Flood recovery is slow as it’s not the only thing left to do

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I had plans to fix my haying problems and fix some fence.  I managed to get “some” fence fixed and did not fix my haying problem.  Friday was very nice and I figured I was going to get loads of stuff done.

I managed to tear apart and rebuild both spring crossings in the yard.  They are now dog proof.  On the plus side, both of these crossings faired very well.  The panels lifted and bowed and moved out of the way of the water.  I will be making every crossing just like these two.  I managed to fix both crossings in under four hours.  I took some measurements for the span down by the propane tank (big picture below).  Annmarie is going to make me some plans for a new bridge.  She is making me plans for trusses, I will build two trusses and install them onto my concrete footings I will be installing then I will be bolting them down to the concrete.  I am going to pour “L” shaped footings so that the truss will rest on the lower L part and push against the upright part.  I will install two large bolts so I can bolt it down.  I will be using all thread, I love that stuff then I can just stuff it down into the concrete.

I did go up and tried to turn the hay in the upper prime field.  It was full of mud, I finally gave up and just started to shove the grass into large piles.  I have a set of manure forks that clamp onto the bucket coming.  I ordered them last week after the flood.  I think we will just burn the piles in place in a couple of weeks if it ever quits raining. I tried to go into the upper prime squared field but it still had water running through it.  I cleaned out the culvert and ended up having to dig out the ditch in about five places to get all the water flowing into designated channels.  I will need to wait a couple of days and go up there and try it again.  I think I may be able to salvage at least 2 acres of grass that did not get mud in it.  But if the rain keeps up it is going to start rotting on me.

The horses LOVE this no fence world as they are gorging themselves on all you can eat grass from all over the farm including my ruined hay fields.  They are so full that both of them were laying down and taking naps in the shade.  So far none of the dogs have escaped the yard after my repairs and they have had ample opportunity over the last three days.  

Yesterday, I decided to focus on our yard.  Sometimes the house needs to be prioritized also and it was time to knock everything down.  I spent the day on the weed eater.  I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to get the weed eater to work.  I have to do it every spring as I always forget the ins and outs and after pulling it 50 times in an effort to get it started I figured some help was warranted even if it was unwanted.  The YouTube lady had me up and running in under five minutes!  I also trimmed our lilac bush and some other bush we had in the back that was trying to take over the gate area.  I was getting tired of fighting the plants to get in and out of the back gate.  I burned over 1/2 gallon of gas in the weed eater getting the hillside cleaned off.  I forget how my body feels after five hours of using the weed eater.  My single biggest complaint is what the vibrations do to my hands, they ache.  I love getting old.

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Today, Annmarie and I went out to work on the lavender patch.  I dug about 14 rocks out of the patch that I had not removed and cleaned up a pile of ash.  Annmarie wondered how we were ready if I had not done all the prep.  I reiterated that one cannot have all the prep work done ahead of time and it was not very much.  She laid out the ground cloth while I carried in the fake bark.  We have colored recycled shredded tires.  I put out 1200 pound of the stuff and it didn’t even make a dent!  We quit laying out ground cloth because I did not want the wind to tear it all up and we ordered another 10k# of recycled tires.  It will be here in 10-14 days.  The nice part was I just scooped it up into a five gallon bucket by hand and spread it out with the bucket.  It worked great and stopped me from having to try and rake it out over the ground cloth.

Once we ran out of that I went out to help Mr Professional, it was supposed to rain so he was not going to spray.  Instead we took the spare wood out to the old chicken coop.  This meant he pulled the down fence mess off of the culvert so we could drive the trailer and pickup across.  Unfortunately, this exposed the torn out corner near the culvert.  It was not bad only a couple of feet but enough that the trailer was not going to get past.  I had moved some rocks into the barn lot that I was going to use on the flat spot I made behind the barn.  I had expressly collected huge rocks as that was what I wanted to go there.  So we used those rocks to fill in the hole that allowed us to drive the trailer across the culvert.

While he was getting ready to unload the wood, he had to clear a spot I tried to straighten out the Alcatraz water area, I cleaned off the grass on the side that was supposed to allow water in and then chained onto it.  I moved it about two feet before it hit resistance and I just started sliding all over the muddy hillside.  I need it to actually dry out for a few days.  We unloaded the wood, while it started to rain again.  We staged about 20 pieces of blue pine for the bathroom on the front porch.  The plan is to start working on the bathroom for a few hours every evening and get it done!  I so want a second bathroom and our bathroom lights came on Friday.  The rosettes I ordered to go around the mirror came but they only had 1/2” nails with them and I wanted at least 1.25”.  I ended up ordering another 6 rosettes from a different place with longer nails.  These are all hand forged and come with 1.25” nails to hold them in place.  They will hopefully be here this week so I can install them and remove the board I have propped across the entire room leaning onto the mirror.

I did go out into the orchard after we finished with the ground cloth.  I realized that the culvert was still plugged up and it was causing water to run across the orchard.  I spent an hour hand digging and pulling out weeds and branches from the ditch until I got the backlog down and the channel cleared out for 20 feet.  I then went down to where the water ran under/through the far fence.  Ouch, there is a three foot drop off that is about 14’ wide.  I am going to have to just cut the fence, install two H braces on either side, put a cable across the top and hang cow panels down.  I can fill up the one side with large rocks but I am running out of easy access to large rock piles.  I have one rock pile in the orchard that I  had been building up from all over the orchard.  I think I can hang some weights on the panels so that the cows cannot lift them but if the water rushes by again it will just lift the panels.  This is my new plan, all water crossings need to be able to “float” out of the way if we ever get flooding again.  Annmarie tells me that we beat a record rainfall set in 1894 with this flood on this day.  I would believe it but that surely does not help when you are cleaning up.  As always, we are grateful and fortunate that none of the houses or buildings were damaged.  We are just cleaning up fences and losing hay, less than $20K dollars worth of damage.  The amount of work it will take to fix it is the hard part, that took several years to install.  On the plus side our bridge for the barn lot survived!  I just have to hook onto it with the tractor and pull it back.  I will have to find another extra railroad tie as I was pretty much the only one who could drive the tractor across the four foot bridge.  You cannot get a straight shot at it so it makes it very hard.  I am making a list of more things to by now.

I even went down to the barn lot crossing and fished out all the blocks today.  It was a mess.  I am going to buy another 200 blocks and then rip out what is currently installed and replace them all.  I want to extend the blocks out along the sides and then stick the crossing on top of the blocks, this should gain me another foot of clearance and prevent the bridge from being eroded out.  I am fine with it being lifted off its footings as this is a safety feature.  This many blocks will take 3-4 people about a day to install.  Once those are in and the bridge is back in place then I can worry about getting the fence back in place.  It’s going to be a long summer.

I am going to have to focus on the cross fences above first to keep the animals out of the hay fields.  So that is the next priority project, once I have those done we can sort the cows and pull the young meat heifers off of the main herd and then let the bull back in with the cows.  The steers and heifers can go in the upper prime pasture and we will get two fences between the bull and them.

 

 

Too much of a good thing is not always great.

It’s been a long week, even longer than normal.  Wednesday morning before going to work Annmarie asked me to go out and lift the fence crossing I had lowered over the back creek.  We had already gotten 1.5” of rain in the last 24 hours and she figured Stewart Creek would start rising as it had turned muddy and was up about 8”.  So I went out and did that before going to work.  By noon it was coming out of its bank and by 1400  it was so high it was just running across a 1/4 mile section of the road above our property.  All of this water was then going into the front spring runoff area and we had a rushing stream going through the barn lot that was 5-6’ high.  Needless to say that the spring flow is normally measured in inches.  All of my pictures are the next day after the flooding occurred.

Annmarie kept sending me pictures while I was at work.  It was painful to watch.  The best part was we lost no animals, no humans, no damage to our house and absolutely no damage to our front walking bridge.  This is almost a best case scenario for any flooding. The back creek did not jump out of its channel due to erosion, it literally just got so high that it just flowed over the banks in multiple locations.

Another plus is the front spring bed is now all gravel, it is a couple feet lower in places and there are a couple of waterfalls. On the negative side we are missing a foot bridge that was in place to allow the propane guy to walk across the spring and fill our tank.  This will need to be fixed in the next two months.  It will require two concrete footings on each side and then I have to give the span to Annmarie and she will find an arched truss bridge made out of 2×6 boards that I will build.  

The barn lot was all finished last year, I had made two separate flower garden areas and an animal drinking area, those do not exist.  Nor does the the 5’ wide railroad tie bridge that I used to drive the tractor across.  The bridge has vanished.  I have not found it yet.  The only reason the fences in the one flower area survived is I installed huge rock cribs and tied them all together.  They were more than the water could handle.  One is lifted up by about 8” but it is still staying in place.  I will be moving the location I was going to put bee hives on another 6’ higher.  I don’t want them to get washed away.  I had two brand new 16’ panels leaning up against the fence, they have disappeared, again I am unsure where they ended up.

 

The mamma/baby area is missing a little 2’ spring crossing and all of the fence near the water.  The barn lot cow panels have been mangled and piled up along the bank.  I think the damage would have been less severe if I had not cut hay a week ago and the field had not flooded and carried all the loose hay into the waterway effectively damming it up in places.  This was not good for the fence crossings.

The culvert crossing in the middle of the barn lot is washed out.  It needs to be replaced and this time the culvert needs to be 4’ instead of 2’.  The water moved the Alcatraz water fencing but did not manage to rip it down.  Thankfully, the bull was contained.  I am going to let him and his compatriots out of Alcatraz tomorrow after I chain three gates closed top and bottom so he has two fences between him and the heifers in the lower pastures.

The three upper cross fences have all been laid over by the water pressure.  The cut loose hay just created dams when it hit the fence, I have maybe 1-2 acres of hay I can save if I am lucky but a lot of it is ruined with mud.

The far upper field triticale is ready to be cut, it is a horrible threadbare crop but I cannot harvest it as the entire field was under water.  I may get 3-5 tons off of it.  The upper middle field did not follow the ditch I had started to dig.  I did not carry the ditch far enough up the field.  This needs to happen this spring.  I had two culverts up there but had not installed them yet, the water knocked one into its spot, the other one is too small and I will need to get a bigger one.

On the plus side my little 1 acre spot of peas may come through and I may get to harvest it!

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Bottom line is I have a lot to do, I have had several people offer to come out and help.  I am going to take those offers up so I can get a leg up on all that needs to be done.  I cannot get out in the fields so I am planning and staging already.  I have 100 2x6x16’ tamarack boards ready to be picked up on Tuesday, I have 300 4” Fastenal anchor bolts purchased, I have purchased clamp on manure forks for the tractor bucket so I can move rocks and loose hay easier.  The manure forks should be here next week.  I still need to buy about 150 cinder blocks, 100’ of cable, a bunch of metal clips, some gates, metal panels and about 1200’ of woven wire, 30-6” posts (I may have enough from my spring used post purchase if I can cut them in half, even better if I can cut them in thirds.  I will need to bring over a bunch of rocks and I will need about 10 more cow panels.  Annmarie has said I can use tires to hang from the creek crossings that are in the upper pasture as the bull won’t be able to move them but the water will be able to push them.  I will also need some plywood, probably 8 sheets and some 2x4s and about 50 bags of Sackrete to pour the four footings.    It sounds like a lot of work, that does not include replanting both garden areas.  The plan is to just fix it all and take into account the problems that Mother Nature threw at us and see if we cannot work around them so they don’t get us next time.

 

 

 

 

I guess I will work on bathroom again

Sometimes I struggle with what is real important information for the farm blog.  It may appear that farm life is a mere repetition of the same type of themes, what is growing (animals or plants), how is it maintained and how is it harvested.  I would actually agree with this theory.  It is basic, at its core all life is basic, we all yearn and strive to ensure the basics are fulfilled so that we can concentrate on the other things.  So that being said I have determined that minutiae is important, even critical as it breaks up the normal routine.

That being said I now have self granted permission to boast about my rock chuck dispatching.  I spotted it running across the ram pasture, minding its own business.   They live up on the hillside in a large pile of rocks and when they start venturing out and I start seeing them we know there are too many.  They are usually fairly reclusive and avoid the house.  I had to get dressed before I could go outside (it was chilly and clothes are really vital when it is that cold outside). I then had to run upstairs and grab my 117 hmr rifle.  I have not shot this gun much but it has reach that the 22fLR does not and the little digger was about 50 yards away.  I snuck around the house and spotted it down by the creek, I realized while looking through the scope that I need a new scope. This one is not very good and my father spoiled me with Leopold scopes my entire life so I am adding a new scope to my wish list.  One shot and the little digger was dispatched.  They are so reclusive that you usually only get one shot before they all hide for the entire day.  One may ask what did it do to me?  All you need to do is come out and fix some of the fence and rockcribs that have been ruined by them digging holes and you would know.  I don’t go out of my way to eradicate them but population controls are necessary for all the animals on the farm including the ones we don’t raise.  A few animals of any kind are not usually a problem, but a lot of any one type of critter takes a lot more management effort.  The fox has not been spotted in the last two weeks and I have not lost any more chickens but I suspect that the fox is still up and doing fine as it has no predators.  We will keep our eyes out.  I spotted both of our barn cats slinking out around the barn lot this weekend so the fox has not managed to get either of them.

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Saturday I decided to do some odds and ends chores to play catch up on the little things.  I hung seven yellow jacket traps out around the house and orchard.  We are hoping to cut down on the yellow jacket population this summer and keep them away from our ripening fruit.  I will also be spraying all of the nests so they do not gain a foothold.

I used the tractor to drag the colored tire pieces over to the future lavender patch.  The bag weighs almost 1100 pounds and my tractor will only lift 800 pounds.  Luckily, it was on a pallet so when I drug it off the pallet it was just touching the ground and I was able to drag it over to its new location.  The four legged 120# cats (alpaca) bum rushed the gate to the orchard as soon as I had it open.  They are so inquisitive that it is painful at times to keep them away from things you don’t want them in.  You cannot let them touch it with their lips or let the gate be open or they will touch it or go through it no matter what is on the other side.  While I was over by the future lavender patch I killed all the thistles with a shovel.  I just need to to roll out the ground cloth and start piling on the rubber bark to hold it down.

I also went out into the orchard and cut all the metal tree rings in half with the bolt cutters.  I was unable to finish tearing them down as I did not have any fencing pliers.  I need two of them to go around the new kiwi plants and then I will have five more ready for more fruit trees.  I will probably dig holes and install the other five rings so I am ready for more fruit trees.  I am on the lookout for 1-2 standard size apricot tree saplings.  Since I had the bolt cutters I also trimmed a piece of  cow panel to go under the orchard gate to prevent Zeke from digging under it and escaping the new orchard fence.

Annmarie offered to grill dinner as we are getting tired of eating beef, pork or lamb from the stovetop.  Unfortunately, I needed to do the spring cleaning on the grill and to make matters worse I cannot use the grill.  No matter how many times I have tried to use the little grill I have messed it up.  The last two times I have even failed to get it lit properly (it’s a little pellet grill).  So I spent an hour cleaning it all up and making it spiffy and nice so Annmarie (the pants wearing variety) could run the grill and make us dinner.  This has really been the story our entire life.  I do not have the patience for the grill and never really learned to master it or even barely use it.  I have embraced this knowledge and let Annmarie do all the grilling for us.  Even now, I am making the rice and steaming vegetables while she is out grilling us chicken pieces in peanut satay sauce that I trimmed and marinated this morning.    After I cleaned the grill I washed and cleaned off the back porch siding to make a nice neat area.

Yesterday afternoon I went out and collected two more hay samples for Annmarie to test.  The weather has just not been cooperating I need 3 good solid warm and windy days all in a row and have not had it since I cut the grass hay.  She got 39% and 43% which is better than the last time we tested but still not low enough to bale.  I went out on the tractor and turned it one more time.  I am getting used to the hay rake and it only took me 2.5 hours to turn all 7 acres.  This was of course negated today by the 21/100” of rain that we had pour out of the sky.  I will be looking at turning the hay again in a couple of days.  I think its supposed to rain every 1-2 days all week long.  This is not helping my haying abilities.

After dinner we had to go outside and use the dogs to chase the sheep off of the back hillside.  I have not yet dropped the panels down into the back creek as I keep expecting us to get a bunch of water runoff from the mountains.  It is now Mid May and we still have a low Stewart creek so after the dogs did their job I lowered the first set of panels down into the creek bed to stop the sheep from escaping.  I have three other creek crossings that I am going to leave up for now.

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So today was a lazy day except for the bathroom, I cut the single hardest piece of wood yet, it had part of an arch from the top of the mirror, a light outlet notch and I had to cut out around the door all on one piece of wood.  The real problem is there is about 1/2” difference on height between the mirror sides.  I cut a template three separate times and had to make two attempts at the board and finally had to bring the jigsaw up into the bathroom to make a couple fo final adjustments.  I got it in, its not perfect but it is the best I could do and I suspect most people will not notice the gap.  If I cut it in half I could have covered it up or if I rip apart the right side of the mirror and slowly add in some space I could make up the difference.  I am not going to do it.  The wife said it was good enough and I am going with that.

 

Was supposed to hay

It has not been the week I expected.  I tried to beat the rain last weekend.  We had cut the hay (no real choice if a weed patch was going to be prevented) and I really wanted to make it into hay bales.  I spent one evening and on into the dark and finished rowing the hay.  Mr Professional had done half during the afternoon and I finished after dark.  The rows are very easy to make into tall rows.  I told myself not to do it but after turning around at the end of the field it just lent itself to the large row.  I also had to get off the tractor twice and cut the grass off of the driveline.  Once it almost seized stopped turning there was so much on the shaft.  It was very hot when I cut it off.

 

Mr Professional and I spent Sunday, Mother’s Day, mowing the front lawn.  Annmarie wanted the lawn mowed.  I spent 2 hours just picking up bones, sticks, branches, dog toys, and disassembling the calf pen we had created in the yard.  While I did this Mr Professional worked on mowing the lawn.  We had to break out the weed eater and the drive handle on the mower broke.  It was one thing after another.  Luckily we managed to get it done and after I cleaned up I went out to the barn garden and checked up on the plants out there.  I think one of the Seaberry plants might die.  I had one climbing plant die and I need to run the sprinkler a little more often.  I also spent some time and weeded around the planted items.  My goal this year is to just keep everything alive and let it get some roots in the ground.  I am not looking for hardly any growth.

I went out yesterday and spread wildflower seeds all over the barn garden.  It has been raining a lot so I am hopeful that some of the seeds will take off.  I will probably have to get in the garden with the weed eater and knock down the grass.  I may even spend some time weeding.  I used to hate weeding but it was not so bad the other day.

It started raining right after I got the hay rowed.  I got an extra day off mid week with the expectation that the rain would hold off for two days and let me get the hay put up into bales.  This did not happen.  We had 1/2” of rain one day and 1/4” the next day over 24 hour periods.  We even tested the hay moisture percentage to see if it could be baled before the rain but Annmarie got 39% and 49% on the two samples she did.  She keeps zapping them in the microwave to get a dry weight and wet weight.  We are thinking about getting an actual meter to do this in the field but for now we can do it the old fashioned way.  We could use the oven also but the microwave is probably faster.

My goal is to go out this afternoon and collect three more samples to see where we are at after all the rain.  I will then hopefully spread out all the rows again and let it dry quickly.  It is supposed to rain again in two days!! I may be baling in the dark.

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So instead of haying I worked on the upstairs bathroom.  I need to get the tongue and groove wallboard installed and oiled so the plumber can come do his part.  Unfortunately, Annmarie stated that I needed to follow the angles of the mirror.  It took me four boards and on the final board five adjustments to get it to fit properly!  Each try requires me to walk downstairs, outside and go over to the old house and use the saw or jigsaw.  It took me almost 2 hours for that single board.  So when Annmarie said I could use a reject piece for the opposite side I was overjoyed!  It would be able to just slip it in even though it was a solid blue piece she was willing to insert it into the plane side.  Function over form was going to win.  Unfortunately, there is a slight difference and I had to cut it for its own unique angles and spacing.  It was off by 1/8”!!  So the color scheme was maintained.  I was going to square off the mirror with boards over the top of everything but again the design won out and I am now cutting everything to mimic the mirror angles and we found some brass finials online that are 1.5” diameter and I will nail six of those around the mirror to keep it from falling out away from the wall.  I also forgot to stick the 1/2” double switch box extension behind the wood so I will now have to remove it and use a different type of box extender.  My goal is to keep plugging away at the bathroom until it is done.

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Haying adventure begins

Yesterday we decided to get ready for haying.  Unfortunately, there are always things to do on the farm and we had decided that this was the weekend to work animals.  On a good day this is complicated.  On a bad day it is worse and at the best of times it will stress any relationship.  Any one who thinks they live in marital bliss just needs to come work animals with their spouse and they still have to get the animal work completed no matter how hard or complicated or how many times you have to walk back down to the other end of the pasture!  All in all it was not bad, we had to use the dogs on the sheep even though they started in the ram pasture.  They would not go through the gate into the back barn area and then they would not go into the barn.  The dogs did great, Annmarie runs Mouse and I run Zeke at the same time, the dogs are trained to only follow commands after their names are said plus Mouse does better with Annmarie and Zeke works with me better.  Don’t get me wrong, all the dogs like Annmarie better as she lets them up on the couch for hugs.  Zeke is just used to the curmudgeon approach to sheep commands and Mouse is fairly sensitive and takes it personal.

We set the barn up before pushing the sheep in, they are finally getting used to the sorting chute as a group.  Making them go both ways through it helps them understand it is part of the routine.  Once we had the sheep inside and started taking a good look at them and who was going to be culled we opted to wait another 30 days.  In one month we will be able to wean all the lambs and we can cull the 10 ewes for sale.  We have 10 that are old and scraggly and they need to go.  So they got to run back out the chute to freedom.

The cows were next, Annmarie and I walked down to the schoolhouse as the cows saw us coming and ran in the opposite direction.  We typically don’t use the dogs when there are new born calfs on the ground as the cows just want to chase the dogs and not move where we want.  We got them into the ram pasture after three attempts.  Luckily they didn’t start really getting stubborn until we were up by the house and we had a closed gate stopping them from running backdown to the schoolhouse.  We tried multiple times to get them to go into the back barn lot and they would not do it.  I hollered and eventually Annmarie agreed to let me use the dogs and her and Sarah exited the area and went into the yard (behind the fence) to watch.  We forgot to do a video.  The dogs and I pushed the cows near the gate, then Annmarie came out and the dogs pushed them through the gate.  We had to call the dogs into the back barn area to get the cows the rest of the way in.  We sorted into two groups, Annmarie sprayed fly stuff on them and then Annmarie and Sarah caught the newborn little calf girl and I put in the ear tag.  Stupid ear tag pliers kept misbehaving, making the two women on top of the calf holler at me.  I got it!  I have offered to do the pinning but we have discovered that I have the hand strength needed to make ear tag and banded work and the women cannot do it so I am relegated to the easy tasks.  We are missing one calf.  The problem with this is two fold.  We know there was a cougar at the neighbor’s house 4 days ago.  The other issue is the calf is only 4 days old and the cows will hide them.  So we could of just missed it.  We will keep an eye out and see what happens in the next 14 days.

Mr Professional and I worked on the sickle mower for the tractor yesterday.  It is brand new and owners manuals are not the same as operators manuals, nor are they assembly manuals.  Turns out we had to tighten almost all the bolts, two leaky hydraulic connections (there are only two) and move a part they put on wrong.  It then took us a couple more hours to figure out how to get it to adjust right per the instruction manual.   We managed to bend a weld on a stop that we still cannot figure out how it functions, so it will need to be welded back in place eventually.  By this time it was time for lunch, he went home for lunch and I even went inside and ate (I normally skip lunch).

After lunch I went out to mow the nearest field, Upper Prime (I really need a sheet with all the names on it for the fields as I occasionally change the names!).  This field was solid cheatgrass last year and I used it to practice with the hay equipment.  It is still about 75% cheatgrass so it will again be practice.  It will be filler food for the horses and cows.  I will look into spraying it down mid summer and reworking it in the spring with peas.  Something to start killing off the cheatgrass.  It takes me about an hour an acre to cut and it took some practice to figure out how to use the sickle mower and get it to function optimally.  Speed is the key, you must go fast so the grass rows up or it bunches up and clogs the tines.  Also, cutting will have to be done in the afternoon as wet spots at the base of the grass gum it up dramatically.  I had a few wet spots that I ended up butchering multiple directions in an attempt to get them cut.

The Upper Prime Squared field (next one beyond first, away from house) looked great!  It had about 25% with cheat grass but the rest looked good and about 50% looked good enough to sell.  The same problem here, I encountered three wet spots out in the field.  Luckily, they were not muddy but it was highly evident that the surface water was more plentiful.  We had sprayed for thistles but had only used 2-4-D and the thistles were shriveled up but not dead, they got put into the hay.   Again, we will spray as soon as we get the hay put up.

The real problem is it is supposed to rain Wednesday and Thursday.  I knew this but did not want the cheat grass to get more of a hold so went ahead and cut anyways.  We will turn on Monday and hopefully start baling on Tuesday night.  It is going to be close.

I tried to get done before it got dark, I even held off turning on the tractor lights until it was not possible to do without them.  I need to down grade the front light still so it doesn’t pull as much juice from the battery as my big one.  I have one that is about 1/3 power that I am going to install.  I will leave the big one mounted just in case I need it, I can just unplug my other and plug it in.

There are lots of rooster pheasants all over the place!  I did not see a single hen, but I saw roosters strutting all over the place with no regard for their safety.  I saw a thousand voles at least.  The dogs would have loved it but the sickle bar mower hidden in the grass does not make this an option for letting them run around.  No quail or foxes were spotted in 8 hours of mowing.  I did manage to eat my nuts and some Carmel popcorn while driving around in circles.  I got pretty good at moving the sickle bar and gaging how best to mow an area.

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