The Bridge at Remagen

The Dry Creek Project has produced a crossing that verily is stout and capable of withstanding a Panzer attack, but it’s not beautiful by much means.

Maybe a couple of strategically placed boulders will offset the pedestrian aspect and create a counterpoint — but still there are no handrails or things of that nature so a drunker lawnmower-driver might plunge awkwardly to an ignominious plight.

However the main point of the project was to manage and improve drainage, and that has yet to be tested…


Bridge Paint

Had a half a 5-gallon bucket of sandy floor-paint, and also the necessary raw wood primer for coverage. The long drop cloths helped prevent fling-off and spillage.

The gray color should reduce the heat gain and cure/harden pretty quickly.

Dry Creek

Dry now because it’s 88-degrees outside. It was 100 yesterday, but we caught a cool breeze or two today – and besides, it’s a dry kinda heat up here…

Anyhow it’s taking shape nicely without much help from me, and the little Kubota tractor is useful to haul the 2-inch rock and also the bigger cobble down from the big pile in the driveway to line it, and the tanbark to edge it.
The twin piles of dirt will become earthen ramps for the bridge so I can drive the mower across from sorta dry land to sorta dry land.

Maybe I’ll stick an umbrella and a beach chair on the tufted-grass island…


Got some guys to help out with the shallow entrenching. The cute little Kubota tractor is no match for the soft ground and mud however and we are using shovels. Then rocks and a bridge…

Turns out the 8-inch pipe that runs underneath the field, from the overflow catch-basin on one side to the fence where my neighbor’s cattle water, has perforations. That would explain the standing water when it’s really wet in the fall-winter-spring, but conceivably should also help the drainage.

Memorial Day Ancestors and the Cultural Appropriation of Carnitas

Dad was a somewhat unenthusiastic member of the Sons of the American Revolution, unenthusiastic in his adult and later years anyhow because of his anti-war stance. But through his mother he could trace his lineage back to a Revolutionary War Brigadier General from North Carolina who participated in the Battle of Germantown, and was with the 5th NC Division at Valley Forge with Washington, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Daniel Morgan and others.
Our Ancestor participated in resisting the entry of Lord Cornwallis into Charlotte in late September 1780, and was killed at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on February 1, 1781 while opposing the re-entry of Cornwallis into North Carolina…
And so today we made a pork butt in the slow cooker, viva the Revolution!
Three and a third pounds of pork shoulder and more:

The magic of spices!

Can’t forget the garlic…

…or the onions…

…or the Anaheim and Jalapeño peppers…

…and some citrus to add brightness…

A cop of chicken broth, a couple teaspoons of liquid smoke, rub the butt with olive oil then rub-on the the spices and chuck everything left-over into the slow-cooker for 8-hours.

Summer Haircut

The weedkiller did its job, and then I set about doing mine. It took about two and a half hours to plough through the mess, but at least this time it was not so high and thick.
Putting a mess of tanbark around the big oak and the other, distant one (hidden on the right) allowed for mower standoff room – that was twenty bags, including three down on the little volunteer pear in order to refresh it.
The big wet spot in the distance was still wet but I was able to get around “the duck pond” without incident or needing a tow strap.
The near middle stripe where I did some drainage trenching is a bit of a undone problem, but will define the area to be dug out and rocked.

Spray Rig

I got the Spotlyte 15-gal sprayer the year before last but didn’t find a use for it until now. With Spring bursting out and much of the broadleaf dock wrangled-up, a noxious new Devil’s Spawn emerged in the gap: Erodium cicutariumhas AKA Storksbill AKA Redstem Filaree… Having spread so widely and rapidly throughout the field it required a put down, and we went to the specialty Agricultural Supply outfit for a dose of herbal euthanasia. Also I needed a bigger (longer) wand for application with a fan-shaped nozzle instead of just a simple blaster-gun.

The little Black Wagon of Mud, Branches, and Death was put into service as a vehicle — but first I needed to secure the tank somehow. I measured-out and screwed down the straps that came with the big plastic jug, according to the molded-in pattern on the thing…

We would soon find out how well that worked, but first a test of the system was in order using water. Hook up the electrical ledes to the mower, flip the switch to “On” and turn the flow-valve to “go”…and Spray!

After mixing the proper dosage and including a surfactant for adhesion, we discovered that bouncing around the field easily overcame the minor obstacle the the straps presented, and the jug jiggled loose banging around the wagon and the secondary ledes disconnected, halting the sprayer. So without totally re-doing the straps, we re-positioned them and it stayed-put nicely.

It was nice to work on a beautiful day with mild temperatures and almost no wind, because I wouldn’t want that weed-juice blowing back into my face.

UPDATE: With rain banished by circling high-pressure and temps climbing to 86° today, the first week of consistent over 70-degree weather has arrived, and the end of Spring. May ends on a hot note and it appears we are in for another week of nicey-nice before the heat and the awesomeness of Summer…