Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bustin butt

It’s 5:24 now. I’ve been bustin butt out there but don’t seem to have gotten much done. Had to come in to let the pain settle down some. There’s a thunderstorm brewing to the south and when it got close it brought a nice cool breeze that was welcome for sure. I needed to go to Midland and buy a new ink cartridge for the printer but called Cherie and asked her to do it for me.

Here’s a picture of a phenomenon we’ve seen before out here. I walked out and saw tens of thousands of these winged ants covering the ground like a moving carpet. Plus they are flying all over this area and thus land on me and bump into my face as I walk by. I don’t know what the story is regarding these critters but now that I know Burr Williams of the Sibley Center I’m sure I can find out. The winged ants seem to be fighting or perhaps having sex. I don’t know but they gather in clumps wrestling and clinging to each other in piles. Burr said they are harvester ants and this is a mating swarm that happens after rain

I got the tractor out and carefully drove it over the rows I plowed yesterday. This compressed the dirt and helped make firm pathways between the rows. This will make things easier later when I must work on the rows weeding and picking what I grow. Yesterday it took almost two hours for me to use a hoe to level the plowed hill, make a furrow, plant seeds, then cover and tamp them down. Two hours for one row. I’ve got almost fifty rows to do so that’s not acceptable.

Today I fired up the Cub Cadet tiller we were blessed with and used it. Much better. Instead of making the traditional hill (Or whatever it’s called. The word escapes me at the moment) I’ve decided to plant on lower surfaces. I’ve been learning how to grow for five years now and fighting this memory issue in doing so. Each year I repeat mistakes I made the year before and did that again this year. Everything I planted this spring I did on mounded rows only to have the wind blow it all away. So this time nothing is raised. Eventually I’ll get railroad ties and telephone poles and create raised beds with them blocking the wind and providing some protection for the plants.

I got the wheelbarrow and a shovel and went to a pile of manure I got from the old man before he was told that I was taking advantage of him. It’s a shame that someone felt it was important for them to cause trouble and cause this division. Now I can’t even get manure from the old man. I suppose that even that could be interpreted as my taking advantage of him. I had to chop down the weeds growing on it first and then filled up the wheelbarrow. The thought was to distribute this on the rows I’m planting, thus enhance the quality of the soil. It didn’t take long for me to decide this won’t work. A full wheelbarrow load only lasted for one third of the row and shoveling it by hand was a lot of painful work. Too bad the Massey Fergusson broke down because with it’s front end loader I could easily move a lot of the composted manure in a timely manner. Eventually I’ll obtain the equipment that will help me do the work that needs doing. Till then I’ll have to skip work like this. It’s more important for me to get seeds planted. They won’t grow as well as they would with the compost but they’ll grow. So it’s a good idea that I don’t have the ability to pursue. I have lots of those.

I’m tired but there’s work to do. There is a bible study at the halfway house tonight that I wanted to attend but won’t. Rain is forecast for tomorrow and there is too much seed that needs to get in the ground. I’ll be working out there till it gets dark again, like I do most every day. I’ve rested and the pain pill is working as good as it’s going to. Cherie is fixing something for dinner so as soon as I eat I’m heading back out again.

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