Friday, October 30, 2009

Bell peppers,at last

I trudged out to the garden this morning through the rain to see what is going on out there. I haven't had much time to fiddle with things lately so I wasn't sure what I would find. The weeds are insane the entire bottom half has given over to weeds. I need to follow the example of the neighbors I see when I drive the girls to school. Everyone I can see has plowed there garden under. I can't get rid of anything until it totally gives up the fight and dies completely. It's the cheap bastard in me. What I planted a few weeks ago is growing slowly, except for the beans which must need hotter weather or something because they put out one small bean and then start to die right away. Thinned out a few carrots and the ones I pulled has small little roots that looked like a good start.

There is still a few things from our spring planting still hanging in there. Finally some bell peppers, all during the summer I don't think I ever got more than one or two at a time and mostly those were thin, small and light. These aren't huge, but they are thick and heavy and smell great. As long as they are putting out I will try to show a little concern, so I pulled a couple weeds right around the base. I probably shouldn't have cause I don't think your supposed to weed when it is wet, but how should I know.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A view from the sky

Last night I went on the Remington website to look for 3 inch 20 gauge buck shot shells, which they don't have, but I did find there custom map service. You can get either color Ariel photos, black & white photo's, topo maps, or a topo-photo mix which is pretty nice because you can see the roads and streams through the trees and brush, but having the photo image makes it easier to figure out what your looking at.

The ones for our place must have been taken around 2006 after it was logged, because has grown up quite a bit since this was taken. So far I few different sources for ariel photos the Microsoft TerraServer, Google Earth, and the Remington custom map feature. I am still on the fence about order a map or some photos. I could see how is you bought a really big piece of acreage that you didn't know much about you could you the photo's to locate things that my now be so overgrown you wouldn't know it was there.

The blue x is where Luci's cousin is bow hunting. His spot is right across from the small branch next the property line. I don't know if he has taken anything this season yet, but last time we talked he said he was having a problem with the pigs eating all of his corn so he put out a timed feeder. He has a couple of game camera's set up so he can see what is coming to feed. I can't imagine it will be long before the tech will be cheap enough that remote web cams will be put out and hunter's will be able to get a look at there blinds in real time. If it wasn't for security concerns I would think you would be able to do the same with satelite imagery to locate game for hunting. The technology already exsists, but the only thing hunted with it are people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A little test fire

This morning I walked the shooting lane pulling out all the large branches and cutting up a small tree that was laying across it. I need to get the whole area clean enough to mow the lane flat and give myself a good view. The row slopes down from the road where my blind will be to the small branch that cuts through our property so I will have a downhill view and I shouldn't need a raised blind. This is not how I imagined hunting all the years I lived in the city, but wandering through the thick brush and weeds that are often four or five feet tall you see pretty quick it would be damn hard to hunt that way. Besides this way I control the area into which I will be shooting. Walking past where I pour out the Buckjam I noticed it has already had some attention the dirt was spread around and right in the middle are two hoof prints.

Back at the house I got out our rifle and went out to make sure the scope is sighted in properly. I filled up four old milk jugs with water and set them on and old pile of logs. Only needed one because it was dead on and water went a spraying. This is of course no testament to any skill on my part as a marksman. Any credit would go the guy who designed this rifle and scope. Part of me would really like to take the scope off and take some target practice without it to see how much harder it is, but I know it would take me forever to get the scope sighted in again. One thing you learn quick when you start shooting is why wars cost so damn much. Bullets ain't cheap and you can burn through cash in no time. So of course I pop off the other three milk jugs, but each time all I could think was there goes a dollar.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My first bottle of BuckJam

Driving the girls to school this morning we saw deer crossing the road three times. I realized that it won't be long before rifle season starts so I need to get ready. After dropping the girls off at school I went to the store to stare at the wall of deer bait, I guess would be the term. Even after living here for a few years I never realized how much stuff they have to try to attract deer. Everything from the fifty pound bags of corn you see everywhere to freshly squeezed juice of some kind of gland from a doe, which actually warns not to put it on yourself or you will rudely assaulted by a randy buck.

I decided to start with a bottle containing a gallon or so of BuckJam, some kind of syrupy mix of sugar and salt. You clear a spot in the dirt and simply pour the thick goo on the ground. Apparently deer are not opposed to eating a salty dirt snack. Well see.

On my way back to house I stopped about half way down from the road to the house where the corner of a forty acre plot meets our a section of our place. The forty acres is land locked and has no access except through our place or one of our neighbors so it is on of the few that has not been logged. I think half the critters in twenty mile area are hiding out there. My wife's cousins is bow hunting alone one edge, the dillweeds who have a hunting camp down the road are hunting along the far edge and I am going to set up a shooting lane down another edge. I'm not really sure what a good range is for my 30-06, but I picked a spot about sixty yards from the corner figuring that I can move my blind a little bit either way. Raking off the leaves and sticks about six or seven feet from what I think is a path that the deer have been following through the brush I made I pour out my bottle of goo. Now have to wait and see I will go back in a day or two and look for tracks. Of course not being a good gnarly mountain man tracker I can't tell the difference between a hog track and a deer track, but I figure a track is track either way I will have something to shot at.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The October Easter Egg Hunt

We haven't had any eggs for a three, maybe four days now. The chickens ussually lay there eggs in the corner of the chicken coop, but for a few days we haven't had anything. Once and a while they pick a spot and make a nest to lay in. Sometimes it is in the middle of the yard, last time is was under the Ford Explorer we don't drive much anymore.

Normally it is pretty easy to find, but I can't seem to figure out where they laying this time. So now I have to head outside and dig through the bushes and the overgrown fence line to see if I can find anything. wish me luck.

Meanwhile I will keep the chickens cooped up for a few days till they get used to laying inside again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Buried in the barn

Not far from any country house there seems to be some type of old barn, shed, garage, root cellar or whatever might be needed in that part of the country. In our case it is an old garage not far from the house that was filled with junk. I have been slowly trying to get rid of all the trash for years.
I think the reason we didn't rent a dumpster and pitch the whole lot at once is that there is good stuff buried along with the mounds of junk. All of T-post I built my garden fence with came out of the garage. Today, while I was pulling out a few thing to take to the trash collection I came across these two old Dr. Pepper bottles. Since moving here we have gathered a large collection of bottles from all over the property. Three years ago I was exploring around and I came across about twenty five bottles in an old pig pen! Around half are medicine bottles and the others were snuff bottles why they were in the old pig pen I will never know.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

the big chill is coming

Rain had been coming down for a few hours when night fall began. The two combined made for the first cool, even slightly chilly evening. For a while I considered starting a fire, but realized I'd be sweating soon after, besides we don't have much firewood left. Soon we will have to buy another cord. My parents found this hillarious. Yes, we live surronded by woods and we buy fire wood. Partly, this is because firewood is one of those things you have to plan ahead of time. I should have started looking for trees to cut up in the spring so it can be split and left to dry for at least one summer. Even one summer may not be long enough. Really I should be cutting, splitting and stacking now for next winter or the winter after. The other reason is that the wood around us is mostly pine. Pine has lots of pitch and when burned this can build up in your chimeny and eventually catch on fire. Of course if you were dependent on wood for heat you would just have to be diligent about cleaning your flu.
The house we live in was built before power lines came out here way before the time of central heat and air. Personally, I don't think I could hack it. It's just to damn hot in the summer and cutting enough fire wood with a buck saw and an ax would be a nightmare. What I need to do is use what is use at least what is around us. Our pear tree had a big limb fall off a couple years ago after the huricane. This should have been cut up and stacked, but I left it until it was half rotted and had to cut it and dump it into the woods to finish rotting.
Not much I could do tonight as far as cutting, so I dug around in my tool boxes for a while until I found my chain saw file. I sat on the back porch and listened to rain while I sharped the teeth on my chain and cleaned off the pitch with acetone. The same day you get a chain saw you should get a file to keep the teeth sharp. It doesn't take long for them to dull and start bogging down. I would at least give teeth quick once over every morning I was going to be cutting.
On a sad side note the man who we have bought firewood from the last two years was murdered last spring during a robbery at his firewood operation. Even in a place that sometimes seems like Mayberry, the real world rears its ugly head.