Friday, May 31, 2024

New Thrills Every Day! Our First New Mower Since 2006!

 We have been hauling the Grasshopper back and forth through the country to mow two places, and we finally broke down and bought a second mower.  We did our research online and called two dealers to see what was out there. The second one offered a really big discount, so we made a deal. Life is good.

While we were still at the dealer we bought a couple oil filters for our new toy and inquired about the recommended oil. We were pointed to Kubota branded oil, and I read the label. Kubota is still adding zinc, an anti-wear additive that has been removed from most automotive oils, because it is bad for catalytic converters. We will be running the Kubota oil, at least until the engine is well broken in. It pays to read the label!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New Chainsaw Chaps!

 New equipment is always a thrill!

Fascinating History: Horsa Gliders

 One of the foresters I knew flew a Horsa glider into Normandy on D-Day. It stopped in a hedgerow, breaking one of his legs. He was wounded by machine gun fire when he got out of his glider, and that was the end of the war for him. He was a fascinating man who grew up on a little 40 acre farm in Jefferson County, Illinois, and was well known in the field of conservation.  Look up Sylvan Runkel on the Internet.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tuesday Torque: Fordson Crawlers?

 I had never heard of Fordson Crawlers, but they are out there, and now we are all educated, thanks to Merle and his Internet explorations. Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Rolling Thunder!

 A nasty squall line rolled through tonight, necessitating a move to the basement until it passed. We set up exercise pens in the library and moved all the dogs down, and then back up again when it was over. It was a challenge for me with the bradycardia and heart block issues I am experiencing, but I am feeling OK now.  Only eleven more days until I see a cardiologist.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Western Maryland 1309, The Beast Is Back!

 Great engine, Merle! Thank You!

Dynamic braking by the Diesel to test 1309.

Weekend Steam: Scott-Carver Threshers, Jordan, Minnesota

 Merles spotted another great engine show, in Jordan, Minnesota. The only problem I see is that this show is not in the same time frame as the show at Rollag, and it is a long way from where we live. The Corliss you see at the end of the news report powered an ammonia compressor for refrigeration.  Thank You, Merle!

I am pretty sure that this Advance Rumely is the engine I learned on, many years ago!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Wildlife Resort

 It is a rare day when we don't see any wildlife in our back yard. The Toms stayed way back, but I got a few photos. Mama Deer and her yearling let me get some good shots. Mama looks to be pregnant, and I think the yearling is, too. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hillbilly Highway: The Road Out Of Appalachia

 Susan and I lived near Highway 23 in Eastern Kentucky for several years, and witnessed the cars with Ohio and Michigan plates coming to visit every summer.

Laurel Wilt: An Imported Disease Wiping Out Sassafras....

....And spicebush. This deadly fungal disease came from Asia, in wood, as have many other forest pests. It was first found in 2002, and is now killing the sassafrases in our timber in Southern Illinois.

There is a reddish sassafras tree just to the right of the driveway, and a dead one to the right of it. Another is behind the one with fall colors. This Spring, all three of them are dead.

University of Kentucky has a good post (click) you should read about Laurel Wilt if you are a forest owner or just a tree lover. 

Spicebush is a site indicator of deep, rich, moist and well drained soil at the foot of slopes and adjacent to streams. Spicebush means that you can grow excellent black walnut, Shumard Oak and swamp chestnut oak. Foresters get excited when they find spicebush. The twigs traditionally have been used to flavor meat from wild game, especially groundhogs.

Sassafras roots and bark have been used for centuries to make Spring tonic and root beer. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cicadas On Our Pear Tree

 Periodical cicadas come out in huge numbers and they do serious damage to new growth on trees. We know from experience that they love to poke their eggs into fruit tree twigs. Oh Well, or words to that effect. It looks like we will have a good number of pears this year in spite of the little songsters.

Tuesday Torque: Big Superior Oil Field Engines

 Merle found a good video of a fellow starting his 35 HP Superior.  I do not recommend rolling these big engines with your feet. If they kick back, you will be thrown and you will have broken bones. It happens! This is a Facebook vid, so it can't be embedded, so click this LINK  Many Thanks, Merle! I will post a few more Superiors from YouTube, maybe even one of my own!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

This Week's Assignment

 Take it easy, give dogs some lap time, try to move up doctor appointment.  No Grinding! No Driving! Slow walking. 

Second-degree (incomplete) heart block: With this type, your heart’s impulses only get to the lower chambers some of the time. The types of second-degree heart block are:

  • Type I, also called Mobitz Type I or Wenckebach’s AV block: This is a less serious form of second-degree heart block. The electrical signal gets slower and slower until your heart actually skips a beat.
  • Type II, also called Mobitz Type II: While most of the electrical signals reach your ventricles, every so often, some don’t. Your heartbeat becomes irregular and slower than normal. This form of second-degree heart block is more serious and may warrant a pacemaker.

Durango and Silverton Is Running Again!

 Spring is here and the trains have begun running again! Plan your trip to Colorado. Many Thanks, Merle for the reminder!

Song Of The Cicadas


The cicadas are still emerging from the soil, even as the early ones are dying off. I flip them out of the dog yard as I see them because I don't want the dogs eating them. That would make for unpredictable gut issues! A few more days and the music will disappear

Friday, May 17, 2024

Weekend Steam: Indian Narrow Gauge!

 Many thanks to Merle for finding new places to go and sights to see!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

In Need Of A New Lightning Whirler...

 Last week I was fine. Now my heart is ticking at thirty. It's a three week wait to see the cardiologist.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Thirteen Year Peridical Cicadas

 We saw this brood in 2011, 1998, and 1985. With a bit of luck we will see them again in 2037. They will emerge whether we do or not!

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Emerge, Reproduce, Die, Repeat...

                                                   Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, May 10, 2024

Weekend Steam: A Couple Across The Pond

 Merle sent links to a couple of shorts. Not embeddable, so here are the links. Thank you, Merle!


Burrell Traction Engine

Memphis Belle, Real History!

 We liked the 1990 movie, but there are many inaccuracies when compared to the actual events. This video corrects much of that!

James Gregory Passed Away Wednesday, May 8

 We have enjoyed his videos for years, and will miss this good guy. Link

Monday, May 6, 2024

Tuesday Torque: Start A John Deere A

 Many Thanks, Merle. I went over to YouTube and found a similar vid.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Weekend Steam: DIY Engine Shop

 Merle sent a video link on Facebook, and I had to go look for the topic on YouTube. The engines they sell are pretty, and evidently run well when assembled.  Whether or not you are in the market for a toy of this nature, it is a good site, so go take a look. DIYEngineShop

Many Thanks, Merle!

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Last Look

 Mama Owl, or maybe it's Papa, stopped by for one last visit after they moved out with their fledglings. I just had my little pocket camera, but it's not bad if you don't zoom in too much. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

More Groundhogs Than We Need!

I put up a camera, I find a groundhog. We have plenty of them at our place. This is the latest one. There is another hole under the east end of this barn, and I will check there next.

Galloping Geese!

 Here's another great topic picked by our friend Merle; the Galloping Goose. There are several videos of this wild beast, so here is a sampling. Thank You, Merle!