Archive: » 2021 » November

A Lunar Eclipse and Retrieving Lumber

I am working in a nearly deserted library this evening, my last shift of the semester. I won’t return until Jan. 3, the start of a new year. As I have for at least the past 15 years, I marvel how quickly time passes these days and also how events that were only a few months ago seem a distant memory. Time is both compressed and elongated. It seems as if we have lived in this house out in the country forever, but it has been barely four months. And it seems as if just yesterday we watched a new president inaugurated a scant two weeks after an insurrection threatened to overturn the results of the election....

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Pancho The Donkey Arrives

There’s a new four-legged member of the family. Pancho the Donkey is on long-term loan from Jim, the youngest brother of my Beautiful Mystery Companion. Pancho is now safely ensconced in the pasture behind our house — with its fences repaired, a shed in which to get out of the rain (a rare event, lately), a fresh round bale of hay, and a plastic barrel cut in half to hold a bucket of sweet feed. My BMC stopped at the Big Box Store before Pancho arrived and bought two large boxes of granola bars. That is one of his favorite treats. Pancho eats out of her hand like a very large dog — roughly...

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More Tales From the Farm

More tales from the farm, which is a project with no perceived end. I am slowly learning how useful a tractor can be, not just for mowing but for hauling limbs to the burn pile and pulling up downed fence line. Our medium-sized machine has a bucket as well as the bushhog and a separate box blade. Last Friday, I paid a fellow to build new fence on the piece of land behind our house. Glade Creek, which cuts through the east side, overflows its banks on occasion and took down a wide swath of fence before we bought the place. Several hundred feet of fence remain in disrepair. Fixing up this place...

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This Machine Eats Trees, Spits Them Out

The tree mulcher arrived at our place on Saturday morning. This beast was a Barko 930B with tires that are 5 feet tall, a 9-foot-wide set of blades in the front, an enclosed cab on top. It weighs more than 30,000 pounds and can turn a full-sized sweetgum tree into mulch in about a minute. A family out of Daingerfield runs a land-clearing company, which includes forestry mulching. We hired the owner’s operator to spend a dozen hours clearing as much of our 57 acres as possible of the trash trees – willow and sweetgum, mainly – that came to dominate the property in front, since it was not maintained...

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