Archive | June, 2013

Wild Flowers

30 Jun

moto_0498

I kept noticing these wild flowers all along the road, it seemed like they were everywhere. I stopped and checked them out and I realized they are elderberry bushes. Man if I could find a good use for the berries I could have more than I could ever use. Maybe wine, jelly, pie, cobbler? I’ll have to check into it more.

moto_0490

There are a lot of black-eyed susans blooming on the homestead.

moto_0373

moto_0374

These are golden trumpet-creeper blooms. I recently planted 3 bags of wild-flower seeds in the area where I have the deer food plots. I’ll let you see how that turns out. I planted the seeds and we had 1/2 inch of rain last night so hopefully they will come right up.

Advertisements

Relics and Artifacts

29 Jun

moto_0518

I was in a field and I spotted this really nice projectile point. It was made out of a nice pretty white stone and the point is so sharp I had to be careful carrying it in my pocket. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye and looked and saw how white it was and I almost didn’t stop. The plastic irrigation pipe we use is white as well as most of the chemical jugs are white so you see a lot of pieces of jagged white plastic in the field. I thought that is probably just plastic, but I needed to stop and examine the crop closely so I stopped anyway and boy, I’m glad I did. People sometimes ask me how I see so much stuff as I am going through the field. Most of our fields are 1/4 of a mile from top to bottom and I make 4-6 passes through each one. That works out to be covering 1 to 1&1/2 miles in each field and I am looking down to check for weeds, insects, bloom shed and just general plant conditions. And if there is something out of the ordinary my eye naturally goes to it.

moto_0496

In the next field I found this small piece of projectile point and a marble. I decided to take a picture of all the junk I saw that day.

moto_0481

I don’t know what this is, it might be something left over from the mule farming days.

moto_0483

A 12 in piece of solid steel rod.

moto_0484

A steel blade from a tillage implement.

moto_0485

A steel wheel off of a tillage implement.

moto_0482

I have no idea what this is, it is a heavy piece of angle iron but it has two fine toothed, lightweight gears attached.

moto_0439

A jawbone of some animal. If I was Sampson I could use it to slay a score of Philistines! Smile with tongue out

 

moto_0486

A 4 inch bolt which I kept. The other junk I just picked up and pitched into the fence line. Something like that could get picked up and go into a harvest machine and cause a lot of damage. Well, that is just a sampling of the stuff I find every day. Stay observant and see what you might find.

Amber Waves Of Grain

28 Jun

P1020033

When the song mentions amber waves of grain, this is what they are talking about. This is a wheat field ready for harvest and when the wind blows across it, the wheat ripples like waves across the ocean. We are winding up our wheat harvest and the yields were surprisingly good for this year.

P1020131

One of the local elevators built this make-shift storage facility. It appears to be a metal building 100X400 feet with a concrete floor. They dump the grain on the concrete and the front end loader pushes it into a pile. When they want to haul it out the loader picks it up and dumps it back into the truck. If you get a piece of bread in the future and it tastes a little gritty the wheat may have come from here! HAHA!

moto_0475

After the wheat is harvested, soybeans are planted. I advise my growers to plant into the standing stubble, but some people choose to burn the stubble. I strongly discourage my clients from doing that. Leaving the stubble has a lot of benefits such as returning nutrients to the soil, improving the organic matter, conserving moisture, preventing erosion, and helping to smother out weed growth. I find it hard to believe the EPA allows people to burn the fields and put all those pollutants into the air but apparently there is no regulation preventing this. However, if the smoke crosses a road and could be a traffic hazard, the farmers are supposed to contact the sheriff’s department and get a permit so the deputies can block the traffic to prevent accidents. I can only actually remember this occurring about six times in my entire career so that regulation is pretty much ignored. When those dry fields get to burning on a windy day it is quite a sight to see, and you can hear the roar of the fire from a half a mile away. Be prepared!

Retro USA Pottery

27 Jun

I have mentioned before I am a retro kind of guy. I like to collect stuff from the 1940’s up through the early 1970’s. One of the items I have from the early 1970’s is some USA Pottery items in orange. I know you have seen it.

moto_0512

moto_0513

moto_0514

As we were unpacking some boxes I rediscovered my orange storks and since the mantle was empty I put them there. They really look good don’t they? When Sweet Thing saw them she said “Oh No!”.  I think I am going to come home one day and they will be moved over to my Man Cave and the mantle will be empty again. Some people just have no taste for the finer things in life!

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

26 Jun

moto_0515

Sweet Thing and I went to the local farmer’s market today and we picked up some green beans, new potatoes and fresh tomatoes. She had a craving for a homemade BLT! She said the tomatoes were just “all right”, not great, so we will try another grower next time. Enjoy!

Stephen King’s Under The Dome Review

25 Jun

Awful, awful, awful! In the past Stephen King has refused to have his name attached to several TV and movie adaptations of his work because they veered so far from the “heart of his work”! Really? And now you will lend your name to this? At best the show I watched only followed the novel about 20%. The basic premise and the names of the characters are the same and that is about all that matches up. From the very first minute the show diverged from the novel. Oh well, I will keep watching and see if it improves any.

The White House Contacted Me!

24 Jun

I recently sent a form e-mail to the President expressing my concerns with the upcoming attacks on the second amendment via the gun control legislation being proposed in Congress. Well, the President fired off his own form letter full of the expected political obfuscation, double-speak, fuzzy backward logic, and just general BS. Take a moment to read it if you have a strong stomach!

The White House, Washington

Dear Swamp Dog:

Thank you for taking the time to write. I have heard from many Americans regarding firearms policy and gun violence in our Nation, and I appreciate your perspective. From Aurora to Newtown to the streets of Chicago, we have seen the devastating effects gun violence has on our American family. I join countless others in grieving for all those whose lives have been taken too soon by gun violence.

Like the majority of Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that has been handed down from generation to generation. Hunting and sport shooting are part of our national heritage. Yet, even as we acknowledge that almost all gun owners in America are responsible, when we look at the devastation caused by gun violence—whether in high-profile tragedies or the daily heartbreak that plagues our cities—we must ask ourselves whether we are doing enough.

While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm should not be a divisive one. Most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. Most also agree that if we took commonsense steps to curtail gun violence, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown. We will not be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing we can do to reduce gun violence—if even one life can be saved—then we have an obligation to try.

That is why I asked Vice President Joe Biden to identify concrete steps we can take to keep our children safe, help prevent mass shootings, and reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. He met with over 200 groups representing a broad cross-section of Americans and heard their best ideas. I have put forward a specific set of proposals based off of his efforts, and in the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality.

My plan gives law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals, and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence. These tools include strengthening the background check system, helping schools hire more resource officers and counselors and develop emergency preparedness plans, and ensuring mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence. And I directed the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence—because it is critical that we understand the science behind this public health crisis. From improving mental health services to looking more closely at a culture that too often glorifies violence, we must leave no stone unturned when working to keep Americans safe.

As important as these steps are, they are not a substitute for action from Congress. To make a real and lasting difference, members of Congress must also act. As part of my comprehensive plan, I have called on them to pass some specific proposals right away. First, it is time to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. Second, Congress should renew the 10-round limit on magazines and reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban. We should get tougher on those who buy guns with the purpose of selling them to criminals, and we should impose serious punishments on anyone who helps them do this.

These are reasonable, commonsense measures that have the support of the majority of the American people. But change will not come unless the American people demand it from their lawmakers. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love. We owe the victims of heartbreaking national tragedies and the countless unheralded tragedies each year nothing less than our best effort—to seek consensus in order to save lives and ensure a brighter future for our children.

Thank you, again, for writing. I encourage you to visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/NowIsTheTime to learn more about my Administration’s approach.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama