Thursday, June 29, 2023

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling, Keep Those Trees A-Rolling!

 When doing your thinning, you should concentrate on dominant and co-dominant trees. Intermediate and overtopped trees have too much catching up to do, so if those trees are pushing on better crowns, go ahead and remove them. Sure, the tree is going to pass out on its own after several more years, after the dominant ones grow up and over it, but in the meantime, they are not expanding their crowns, and growth rings get narrower every year.

It Is OK To Hate Honey Locust!

 The long branched thorns on honey locust are a curse to anyone working in the woods. They are notorious for causing flat tires, and can also cause serious injuries and infections. Loggers hate them, even thought the wood is pretty, because bucking and moving the logs is dangerous, and a flat tire on a skidder ceases production, and causes expense. Be careful when working around these pests, and especially, keep your safety glasses on!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Tree Grower?

 About thirty years after we (Susan and I) planted this little patch of timber I am now doing a much needed thinning. Can you bring yourself to drop trees you planted with your own hands? Sure you can! If you don't, your plantation will stagnate, and trees will drop out one by one from overcrowding. Thin it yourself and you choose the best ones to finish out. Now you just have to live long enough to send them to the mill. Let's see, these trees need another thirty years; I am almost 72 right now. Piece of cake. I just have to keep on with clean living and break that statistical ceiling!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Coolspring PA Engine Show And Museum

 The Coolspring show was last week. Here is a bit of what us homebodies missed.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Thinning Our Hardwood Plantations

 One of the things I noted early on working with landowners is that people who plant trees often have trouble cutting any of them down. I resolved many years ago that I would not be that way, and I have been whacking trees that Susan and I planted for many years. The project in this video has actual sawlogs that I am taking out, and I hope to make many of them into firewood.  You plant more than 400 per acre to finish out 40 or 50. If you are growing trees you definitely need a wood stove in your home.

I have several more days to go in this planting, so, Back To The Old Grind!

Hi, Boron! I grabbed the photos from the post I mentioned in comments to stick in here. We wanted to grow our black oaks a couple inches larger, but we were losing more volume than we were growing at this point, so we did that harvest in December of 2012. Black oak is like that. It grows fast, but lives only about 2/3 of what white oak can do. It was a good time, and the weather held for us during the harvest. The last photo is the sawmill pit from 1940. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Cass Scenic Railroad

 It is well worth all the winding roads to get there. Thanks, Merle, for the reminder.

Chicago Cops Raid The Wrong House...

 If you broke into someone's home in Illinois you would be facing 30 years in prison. If you are armed, the state can add 15 years to your sentence. But you are not a cop. Cops typically go right on working. They might be fired, but they go down the road to another town and keep on doing what they do. Honestly, cops like this couldn't hold a job delivering pizza, and taxpayers are handed the bill for their atrocities. "What's the Punishment for Home Invasion in Illinois? Home invasion is a Class X felony in Illinois, which means if the court convicts you, you could go to prison for between 6 and 30 years. If you have a firearm at the time of the offense, the court may add to your sentence (you could even be imprisoned for life)." (Google ref)

The Civil Rights Lawyer is a great resource if you want to learn about your rights and the types of abuses that are happening to citizens all over the country. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Weekend Steam: Nice Excursion Engine!

Thank You, Merle! It's a cutie!

June 29! Pay Attention To The News! Your Rights Are On The Line!

 William Kirk of Washington Gun Law YouTube channel updates regularly on Second Amendment news. Subscribe to his channel, and check in frequently. The bad news is that Illinois appeals probably won't make it to the Supreme Court until next year, after the deadline to have your banned firearms registered. Registering them is fraught with danger. The IL State Police will be writing the administrative rules, and I think they won't publish those until after the deadline. The ISP will be enforcing this evil piece of legislation with rules yet unknown to the public, so don't be caught after January 1 with your banned firearms in Illinois... Also don't forget that anything the police can call an assault weapon attachment is a thousand dollar misdemeanor. The way the law is written, they can call a rifle sling an assault weapon attachment. Study the law and try to figure your best moves come December 31.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Concealed Carry In Illinois; How It Came To Be

 Valinda and Mike Rowe are modern day heroes, and we are proud to call them our friends. Listen to Valinda tell of the process that brought us concealed carry in Illinois.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Stihl MS 170, It's A Dainty Saw...

 ...but it can bite! You can pack this little saw around with you all day because it is light, but carry extra fuel because the tank holds only 9 ounces. It runs great though, and will do the work for you if you don't push too hard. Let those 30 cc s rev and it will cut down pole size trees for you. The 16 inch bar could drop 30 inch diameter trees in theory, but this saw is meant for lighter work. I am dropping trees up to 12 inches diameter with no trouble. Remember to let the engine rev, rather than pushing the bar to cut quickly.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Holiday's Over, Back To Work!

 Thanks, Merle!

Grab A Ride In A B 25!

 This bird flew over our house the other day as it went from Terre Haute to Marion.

It will be at Marion, IL this week and you can pay to have a ride. CLICK HERE for the link and to purchase your ticket.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

New Potatoes!

 On the table Saturday night as creamed potatoes and peas.

Weekend Steam II: Livi B. Railroad

Another great pick from Merle! Thank You, Sir!

 "The Livi B. Railroad is located in Willow Glen, CA and is the creation of Evan Bautista (@trainbuilder on YouTube) and named after his daughter. It consists of 250 feet of track, part of which is permanent and part of which is laid for each operating session. The sharpest curve is around 13ft radius. A short wheelbase 0-4-0 porter live steam locomotive built by Ken Roeh is the motive power, along with three flat cars built by Evan, using Steve Easlon trucks. Known as 'The Guy with the Train" around the neighborhood, Evan has given rides to hundreds of kids during Halloween."

Friday, June 16, 2023

Weekend Steam: Waverly, The Only Seagoing Paddle Steamer!

 Thank You, Merle, this is great!

Wheat Harvest 2023

 The weather has been good, and it looks like a good crop. Our farmer will have this knocked out quickly and then he will plant second crop beans. Susan got a ride in the combine again this year. You have to use the steering wheel only when turning around, and the computer in the big machine keeps track of everywhere it's been.

Thursday, June 15, 2023


 These little guys can devastate a garden, but we keep most of them out with our welded wire fence. Susan runs the little ones out every morning by taking Vinnie to the garden with her. We seem to have an abundance of rabbits this year, and I think it is because we have a big brush pile on the edge of the yard. We need to burn it and have a wienie roast, but I don't want to kill rabbits by burning them. I think we can bust the pile up with the loader on the tractor, and run the rabbits out, then burn a section at a time.

We hear out barred owls out in the timber, but they haven't been hanging around the yard so far this summer. I have found the remains of rabbits disassembled by our owls, but not lately.  Evidently they are finding enough to eat in the woods. We haven't seen any coyotes lately around the yard. Today I think I heard a fawn being killed by a coyote on the other side of the pond. It had been bleating for its mother, then I heard three dying bleats, like you would blow on a varmint call to bring in predators. Prey animals mustn't give themselves away.

The past few winters I have worked on the raccoon population at the farm, and although we still have too many coons, this year for the first time ever we have pileated woodpeckers nesting in the woods at the farm. That is pretty neat. Life is the best gig going, but it is never a sure thing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tuesday Torque, Continued!

 It is a brief appearance, but our 9 HP Economy is there at 15:35, for a few seconds. Gary ran a full tank through it on Saturday. It is now back in the barn.

Tuesday Torque: Evansville SIAM Show Highlights

 Susan and I did not go, but there are a few videos up now of last weekend's gas and steam show. This one is decent, even if they didn't show our 9 HP moonshine engine!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Munch, Munch


Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam III: Get Thee To Ely, Nevada!

 Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this railway getaway on Facebook. I could spend a few days there enjoying the sights and sounds. CLICK FOR LINK.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Firing Up The Fitchburg Northern Locomotive

 Here's a good one that the kid sent to me for our viewing pleasure. Many Thanks, Zeke!

Friday, June 9, 2023

Weekend Steam: Stack Talk On A Grade

 It is a joy listening to this video. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting!

BIG John Deere!

 It's articulated, it's on tracks, if you have to ask, you can't afford it! We were gassing up and got to watch this giant machine leaving the dealership for its new home.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Susan's Garden Report

Two New Dogs Looking For A Home

 Enzo and Aylan traveled 650 miles yesterday and were glad to get out and stretch their legs. They did not want to settle down for sleep last night, so I stayed with them last night. That helped, but Susan and I both had to close our eyes today for a nap. These little blondies are young, at about 15 months. The owner couldn't handle the high energy level of two young dogs is the story we heard. They are pretty dogs, aren't they?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Doggy Day Today

 We have a couple of new to us foster dogs. Two young blonde Schipperkes! They were on the road  for twelve hours today, and we brought them in to their new digs at  8 PM. They are beautiful dogs. One weighs about 10 pounds, and the other is about 30. He's a chunk to pick up and carry. We will get some photos to share soon. They have been boarded at a veterinarian's office for a while, appear to be in great shape, and are very friendly.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Soutnern Indiana Antique Machinery Show, June 9, 10, 11!

The annual SIAM show is coming up this next weekend, on the north end of Evansville at the Vanderburgh 4-H Center. This 9 HP Economy will be one of the engines on display there, courtesy of Gary Bahre, who did the restoration. Susan and I brought this engine with us from Eastern Kentucky when we moved to Illinois in 1980. During its working life it ground corn for bread and also for moonshine. It was built in 1920 and now has a Webster magneto like it had when it came out of the Evansville factory. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Mother Nature Picked A Good One!

 Not many things bother a honeylocust. I am guessing that a lightning bolt cooked the sapwood, and that was the end. Then bugs moved in, to ratify the decision. I will be busy with a chainsaw the next couple months thinning our plantations of thirty years ago, so maybe I can grab some forestry related photos for you all.  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Weekend Steam: The Valve Gear I Have Never Pronounced!

 Thank You, Merle! I always wondered how to pronounce Walschaerts. Now I wonder if this narrator has it right! Oh Well. Just be careful, you-all!