Thursday, March 31, 2022

Indian Trail Tree,

 or just a tree that wouldn't quit? I have pondered over this tree for many years, and my best guess is that an ice storm broke down the double stems. That is some real fighting spirit there!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tight Quarters

 This hole is not a good place to raise raccoon kittens, it isn't even adequate for naptime!

Hickory For Next Winter!

 I found one tipped over and jammed up. This will possibly make a good video, and be dry by Fall.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Don't Do It This Way

 When you are going to start your John Deere, put it in neutral, open the petcocks on the cylinders, open the gasoline valve under the tank, set the throttle in Idle range, turn the switch, and stand forward of the flywheel so you can pull the top of the flywheel toward yourself. A kid can learn it pretty quick. Keep fabrics away from the flywheel. You don't want to find out what the engine can do to you when it is spinning a grease rag up against your waist. Bare hands or leather gloves are pretty safe. Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

If It Doesn't Kill You,

You will be able to see again! We have throw rugs, too. Some day, they will be locking up old geezers for having throw rugs, dogs, and other things to trip over. Might overload Medicare!

Back To The Old Grind! How did I ever have time for a job? This week, garden fence, barn door (ladder time), TSI marking, and chainsaw. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Upcoming Auction, And A Side Note!

 This video is from Aumann Auctions, with some of the featured tractors that will be in their Pre-30s auction coming up April 21 and 22. These are some fantastic tractors and you will want to watch this video even if you are not a collector. Note the Minneapolis tractor that comes in at 2:38. They mention the chains hanging in the cab, and that they were there when this tractor was in a book published back in the 1960s. I knew immediately what they were talking about. It is Days of Steam and Glory, by Dana Close Jennings, published in 1968. I grabbed my copy and found the picture with no trouble. I will post it below the vid.

Weekend Steam II: 1917 Advance Rumely

 I think this is an 18 HP, but that is just a guess. Thank You, Merle!

Click it over to YouTube...

Friday, March 25, 2022

Retired Five Years Now!

 Susan and I still roll out at 5A many days of the week, but there is no rush to get out the door and off to work. We like to spend time drinking coffee with dogs on our laps in front of the fire. We try to get in some honest work around the place most days, but naps have become part of our lives we are happy to report.

My first day working for Illinois as a forester was memorable. I had to go north on ice covered roads to attend a meeting. That was white knuckle driving, but I made it, and I got to meet many of the foresters and other biologist in the state. My last day at the end of February five years ago was also memorable. I had my equipment all inventoried and in order at my office and had to deliver my work truck to the Region V office at Benton. I was told to stay there for the day, and the State Forester would be coming to visit and go to lunch. He was a no-show, but I stayed busy with calls to landowners with ongoing projects, and I had food with me so I didn't starve. I've never heard from the big boss since, and he is retired now. I wonder if the Gov took him out to lunch on his last day.

Susan and I are doing forestry work on our own ground now, and that is something we really enjoy. This year we will be thinning trees we planted in projects covering between 25 and 30 acres. We are also enjoying seeing the forest wildlife in our timber and around the house. 

Weekend Steam: Various Engines At Rough And Tumble, August 2014

 Rough and Tumble of Kinzers, Pennsylvania is one of the great shows, and I hate to admit that I have not been there. I was soaking up all of the shows from reports in the Iron Men Album more than fifty years ago, but there haven't been enough vacation trips in our life. Thanks for spotting this one, Merle!

The National Threshers Association of Wauseon, Ohio, is the first steam threshing show in the U.S., started by Leroy Blaker. I followed it in the steam magazines for years, and it would be well worth a trip, too. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Daffodils Are Pretty This Year!

 I guess they are every year, but I never take them for granted.

Barred Owl Glimpses

 Daylight glimpses of our nesting pair of barred owls are rare. They come up out of the hole in the hickory and head for the timber, where they first go to an eastern red-cedar and disappear. It was raining the other day and they showed themselves more, but they are darn near invisible in gray light against gray trees. The one that parked in the tree was watching my every move, and I was just shooting video from a door that was cracked open. They don't hide so much at night. They will sit in trees over our head and talk to us at night, but of course we can't get pictures then. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Crank A Waterloo Boy


This is the Waterloo Boy from the Donovan Estate sold in Boscobel, WI in 2008. The tractor was restored to mint condition by Dale Vogel. It is owned by Carol Vogel Johnson, Michigan. - How to "Crank" start a 1920 Model N.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

It's Always Something!

I checked a deer stand that belongs to one of our friends, and it was strapped onto this cherrybark oak much too tight. Trees grow faster than we think and a few years can cause a tree to grow right over straps and steel. This week I will be climbing every stand in our woods, loosening the upper straps, climbing down, loosening the lower straps and shaking the stand loose from the tree. Get out and do the same if you have deer stands in your timber!

Back To The Old Grind!

Spring, The Voices Of Music, Alana Yousefian

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Firing Up The C & S 2-6-0 No. 10 At Joshua Tree & Southern

 This is a great one, Merle, Many Thanks! The stack talk from this little loco is amazing.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Weekend Steam: Steam Trains And Depots Of Appalachia

 Hmmm....gotta look at this again for Prestonsburg, Pikeville, and Paintsville!  Thanks for spotting, Merle! Everyone be sure to note the Hudson in Bristol, VA!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Here's John McCormack,

 to make it officially St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Annual Dam Fire 2022

You have to fight the trees every year to keep them off the dam. The easy part of woody vegetation control is annual burning to knock little trees back to the ground. We will be applying herbicide on trees out here after everything greens up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

See Good Trees, An Easy Method To Thin Your Timber

 Working in timber is good for you. I did this type of work for thirty five years and still have good knees, and I enjoyed all but one day in the woods. In this instance we are working in large sapling and pole timber. Using a spacing for 40 to 50 crop trees per acre will have your timber in good shape. A spacing of 33' by 33' will give you 40 trees per acre. A spacing of 30' by 30' will yield 48 crop trees per acre. You will be pacing the distances and selecting good trees close to your distance, so the actual number of crop trees will vary. Shoot for opening your crop trees on three side, and some on four sides. Trees along the edges you can leave alone, or open them on two sides, because the ones on the edge are wide open on two sides already, and will be low quality because of limbs hanging on.

YouTube Aggravation

 Serious YouTubers are all trying to get to 1000 subscribers so they can monetize their channel, and make a bit of money from ads. Some channels surge ahead with thousands and then millions of views per video, while most of us slog along and watch most videos get a few hundred, then stagnate. Susan and I make a little money each month and we are over 7000 subscribers now. We often visit with commenters on our videos and that is enjoyable. We recently have been listening to Country Joe McDonald's performances on his War War War album. It is a selection of Robert W. Service poems set to music by Joe McDonald, and it is wonderful if you are a fan of Robert W. Service. Joe has many other videos on his channel of music going back to his pre-Woodstock days. You will see ads being run by YouTube on his songs, but Joe is not making money from those ads. He currently has just over 800 subscribers, so he is not eligible for monetizing. He also does not get a lot of views and I suspect YouTube doesn't push him with their selections they show to viewers. Anyhow, show the 81 year old artist  a bit of honor and respect by clicking to his channel from this video and hit the subscribe button. If you want to order War War War or any of Joe's other CDs, you can do so from his website:  Ordering is a bit different there. You make your order, submit it, and in a couple days you will get an email that you answer to pay. It is easy. Here is the Foreward, by Robert W. Service and Country Joe McDonald. 

By the way, this blog is in no way connected to Country Joe McDonald, except we have listened to him many times. We are not being compensated for this endorsement. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Case Coffin Style Tractors

 These tractors are rare classics. The opposed cylinder engine makes for a long, impressive layout to the tractor. Merle found a couple videos for us. Thank You Merle!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

MMMMM.....White Oak!

Wow! You gotta admire this couple!


Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Engines In Cincinnati!

 Great movies, Merle! Thank You for spotting! The old Vaudeville routine goes, "You been in all those shows, you must have traveled respectively."  "Oh sure, I've been all over Europe, Asia, Cincinnati." Anyhow, you mention Cincinnati, and that is where my mind goes.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Spring Is Coming!

 And so is a cold snap! Low of 17 forecast for Friday night, along with sleet during the day. Cold again Saturday, but it will warm up Sunday.

The crocuses are gone, daffodils are popping.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Catch A Mouse, Take It To The Mrs.,

 Catch a mouse, take it to the Mrs. 24/7!

                                              Back To The Old Grind! He never quits!

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Friday, March 4, 2022

Potted Tree Disaster!

Our sins come back to bite us. This tree was a potted live Christmas tree, and when it was planted, circling roots were not removed. This is common with both potted and balled and burlap stock. Even seedlings may need to have roots pruned so they can live long lives without root trouble. 

You all should cut a white pine sometime if you haven't already. The pine sap flies and gets all over you, and it smells heavenly. Wear old clothes, because that sap will not come out! Thanks for watching!

Weekend Steam: Dampf-Lok "Graf Arnim"

 I don't read German, so I can't tell you much about this little beauty, but I do know tha Link and Pin Couplers can get you into the Nub Club. Be careful out there! Thank You Merle, for spotting! 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Our Boys' Club

 They were out again today!

Shed Antlers

 Now is the time to be picking up shed antlers if you like to collect them. Mice work on them quickly, but most of the deer around our home held their antlers late this year. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Ice And Wind Got A Friend's Tree


A friend told us this morning that she had lost a pine tree to the recent weather and was dreading cutting it. Her chainsaw is a battery powered pruning saw, so I went. Golly, it was a sawlog! It was jammed up into its companion tree and it had lengthwise compression going down through the stem, so I had to use wedges a few times to fight the pinch. We got most of it bucked, but ran out of workspace. Our friends will swamp it out and we will finish it in a few days, plus prune off broken branches on the companion tree. That saw cuts through white pine much faster than it does through hickory.

Not Perturbed At All!

 One of our barred owls supervised the dog walks this morning, and while we were out a murder of crows flew in and harassed it. One even landed on the branch next to it, and the unperturbable bird acted like the crow wasn't there. It's a good looking bird.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Life Is Better With A Pole Saw!

 The first day of March was beautiful in Southern Illinois, and the thermometer hit 71! Susan and I got out and worked up a black locust that tipped over during the ice storm. We love the pole saw.