I remembered on November 1 this year that it is no shave November! I did not shave off the entire beard on Halloween and then grow it for 30 days. This would be a good experiment to do next year and I may try it as I only need 30 days to get a really nice beard. Instead I have not trimmed my beard in quite a while and am going into the month fairly bushy for me. I will try and make it the whole month without shaving! Annmarie tells me I only get to do that if I make a donation to a cancer not for profit as that is how the month got started. So I will be doing that as it is only fair to have a soapbox to stand on while defending the facial hair.
On last Saturday when we sorted sheep we did count them and have lost four ewes this summer. We have 44 ewes and 1 ram now. Last night Annmarie woke me up to say the coyotes were on our back hillside. It sounded like they were directly out our bedroom window. We have not started to bring the sheep in every night as there is plenty of food out and about but the predators are going to force our hand. I ran downstairs, grabbed the Walther P22, flipped on the back porch light and shot a round into the back hillside just across the creek about 15 feet away. What I really wanted to do was blaze away onto the back hillside to chase the coyotes away. The problem with that is its not safe or responsible. The entire back hillside is one big rock pile and there would be rounds ricocheting everywhere! I might also accidentally hit a sheep or cow and that would not be cool. Flipping on the back porch light was probably just as effective as the loud sound of a gunshot in the night. But together they made me feel confident that I was getting my point across to the coyotes.
If we lose another 10 ewes it will be worth it to get a 22-250 rifle with a thermal or laser night scope. But for now we keep up the harassment techniques. I may have to start circling the property in the evenings once before starting dinner to look for coyotes. They are becoming enough of nuisance that I am going to have to start committing some of my time to hunting them down.
We have had a dumpster for three weeks now and I have managed to fill it every week. I still have not put the glass windows into it which is the sole reason I had it brought out!I still need to empty out the barn trash, the windows and I have a pile of trash out in the old lamb shed. These are things that cannot be burnt as those go in the burn pile. Nor is it anything that can decompose.
It rained all night again last night and I was supposed to clean out the barn lot today. I am hoping it stops for about three hours today so I can get out and finish cleaning up the horse area. I also need to cut off the 2×8 that is sticking out off of the fence. I almost knocked myself out twice last winter hitting it and I need to just make it go away this year. I found my SawzAll, so now it should be easy to cut off.
I am a failure. I had big plans for November, one could even say bushy plans and they have been thwarted by Mother Nature. It is No Shave November and I had no intention of shaving my beard. I had to make a few small concessions, I have to trim the mustache as I don’t like to eat it. It pulls on my upper lip when I try and eat. I also had to continue to shave my lower neck. I do have to appear somewhat presentable at work. But I was going for the full beard!!
My task for the day was to burn the upper prime squared field. I knew there was not very much propane in the old burn tank. So I dropped the new burner into the bucket on its side and took it out to some close weeds. I got it lit but there was very little flame and no torch mechanism at all. I stuck it on the weeds and it did nothing. So I took that full tank of propane back to the machine shed and chained the old one into the bucket. I did throw in a shovel and pick axe also so if I needed to put out a fire I could. The weather was perfect, no wind what so ever. I started by digging a weed free fire stop at the top end of the upper prime squared field. I have yet to name the next field. I didn’t want to fire up all 17 acres at once. This gives me about 5 acres to deal with at this time. Once I had that done I fired up the torch, mine has a turbo handle that causes the flame to shoot out 4-5 feet! I squeezed that handle with the torch on my right side and drove around the field clockwise catching the entire perimeter on fire first. This made for a pretty good show but the fire kept going out in weird places. I ran out of propane about 300 degrees around the outside of the acreage. I let the fire burn itself out and then drove back. I loaded the old tank into the pickup and drove to Pilot Rock to get it refilled. Nope, there is a metal collar around the valve so if the tank falls over it won’t break the valve off, the refill apparatus needs to be about 1/2 inch longer to refill our tank.
You can see the tank strapped into the bucket of the tractor in the above picture. I saw my nephew early in the morning as he was going bird hunting. He was not impressed with my desire to burn the ideal pheasant habitat. I never saw a single pheasant run or fly out of the field when I lit it on fire.
After being unable to fill the old tank I went back to the new tank we picked up this summer. It had some weird pressure regulator and safety device attached to the tank. This did not allow me to attach the TORCH to the tank. So I took all that off and used the same connector we use on the other tank. It fired right up, the only problem is I had to switch to the pickup and strap the tank in place. The tank was almost full when we bought it at a clearance sell (thanks Penny).
I drove out and started torching the little groups of weeds. I would walk along the pickup then lay out the burn hose, burn then move it onward 30 feet, drive the pickup 50 feet and do it again. This caused me to get pretty close to the flames. I did this until 1600 when I was hot, tired, covered in ash and smelled like a chimney. I decided this was good enough. I believe I could run the discs out through here now. I had to put the pickup in four wheel drive as I was sinking into the soil it is so moist. There was no running water in the spring but I managed to burn the weeds away from the channel. This way I can go up with the tractor and dig it out. I also need to dig a section of the channel in the front run off ditch. A part of this ditch is all filled in now and it needs to be dug back out. Maybe this will keep a large section of this field from turning into a swamp. I would like to dig in two small ponds.
The neighbors came and got their cows today. I knew this cause at quitting time when I went back to the barn to feed and do night chores the bull was in our corral! I knew I didn’t do it and no one else knew anything about it. He got out of our field and got in with the neighbors cows who visited overnight. I am unsure how he got out so I will need to grab some tools, throw them in the tractor and drive the fence line looking for the hole. If I don’t find it the bull will be causing us problems.
I came inside to shower and the travesty was fully revealed. I had managed to burn off half my eyebrows, half my eyelashes (I wear glasses so not sure how that happened) and scorched my beard! The worst part was I had burned a divot out of the right side of my beard. So I had to break out the trimmers after my shower. No Shave November was NO MORE.