Sunday, April 30, 2023

Grasshopper 1100 Hours Repair

 Darn good service, down there in the dust and grime. We have been mowing two places with the Grasshopper since 2006, so we can't complain.

Susan has work now! Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Endless Cleanup

 I keep blaming the mess on Bradford pear, but in reality, it is the fact that these are yard trees. Out in the timber you can leave the tops to melt down. In the yard, every stick needs to be picked up so you can mow again, and the grass is growing. These limby sons of guns do keep you busy, though. Next is splitting and moving wood to the barn.

Friday, April 28, 2023

We Celebrated Arbor Day

 Terry Wheeler and Michael Brenner of McLeansboro are two foresters/forestry contractors who are huge promoters of forestry in Southern Illinois. They organized a second Arbor Day celebration in McLeansboro because of the great success we had last year. All the third graders from the county were brought to the planting site, divided up into seven groups, and then each group planted a tree. It was a great learning experience for them. I was busy the whole time and didn't get any photos, but given the way things are going, I prefer not to be taking photos of other peoples' kids. Anyhow, here is our little Earth Day celebration video. You can do many wonderful things with a tree after you cut it down, so for Heaven's sake, plant one when you can!

Weekend Steam: Coal Fired Steam Cycle

 If a person wants to learn a bit about operating a steamer, this video would be a good starting place. Many Thanks to Merle for sending the link to this one!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Cuteness In The Dog Yard

 I have been hearing squirrels making their little purring noises in the hickory den tree. This evening I saw five of the little flea factories racing up and down and around their home. I came back out with a camera, and was able to catch two of them exploring outside their den. 

Impact Injury!

There are some obvious safety violations here, which you can figure out from the list of safety rules in the left column. Nobody should be within twice the height of the tree in the direction it will fall. It is a bad idea to pull a tree over with humans. We have seen many videos where the human rope pullers cannot match the weight of the tree wanting to go in the opposite direction.  (Facebook video)

Monday, April 24, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Carthage North Carolina

 This video provides a look at the big engine show in North Carolina. Merle sent a link to a short from this video by East Terminal Railway. Many Thanks, Merle!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Friday, April 21, 2023

Weekend Steam: Grabbing A Message

 Thanks Merle! Most youngsters today will never see this being done. It used to be common, and I have actually seen it at the Milwaukee depot in Washington, Iowa.

The Weather Took Down A Few Bad Trees

We spend time every Spring watching radar on our computers or phones. Sometimes the storms run over us and sometimes they miss. We have some limbs down, but have no real damage to our timber. I have seen limbs torn from trees that had been topped in the past, and that is to be expected.

This tree was in McLeansboro and it needed to come down. This is the type of tree that can really bite you when you have to drop it. It's always a good idea to give trees a few love taps to see if they might be hollow and dangerous before putting your saw them.


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

I Do Not Like Raccoons!

 We should be seeing goslings about now, but I am finding is goose eggs that have been sucked dry by raccoons.  The coon population has grown around us because very few people trap for fur nowadays. Raccoons spend their nights climbing trees in search of bird eggs, and also looking for eggs of ground nesting birds such as turkeys, quail, and geese. Coons also are an extreme hazard for dogs. They carry some nasty diseases and parasites, so pet owners need to be serious about pushing coons back into the wilderness. 

Barn Fresh!

 We all love seeing "barn fresh" treasures; old gas engines, steam engines, old cars, and airplanes. Yes, now we have seen barn fresh airplanes, and they have the rodent nests to prove it! Susan and I saw two airplanes being towed while we were shopping in Mt. Vernon recently. The drivers were OK with me taking a few photos. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Tuesday Torque II: The Blacksmith At Sund, Ramberg,Norway

 Our Facebook friend Eric Janssen posted a video from this museum, and it was only natural for him. His good ship Valer was built in the 1920s, and re-engined with a Diesel in 1931, so he has a love of old engines. You will enjoy!

Tuesday Torque: Tiny Sterling Engine

 Thank You, Merle, this is really neat!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Mulch For Your Landscaping Needs

 I am guessing that the pile being processed is from tree trimming and removals. 

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Fowler Cross Compound Plowing Engine Test

 There's no writeup with this video, but the engine appears to be undergoing repairs or restoration. I love the sound of the heavy gears talking to us.  Many Thanks for spotting, Merle!

Friday, April 14, 2023

Weekend Steam: Climax Locomotive

 Locomotives made specifically for logging railroads were Climax, Heisler, and Shay. Climax locos have a crankshaft beneath the boiler that is geared to the wheels. Heisler locos have a V-twin engine with the crankshaft running longitudinally  under the boiler, and geared to the wheels. Shay locomotives have a vertical engine on the right side of the boiler, and a driveshaft geared to the wheels, also on the right side.  Merle found this brief video showing a good closeup of the Climax system. Many Thanks, Merle!

Here is a static display of another Climax. It is a good look at the mechanical layout.

Rollag's Little Train

For the kids, and anyone who used to be a kid!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Miniature Sawmill At Rollag

 Kids line up to get a stick of wood from this little mill. The operators stay hooked up making boards, edging them, and then cutting them down to a long paint stirring stick. It's just the kind of souvenir that kids love to take home. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Fun In The Sun

We have had some good weather for a few days so we are hitting the garden. We tilled it, threw on a bunch of mushroom compost, and Susan planted her potatoes. I re-tilled the entire garden to work in the compost and it looks good. Susan will be planting more tomorrow!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Tuesday Torque: COE Trucks YouTube Channel

 Another good channel, Merle! Many Thanks! Here are a couple Cab Over Engine Trucks shorts showing old engines. One looks to be a Fairbanks, and the other is an Associated.


Taters Are Half In,

 and I have compost to fling.

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, April 7, 2023

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Old Tech That Works

 During the 1980's I had a job in the Southern Illinois oil field, and spent a lot of time around pulling units and spudders. A spudder is a cable tool drilling rig, and they are a rare bird today. The rig in this video is just starting a water well, and you can see the action of the drill stem as it rotates around the rope socket. The wire line untwists and twists and it is pulled up and down, and the rope socket can spin in the top of the tool string if the operator gets the speed coordinated with the stretching of the wire line. A good operator can constantly finesse the action as the line is fed out. They are using a bailer to clean out the cuttings. It has a check valve at the bottom and you will see them dump it into the pit. Not seen here is a sand pump, which is similar to a bailer. Sand pumps have a piston with a rope socket, and a check valve at the bottom that is opened by fluid coming in. The pump is lowered to the bottom, and the piston is allowed to float down the length of the tube, then it is pulled up quickly. It picks up heavy drillings that don't stay in suspension. This is fun to watch, but I was sure glad to get out of the oil field and back into forestry!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Makin' Wood

There is plenty of tanglefoot on a Bradford pear. They are almost as bad as a shingle oak to clean up. Don't be walking around in the mess with a chainsaw; you might end up falling on it. We have the first one picked up good enough to split the firewood, and another waits in the background, plus one to drop next winter. When you drop one in your yard you have to pick up every stick. Two loads are in the barn now for next winter.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Still Going!


Beautiful Bloomers! Back To The Old Grind!

Iowa Tornado: Wellman, Kalona Area

 This video was posted by MidwestStormChasing, and it is dramatic.

This video was shot near Sigourney, west of Wellman, so this may be the same tornado. VIdeo by Storm Chaser Vince Waelti.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Meet Rufus, Our Current Foster Schipperke!

Rufus is a delightful little Schipperke.  He has been living with us for more than ten days now, and we are enjoying his company. He has been to our veterinarian for a checkup and a blood draw. Due to periodontal disease, he has nasal-oral fistulas where two canine teeth were pulled. He is scheduled for repair surgery at the end of May. He is also scheduled to evaluate his arthritis. He was listed as eight years old, but his age has been revised to between ten and twelve. Rufus has cataracts, but seems to have adequate vision. He is profoundly deaf. He is a smart little boy and is catching onto hand signals.

He loves human companionship and will follow you wherever you go. He prefers to sit with David on the couch, but he knows Susan brings the dinner and treats.

He does not bark, but he does groan or grumble when you pick him up. You have to be careful lifting him because of his arthritis. He cannot jump up on the couch, and he does limp just a bit. Rufus would be a good candidate for a dog ramp to get up and down on a couch. He can get away from you quickly, like any Schipperke, so don’t underestimate his ability to escape.

Rufus is the most well housebroken foster we have had. He has not made a single mistake since we picked him up.  We give him his final outing every day around 10 PM, and take him out in the morning between 6:00 and 6:30, and there hasn’t been a puddle yet.

Rufus’s coat was trimmed before he came to us, but his guard hairs are growing out and he will have a Schipperke coat soon.

Today we introduced him to some of our pack, and he got along great with our non-dominant dogs.  

An adoption application for Midwest Schipperke Rescue can be found HERE. Email it to Shadowskip.