How Green is My Pasture

Only partly, where the seed is taking root, and amazingly it’s mostly grass and not a noxious variety of weeds – but there are some weeds. Given the makeup of the “Equine Fodder Blend” as a mix of various stuff, I’m not too surprised at some weeds, horses eat weeds too…

Doggie likes the new carpet.

It’s starting to look pretty good, even if a bit thin – like my hair used-to look! Thin.

How Green is My Pasture

Only partly, where the seed is taking root, and amazingly it’s mostly grass and not a noxious variety of weeds – but there are some weeds. Given the makeup of the “Equine Fodder Blend” as a mix of various stuff, I’m not too surprised at some weeds, horses eat weeds too…

Doggie likes the new carpet.

It’s starting to look pretty good, even if a bit thin – like my hair used-to look! Thin.

Never Forget

We will not forget the rat-bastardly deeds of terrorists nineteen years ago, may they burn in Hell for Eternity.

Meanwhile we are experiencing our own ash-cloud of disaster, based on decades and decades of piss-poor forest mis-management by the hippie eco-activists who have taken over the Forest Service – and it has nothing to do with “glow-ball warming.” From the rifle range this morning around 7:30AM, you can’t even see the other side of the canyon – and with the overhead ash floating all around the State, temperatures here have dropped ten degrees.

Green

In the midst of a dim, gray and brown haze from smoke, shoots of green are popping up after four days of watering – and the black truck has a fine dusting of white ash from the fires. Only going to 94-degrees today so cooler than yesterday, but we grilled corn and chicken early because it’s still too warm for outdoor-living comfortably. UPDATE: Got up to 101-degrees today, but not 110 like yesterday. I’m convinced the temperature and the watering has caused the very fast germination of seed.

Groundbreaking Equipment

We have been watering a roughly 16’x60-foot stretch of the dog’s penned-in area, to catch weeds that pop-up and to prepare it for more stuff than weeds. I scraped a section of goats-head thorn out, and in this heat a bunch of babies popped up so we plucked them too. I raked-back a bunch of tanbark to make a straight line.It’s an ongoing battle with the weeds, but I also got a sack of Equine Forage grass-seed at Tractor Supply and we are going to go to lawn with it, hoping its durable seed mix will prove weather resistant in this harsh climate. Meanwhile that raking in 90-degree heat got me thinking…and that got me shopping – which is difficult in this pandemic situationSo I went over to my local TrueValue/John Deere hardware store and talked to Don, who had some heavy junk on a junky wood-pallett out in back. A “integral hitch” and a box scraper someone ordered and didn’t pick up. Looked like it had been there a least a year and a half. It weighs like Harley Davidson parts, too. Heavy. But I got me a big X570 mower and it would fit.And it does. The teeth are reversible and removable, and I can also unbolt the sides and rear weight-bracket and just have a blade instead of a box scraper. The hitch assembly dropped right in and won’t affect my other attachments (the blower-bagger or the sprayer). Nice, and I got it at cost.It goes up and down with a lever-assist, and you can adjust it for angle.

And you can shift it left and right or adjust the depth of drag.

The ground off in the corner slopes away from the fence and I can probably build up that area, besides smoothing out all the lumps and holes and mole mounds…and have a lawn for the doggie.

77-Degrees at 5:56AM

It’s pleasantly warm this morning, and the sun isn’t even up yet. We’re in the midst of a minor heatwave and PG&E is doing rolling blackouts just for fun. Fortunately that’s what the propane-operated Generac is all about.

I’ve been watering a corner of the fenced-off field just to see what happens (besides drying-our rock hard) and discovered a patch of goat-head thorns, just about the nastiest stuff imaginable.

Tribulus terrestris is an annual plant in the caltrop family (Zygophyllaceae) widely distributed around the world.[2] It is adapted to grow in dry climate locations in which few other plants can survive.

So before it gets hot and while it’s still damp, we’ll be scraping that off into yard-waste sacks…

Minor Heatwave…

I skipped my “Blogversary” last week. It’s a bit hard to imagine just how long ago I started this thing – and at this point, just how *relaxed* it has become. Anyhow everyone stay well and try to avoid the asteroid/meteor…have a great summer and don’t let the bummers get you down. My RSO job is tomorrow morning, the doggie misses me when I leave, but it helps the older shooters to keep up a routine. If it gets real hot we’ll call a ceasefire and go home early.

Everybody stay alert and aware of your surroundings, things are weird. I have seen more drivers crossing over the double-yellow, including a few idiot-maniacs who couldn’t possibly pass all those cars and two trucks, going uphill in a freaking Hyundai…and when I came over the hill in the big Silverado doing 65 with noplace else to go, they had cram their little shitbox car back into line… So be safe, mask or not, people are nuts.

Early August

The ground beneath the largest oak is pretty dried-up and crusty.I “vacuumed” up about forty five sacks of weed-duff using the bagger attachment on the John Deere mower, with the deck-height set at just 1-1/2″ high. Also got a lot of dirt, but chopping the burrs and scooping it up seemed worthwhile as far as an attempt to eliminate some future growth… Yeh, I know it’s futile, but we have made some progress every year, especially in killing off the broadleaf dock.

I’m ready for the fall, and will order-up more pre-emergent – and also sacks of soil amendment to soften the hard-pan. Meanwhile, with the bagger removed the 25-gallon sprayer attachment is ready for work – but I don’t think these are the right conditions, it being so dry…

What is NOT dry is the doggie in her new pool. After we walk the old rail line in the morning, she loves to get in and splash-paddle and cool her paws under the awnings. The deck remains cool with the two 10’x10′ canopies, and underneath the deck is her new happy place. Today the temps are only expected to reach the low 80’s, so we are enjoying a brief bit of cooling-off until the weekend when the mid-90’s return.UPDATE: The doggie pool is made of truck bedliner material, and is heavy duty. The dog is white, but after an evening luxuriating under the deck she comes out brown and dusty, so after splashing in the pool frequent cleanings are necessary. Fortunately it has a drain valve at one end that I hooked up to a small pump, and once plugged-in that pump coveys the dirty water down a 50-foot hose and out onto the dried-up old prairie via a sprinkler – so we will see what effect occasional watering has on the dry dirt and weeds…

102-degrees, 15% humidity

At least it’s a dry heat. The dog moves between laying in the sun, in the dirt next to the Astroturf, and laying in the shade under the deck – or laying in the garage on the cool cement slab.

The two 10’x10′ Ez-Up canopies on the deck are providing good shade, and kill the reflected heat. The dog likes splashing in the pool to cool her hot paws, but the pool up on the deck sprung a leak. They’re made in Mexico of pretty flimsy plastic and only cost $12 at Walmart – but the Walmart summer inventory is long gone. So I pulled up the lower pool and layered the non-leaky pool into the other and it’s holding water. As a skilled proponent of Redneck Engineering, I’m going to spray a can of ‘as seen on TV’ Flex Seal stuff (in blue) into the lower pool, and slap the good one on top of it, and sandwich the two together to strengthen them and stop the leaking.

Doggie Pool Area

The weather has been weird all year. It got to the 90’s in February, then rain and hail. After a week of hot weather in the upper 90’s to 100’s with evening/night temps never dropping into the 60’s, we awoke to low 50’s and a breezy beautiful morning.

We decided the pool-area was looking a little dilapidated. The staked-down astroturf panels (6’x8′ @ $20 each) from Home Depot had weeds growing up between them, and the umbrella stands were awkward and heavy to move – and I didn’t want have to mow the weeds… So we decided to expand the pool area and cover the weeds, and build-in the umbrella stands, and off I went to social-distance at Home Depot.Six more squares of astroturf, sixteen 10-inch 3/8″ carriage bolts to use as corner stakes, some grommets as bezels on the stakes, and an eight foot piece of fence-pipe.

After staking out the fake grass an re-using two pieces, and then filling the pool, I measured to the center of the pipe and cut it across at an angle so it had a pointy end, good for pounding into the ground.

My little sledge hammer was a bit on the small side so I used an old, 15-lb. dumbell to hammer the pipe into the ground, and voila: umbrella stands. It’s also a reminder of my Dad and growing up. In our front-yard as a kid, the flag-pole holder was a piece of pipe sunk flush into the ground so that the blades of push-mower I used to cut the lawn (and earn my $1.00 weekly allowance) would roll right over it. On days when we put the flag out, it fit right into the pipe sunk into the ground. Thanks Dad, I miss you guys.