engine with a stuck exhaust valve. Shoot some oil on the valves and do not try to roll that engine until you know all the parts are free to move. Thanks, Merle!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Armistice Day, Plus 100 Years

                   The Last Post

The stars are shining bright above the camps,
The bugle calls float skyward, faintly clear;
Over the hill the mist-veiled motor lamps
Dwindle and disappear.

The notes of day's goodbye arise and blend
with the low murmurous hum from tree and sod,
And swell into that question at the end
They ask each night of God--

Whether the dead within the burial ground
Will ever overthrow their crosses grey,
And rise triumphant from each lowly mound
To greet the dawning day.

Whether the eyes which battle sealed in sleep
Will open to reveille once again,
And forms, once mangled, into rapture leap,
Forgetful of their pain,

But still the stars above the camp shine on,
Giving no answer for our sorrow's ease,
And one more day with the Last Post has gone,
Dying upon the breeze.

Vera Brittain, V.A.D. Nurse


Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same- and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, "Is it all going to happen again?"

Do you remember the hour of din before the attack-
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads-those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

Siegfried Sassoon, March 1919

Friday, November 9, 2018

Weekend Steam: Postwar British Railway History

Merle found a real winner for us this week!  This video about the British railways after World War II is nearly an hour long, so I recommend clicking to a new tab from the YouTube icon and keeping it open so you can watch it in segments.  It is fascinating history.  Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Back Leaners: Running The Numbers For Safety

If you cut trees you deal with lean on every tree.  Hardly ever do you have a perfectly balanced tree, and if you do, you are going to have to wedge it over or let the wind push it for you.  In this video we cover the numbers that you need to do your figuring.  Don't push the limits for two reasons.  Wedging a tree near the limit of back lean is difficult and tiring; definitely not enjoyable.  Push near the limit and you will  have hinge failures.  That may not be a problem out in the woods, but it can be disastrous next to valuable improvements.  Internalize these numbers and you will be able to figure your side lean limits for safety purposes.  That is where I use this method the most.  Pick a spot to drop most of your trees where you don't have to fight any side lean and life is easier.  The math for this method is so easy you won't even need a pencil, so be sure to include it in every tree falling plan.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hunting Vicariously

Susan and I have not hunted in many years, but we enjoy the wildlife in our timber and are glad to share it with friends who hunt.  Dusty Wood has been up in a tree stand the last couple mornings and he sent us some nice shots to enjoy.  He gave us permission to share on YouTube, so now you can join in the fun.  There were some bigger deer, too, but Dusty does not fumble around with picture taking when a potential trophy is in view.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger has an exciting rifle for us this week!  It is a Hawkeye® African in .223 Remington.  It is just the ticket for putting meat in the pot when you are on safari, or for popping coyotes when in Illinois.  This fine rifle was made five years ago in 2013, and is New In Box, in Ruger's vault.  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 7, 2018.  Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  $1245

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Limbering Up A Rebuilt 15 HP Pattin

This video illustrates some of the difficulty of making an old engine run.  How are you supposed to make an engine fire up and run when it has stiff rings and tight bearings?  You probably need to monkey with the fuel and ignition, too.  Belting up to an engine that runs is the answer for many hobbyists.  Thank You for spotting this vid, Merle!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

I Like Corn Meal From The Store...

                                                             Back To The Old Grind!

Wilfred Owen, November 4, 1918

You have probably at least heard of Wilfred Owen, even if you are not a fan of poetry from the Great War.  Wilfred is considered to be one of the very best poets who wrote about the war, and he was a front line veteran.  He suffered illness, injury, and shellshock, but he came back to the front even though he could have stayed away.  He wrote throughout the war, and this is a fragment from 1914.

War broke: and now the Winter of the world
With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centered at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,...

Many of his poems take us to dark places that none wish to visit.  A fragment from Dulce Et Decorum Est:

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

Another from Strange Meeting:

'I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now....'

Wilfred Owen was killed in action on November 4, just one week before the Armistice.  His mother was notified on November 11.

Anthem For Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

And, a fragment from Futility:

Was it for this the clay grew tall?
-O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Colors Have Peaked, And The Leaves Are Dropping

Still no hard freeze here, just scattered frost, so the leaves are giving us good hang time. Red maple is beautiful, as usual.  The oaks are doing great with muted red in the red oak group, and gold highlights in the white oaks. It's glorious!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Used To Get Calls About This!

A little splash of color that most folks do not look for or notice is white pine.  The old needles turn yellow and drop, usually in the fall, but sometimes in the spring.  New needles will pop in the spring, so the tree runs on two years of needles.  Folks may live to be 75 before they notice this, and then they call the forester in a panic because they think their tree is dying.  You explain the phenomenon and the inevitable response is, "I thought they were EVERGREENS!" 

Our white pines flipped this week and we were really enjoying the show, but two days of rain have cut our joy short.  The trees are all green again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Way Of All Steel...

Oxide to oxide and rust to rust!  Better keep a light coat of oil on your hardware!

A neighbor hit this old Winchester with his plow about fifty years ago, and judging from the looks, it was probably on/in the ground for about fifty years.  The 1902 Sears catalog has octagon barreled Model 94s listed for $12.50, or about half a month's pay for a laborer back then.  This would have been a painful loss for whomever laid it down or lost it off his wagon.  You could buy a Model 94 in 32-40, 38-55, 25-35, and 30-30 back then. 

Speaking of losing things, Cameron Bosworth was making firewood down east of the farm in the Auxier/Shelton Creek Bottoms with Susan's Grandfather, Martin Knapp.  At the end of the day, Cameron hid the wedges so they wouldn't have to carry them out.  He had the misfortune of dying that night, and Martin never found those wedges.  That ground is all row-crop now, and I wonder if they have been plowed up and hung up in a toolshed as a souvenir.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Two Black Crows In Hades, Part 1 and Part 2

Dance Macabre, Horowitz

Click to Full Screen so you can read the annotations.

Olney FFA Did Well At Indy!

Jamie VanDyke, Olney, Illinois FFA Forestry Team, Representative from John Deere

                                                                    Click To Enlarge.

Jamie VanDyke, Ag Instructor at Olney, is a dedicated teacher.  I think this is the third time he has taken a forestry team to the FFA Convention, and they did very well.  The Team placed 8th in the nation, and they had two individuals in the top ten.  It is an impressive accomplishment for both the students and their teacher.  Congratulations!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Here's a good GREAT one from Ruger!  It is a 1991 Ruger Red Label Over-Under Shotgun, in 20 Gauge, with 3 inch chambers, 28 inch barrels, Modified and Full Chokes. Top of the line walnut, too!  This is the shotgun you have been waiting for all your life, so CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  This extra-fine shotgun will sell mid-day, Wednesday, October 31, 2018.  $1625

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Extent Of My Deer Hunting

We are just about on a first name basis with some of the deer around here, and we know where to go to have a visit with them.  Our friendly little six-pointer is hanging out in one barn, and this little four-pointer is hanging out where I park the tractor.

Tuesday Torque: Smoke Rings!

These big old Fairbanks engines are famous for blowing smoke rings.  That is one thing I always watch at the Boonville, Indiana show.  RoadKing 805 shot this video a few years ago, and Merle spotted it for us.  Thanks, Merle!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Very Important News At Carmi Rifle Club!

Carmi Rifle Club is now a Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) affiliated club!  CMP sells U.S. Government surplus rifles (M1 Garands) and pistols (M1911s) to qualified U.S. citizens.  Part of that qualification process is membership in a CMP affiliated club.  Acquiring a surplus M1 just got easier for you if you belong to the Carmi Rifle Club.

The Carmi Rifle Club hosts several events every year to promote the shooting sports and safe shooting.

Young and old are welcome to attend, and to join the activities.

Volunteers are all well qualified to help new shooters and we have many Range Safety Officers.

Study the CMP requirements to purchase an M1 Garand rifle, and join the Carmi Rifle Club to complete your qualification needs!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering a real winner this week and it probably won't be run up by the Collecitibles Crowd.  This is a 1990 (first year of production) P85 Decocker Pistol, with 15 round magazine in 9mm.  These are great pistols for home, vehicle, sport; whatever!  They are built like a tank, and the Decocker would be my pick if I went looking for one.  It is New-In-Box!  You can't go wrong with this one.  Click Here to read the description and to place your bid.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, October 24, 2018.  $655

Monday, October 22, 2018

Tuesday Torque: 30-60 Rumely Oil Pull

These big old machines are more fun to watch if they are working.  Here we see a big Oil Pull on a sawmill.  These were a big step up from steam engines, but life was still hard.  There is no description with this video, other than it belongs to Charley Roadhouse.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

'round and 'round She Goes! Hard To Beat Stone Ground!

Back To The Old Grind!

Here You Go: LINK

Hey, did you notice that Mr. Freeman might just be a bit supersitious?  One of his galluses is twisted, and that will protect you from being struck by lightning!  I have heard it from many old-timers who were never struck; it must be true!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tree Farm Field Day!

You could not have asked for a better October day than we had in Wayne County Illinois today for Gary and Debbie Stratton's Tree Farm Field Day.  Gary and Debbie were the Tree Farmers of the year in 2017 for Illinois, and today they hosted a party at their Tree Farm for all who are interested in growing trees.  Activities included a portable sawmill, invasive species identification and control, prescribed burning benefits, timber marketing, a fishing derby for kids, chainsaw maintenance, chainsaw use in falling trees, campfire, coffee, and free donuts!

                Gary and Debbie Stratton with Jay Hayek, University of Illinois Extension Forester.

                                    Tree Farmers who have been active in forestry for 25 years.

                                          Susan won a Smokey Bear poster as a door prize!

                     Believe it or not, the chainsaw instructor won the raffle for a Stihl chainsaw!

The Fairfield Forestry District has always been a busy place, with very low turnover in foresters.  Mel Gerardo opened the office during the 1950's.  Mel was a Marine vet, and was one of the Chosin Frozens.  He ran the Anna-Jonesboro nursery when he left the Fairfield office.  Rick Moore was the next District Forester; he was a Vietnam vet.  Gary Stratton followed Rick, and I was the D.F. from 1988 to 2017.  Jenny Lesko has been there for a year now, and she is really getting into the job.  I hope she is there for many years. The Fairfield district has had several Illinois Tree Farmers of the Year.  Bernard and Mike Podolsky, Jack and Beth Riley, Terry Wheeler, and the Strattons were the award winners during my years at Fairfield.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Weekend Steam #2: Poor Kid...

...will grow up thinking everybody plays with steam engines.  He will be cast a weirdo about the time he hits junior high.  It's worth it, though!

Weekend Steam #1: A Bit Of Speed

Merle is keeping us buried in choices for steam videos.  This one will give everyone a thrill.  Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Another Part Completed!

Sheridan Concrete of Mt. Vernon, Illinois came to close up the jackhammered areas, and they did a great job.

We are dry, and that was a good deal, allowing the cement truck to get close.

                                                           The first wheelbarrow load.

They worked the cement for hours to make it smooth and pretty. We still have a way to go in the basement, but having the plumbing finished and covered up again feels pretty good.