Busy Nest

April showers bring tree trimming, brush clearing, and fire. I still have some fence to deconstruct, another good showers’ day work. Eurasia’s taking the day off for Easter according to market reports. I couldn’t sit still yesterday, I had to go out and trim a few trees. But I regretted revving up the fire at sunset thinking the wind was winding down and dieing out. As soon as it was dark up came the strong breeze. By then the tire I’d thrown on the two day old coals had ignited and there’s no putting a burning tire out. Luckily the wind was blowing away from the barns and towards the windbreak I’d been trimming. After letting cows run under the cedars last summer there’s nothing but bare ground on the half to one acre site that used to be cattle yards. Bare ground under thirty five year old trees. What embers did escape the ashes were quickly burned out.

The Corn has all been hauled and is sitting in the grain elevator waiting to be sold at planting time. Sell in May and go away is an old adage that came from Wall Street I believe. I also believe it can be a good thumb rule for the corn markets. Unless you’re a speculator, then good luck is what you’ll need. Some of the hottest weather markets happen during the summer. That’s when it can make sense to sell a third of what you’re growing ahead of harvest. I should say a third of an average crop. Which is how much I have no storage for. The thinking is that you almost always grow a third of a crop even if you’re the one getting burned by the drouth. With the moisture savings of no till a half a crop is usually assured. I have read that a terminated cover crop can act as a moisture sink storing water inside the now dead cover until the growing cash crop absorbs it.

There’s not much more to report from the corn patch here in Southwestern Iowa. Gas is going on along with other fertilizers and bulldozers are busy pushing up terraces. Or as I call them, the Inca’s revenge. Drainage tiles are being laid to get rid of the excessive water accumulated in the terraces and added to the water tables. It’s like watching a dog chase it’s tail with all this business. When I’m not too busy to watch. First I have a tail that I need to catch. Or is that a tree? Until I do …….

See ya then see ya there.
Cc

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Diamond Pines

The pine tree. Second base? From yesterday’s post? I remember stealing Dads hammer and nails from his “shop”, an old dirt floored garage that may have been a carriage house back before the automobile, and driving quite a few nails into the old pine before moving on and loosing the hammer when I either ran out of nails or became bored with tree nailing. The reason I remember it was I had to go find Dad’s hammer for him when he next needed it. That meant retracing the steps I took losing it with my immediately older brother helping in the remembering part. Starting with all the nails I’d driven into that old dirt floor. After the pine tree we found it by the old walnut directly on the other side of yesterday’s post’s red cedar.

Of course the red cedar hadn’t been transplanted yet back when I went on my tree nailing spree. The cedar may be nail free. But I doubt it given all the nieces and nephews who followed. Not to mention the three children we’re raising and the three we’ve already raised here, one of them a boy like me. Fifty or sixty other cedars have been transplanted around the building site as windbreaks since this cedar came in from the road. Some by me in high school but most by my younger brother after I’d left home. We would find the cedars growing wild along roadsides in ditches in the surrounding countryside when they were little enough to spade out by hand and carry home in a car trunk. Now they’re two and three stories high and simply beautiful.

As is that pine tree. I know it’s dead but the standing dead tree that’s lost the needles but not the branches has a beauty all it’s own. Occasionally a hawk or an owl can be seen resting on it’s bows and taking in the scene. Once upon a time it was part of a three way number nine wire clothes line that ran from it to the previously mentioned old walnut the over to another pine of the same genus (aka third base) and then back to second base,  the pine tree first mentioned. Off towards the house was home base. Right in front of the oft broken hall window. Until they put the new basement in, then we’d break the new basement window directly below the hall window. Today a sugar maple from grandpa’s yard up in Harlan stands on home base and balls don’t make it past.

Cc

 

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