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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1621
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 17 2:55 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

No slits in pipe, Gregotyn. There's a channel down the hillside to the culvert under the driveway. Looking downhill it crosses right to left. The pipe is large enough that I once crawled through it. I cleared the upper opening. Water gushes through the pipe and out the other side of the driveway to another channel. Then lower down there's a second culvert, same size, crossing under the driveway, left to right. And it just dumps the water downhill to feed into the seasonal brook. Which down flow has made a mess of my garden near the brook. I shudder in anticipation of what I'll find when I go down there - it was nasty enough looking at it standing uphill on the driveway.

Now you understand how the green hellebores made it out of my garden, into the seasonal brook, into the huge culvert under the road, and washed up onto the scrubby area where I found them happily growing.

Ordinarily we don't get this sort of event, only when there is storm after storm and the ground is saturated.

Off she stomps muttering "April showers might make May flowers but they also make mud."

Our daughter and son in law move rather frequently, and seem to downsize to a somewhat smaller house every time. They seem happy with that, son-in-law especially. Me? Guess I'm a pack rat. And every now and then it pays off when I find something that provides useful information or useful device or whatever, memories especially. Mr Jam Lord swore up and down that he wasn't going to amass odds and ends of wood and whatnot. Of course he did and it is amazing how useful these offcuts can be.

This is getting too lengthy. Time to stop but not before I say your woodland handicrafts sound really good, Mistress Rose. And you seem to enjoy it too, which is even better.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 17 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I suppose to some extent is depends on the wood Gregotyn, but it depends even more on the packing. When the wood chars, it shrinks, as everything except the carbon has gone, so the tighter packed it is, the better the yield. We did a little better, but some of the stuff we used was a bit over seasoned, so rather porous anyway, and there were a some bits in the bottom, which is best to use longish bits stacked vertically that were a bit big, so left larger air gaps. We still have to learn the kiln, and having done a recalculate, perhaps we are expecting a few too many bags. The weight of the charcoal is what is affected by the species most, as some woods like oak are very dense, while others are a lot lighter. It doesn't really matter as we sell by volume not weight.

Your water management is quite impressive Jam Lady. We don't usually get that much water in the woods, so we try to divert it off the main tracks and into the wood and sumps. We get water off the road running down our drive as we are a few feet lower than the road, but apart from a shallow stream running past the front door (which is on the side of the house), it isn't a real problem.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1458

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 17 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So does this mean you finally get to move into the bungalow Gregotyn, or is this just moving stuff into the shed? Good to get it done in Spring before it is too hot - hope all goes well.

I have had a couple of days of minor dramas - first I lost my glasses. Since they only leave my face when I go to bed or have a shower, there were not that many places they could be and they were in none of them so it was a bit of a crisis - not least because clearly a cat had moved them, and that meant I might tread on them at any minute. Searched high and low and at least had a reason for sweeping under the bed! but still no glasses. So I decided to start looking for an earlier set so I could at least drive into Hobart and order another pair. And that was when I found them. The cat had knocked them into the drawer of the bedside table then closed the drawer - grrrrr.

This afternoon, Seb slipped his collar and had a good old run around the oval (several times). He chased a hare and hunted through long grass and ran off as soon as I got in striking distance (which happened from time to time). Finally he stopped as he had found food - the local children seem to scatter food liberally around the place - and was behind a tree stump. So I caught him at the base of his tail (not having anything else to hang onto) and narrowly avoided being bitten (he stopped when he realised it was me). Odd reaction - he lay down flat on his side totally passive - I wonder if the dog catcher caught him in a similar way when he was a stray - and made no difficulty as I returned his collar to its proper place. I talked to him as I was doing it as his reaction rather worried me, but once back on his feet he was his usual bouyant self. He is rather tired now - unsurprisingly - and relaxing in front of the fire

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5790
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 17 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cassandra do you get affected much by the tropical cyclones in Tasmania?
Having just said goodbye to Debbie, looks like Tuesday sees the arrival of a double whammy brewing out by Vanuatu.....North Island and North and East South Island looks set for a wet Easter week

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1322
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 17 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The pipe will reduce soil erosion being a solid pipe, Jam Lady, so that is good. In the UK our drainage pipes have slots in them to attract more water in from the sides, and if I had thought about it our field drainage pipes are slotted to attract water into them, and are laid in shallow trenches and are covered over, your pipes are for bulk removal, and you are looking to get rid of as much as you can! Sometimes I don't engage my brain before I express my views.
I am into wood. I have large amounts of it, sawn to various lengths and thicknesses. It comes from work and anyone wanting to get rid of it.

I feel that charcoal production is an art form MR. I am not that keen on the BBQ, always seem to get flies in my food when I eat outside, but there are plenty of other uses no doubt.

No, Cassandra, I am going into the farm house, even in the state it is in. The bungalow is out of the running, as the vendor and I fell out over a piece of ground. which is mine, and I intended to 'take' with me, as it is attached to the bungalow. Bungalow and 1.5 acres is a more attractive proposition to me to sell than bungalow with no acres and still less value than farmhouse and 5 acres. We couldn't agree in the end so that was that. I may want to downsize but not in monetary terms, just physically. I just want to do my wood work and have a proper veg. patch again.
I am a great loser of glasses, too, mainly because I fall asleep in them! Currently my glasses are held together with 'selotape'. I keep promising myself a new pair, but never get around to it, these are about 10 years old and specsavers have stopped writing to me, I wouldn't go back there ever again!
Plenty of spirit in Seb, but lying down like that says he knows who is the boss.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 17 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rather too much drama for one day by the sounds of things Cassandra. I am all right for distance. I have driving glasses, but am on border line legal, so they are optional for most things. It is the shorter distances that get me, so losing my reading glasses is a disaster.

Sorry to hear you have a problem with the bungalow Gregotyn. Perhaps it shows that 'gentlemen's agreements' are still better written down and legally sorted out. A shame. Still, you should be able to move back into the farmhouse soon and have all the things you want like the veg patch and your wood.

We had our Volunteer group yesterday, and a nice lot of deer fencing was moved and erected. The less energetic group did some good flora surveying too, and the sun shone, the birds sung, and it was a lovely spring day. Afterwards, husband and I managed to deliver some pea and bean sticks, so a productive day one way and another.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1458

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 17 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gz, we do often get the fallout from cyclones, just not this one. It usually shows up with torrential rain but not much wind so can be rather welcome. This one was abnormal in many ways.

Gregotyn, so sorry to hear the bungalow deal fell over but I think you are better off back in the farmhouse despite its shortcomings.

Not much happening here, - rainy (not very productive rain but), and so some spinning and knitting is the order of the day so I now have two projects to be getting on with at the History Room tomorrow. And some merino (17micron) fleece to play with that I washed a couple of days ago. It is so fluffy I suspect it will just go to putty.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 17 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hope your fleece goes all right Cassandra. I was told not to wash mine before spinning, so I just carded it then washed when it was spun.

We have been lucky with the weather over the last couple of weeks as it has been dry at least, and with the sap rising, we are getting far less mud. I need to look at me seed beds tonight to see if they need watering, but they are under the shade of the hedge, so might be all right.

Husband and son managed to get my basket frame jig made yesterday, and I have a frame setting on it. Not sure how good it will be as it had a couple of knots which tend to bend more, but hopefully will be useable. All good learning curve anyway.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1621
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 17 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Busy weekend: two couples over for dinner Saturday evening and I did my usual "Let's overdo things" menu. Several appetizers, chicken cacciatore, risotto with chanterelle mushrooms, braised lettuce, green beans with almonds. And for dessert a flourless chocolate citrus cake made with walnut flour, with sour cherries and vanilla ice cream. Lovely evening.

Sunday was a potluck garden party at friends place just over an hour away. South from me so along with various daffodils there were camellias in flower. I brough a venison & pork chili with black beans and corn. Delightful time strolling in their extensive garden, sitting in the bright sunshine in chairs on their lawn, chatting with other people.

Yesterday I made cuttings from speckled and blotched aucuba he gave me. Quiet, almost windless, so I poisoned Ranunculus ficaria down in the woods. Weather is bright sunshine and absurdly warm so I started putting up greenhouse shade cloth. Will finish today.

Himself was cutting firewood yesterday, big stuff that was downed in Superstorm Sandy lo these several years ago but as it was raised above ground the wood is still sound. Twenty-two inch diameter, big stuff. He ordered a new sharpener device for the chain and quite pleased with the results.

Off to an appointment with the eye doctor. Bye for now.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1322
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 17 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is surprising how some timber will keep quite well, even when fallen over or felled and had nothing done to it, whilst other timber rots as you look at it. Amazing how the weather changes so rapidly, it keeps us on our toes-I always carry waterproofs, in case.....
Our weather has picked up, but we have been promised a set back tomorrow, I just hope they are wrong. Our hedgerows are starting to look 50% green, so weather is getting warmer, but still cold at 5 am.
Hope the jig works for the baskets. Liberties here you come!
Perhaps we were not gentlemen MR, regarding the bungalow, but it would have been better for me, I am not young anymore-no stairs except at work!

Cassandra, I see even low rain fall for you as productive, every drip in the tanks is good, but I guess that the rain will come for you soon as you must be getting into autumn and then winter mode fairly soon.

It is true that whatever the weather, farmers are wingeing-my neighbour even said it was too warm-I just said it is April we must expect the weather to warm up at some stage-make the grass grow!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 17 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Why were you poisoning the celandines Jam Lady? We get a lot of them in the woods and they are lovely with the sun shining on them. They will spread badly I know, but in the woods do they cause you a problem? Hope your eye is all right.

Gregotyn, to some extent it depends on the species of tree as to how long it takes to rot, but also on where it is. Down on the ground among the leaves it will often rot fast, but things like oak heartwood will survive for a very long time. We tend to let the bugs have the sapwood and then take the heartwood. Sometimes it is still green enough to split for shingles.

Had a productive day yesterday. Had a young woman come to do some flora surveying with me. Her knowledge of plants isn't that extensive, but it was nice to have someone who understood flora and landscape terms without having to explain everything. She then helped us to fill the big kiln.

Husband and son fired the little kiln, then we all filled the big one for a firing Thursday. Husband put a besom together for me as I have an order for one today, and someone came to the house to collect some pea sticks, so a good mixed bag of work.

Weather is still dry here, but a bit cooler than last week. One of our outlets has sold out of charcoal already, so that is why the frantic scramble to produce more.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5790
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 17 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks like the latest storm will track the length of NZ...a hold onto your hats, worst in decades job

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1621
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 17 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Crazy weather. Yesterday's high temperature was 28.9 degrees Celsius. Himself (with a smidgeon of my help) took down storm doors for double front doors and double doors in kitchen, then put up screens for those four doors and also the two pairs of doors to the back deck.

Next will be shade cloth over great room skylights (involves going up on the roof), and the summer curtains inside the bedroom skylights (involves hauling big ladder from basement up to what I believe you term the first floor.) Also rearrange the great room furniture to its summer configuration.

But this morning I will go to the Wednesday morning knitting group, where I shall crochet.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 17 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Stay safe Gz. Pity you are getting such bad weather while you are there.

Jam Lady, our seasons seem to be a bit more sporadic than yours. We were in shirtsleeves last week, sweatshirt this week, and yesterday was quite chilly to start, although it warmed up later. Looking a bit better today, so hope it stays good as we are firing the charcoal kiln.

Took the besom along to the shop that asked for it yesterday. The customer has collected it and is delighted. Apparently her father always used to have a besom, but they couldn't find one, so tried the farm shop, and she luckily knew a woman that made them....I have an order for a couple for them to have in stock.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1458

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 17 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gosh, hope all is well in NZ - have been so busy have not kept up with the latest info.

Yesterday was supposed to be my day for doing the washing and generally catching up on myself after spending too much time in the History Room (we had our monthly meeting on Monday and I was in there Sunday, Tuesday and today). Since I had a trip to Hobart also due this week a quick check of the calendar put the washing back in the basket and me in the car since Friday was clearly not going to be a useful day to head south.

The trip started by the back road. Ever since I have lived here I have been told of this hedge of sloes along the back road at a distinctive spot but have never been past at a time when they might be ready for picking. Since it is now Autumn, and we have had a frost I decided to stop and have a go. Much of the hedge had already been stripped bare but I found sufficient fruit to fill my jumper (I had, of course, forgotten to bring anything to pick into), but as i picked I wondered at the size, colour and shape - not to mention softeness - of the fruit. After rummaging madly and finding a ziplock bag to transfer them into, I decided to grit my teeth and bite into one. Turns out they are damsons. Still, Damsons go well in gin too right? Though since gin turns out to be ruinously expensive they will actually be going into vodka. Same same.

Naturally yesterday and today have been fabulous drying weather but my other activities have prevented that, and tomorrow will be 12 degrees so unless it is remarkably sunny and with a decent breeze, washing will have to be deferred once again (the sooner I fit a clothesline in the shed the better!).

While in Hobart I encountered one of the more endearing traits of local business. There I was, a complete stranger, with a large bag, wandering around a shop full of cards, writing paper, and similarly portable stuff. The shopkeeper popped up from behind the counter and asked me if I would mind looking after the shop as she had to go out the back. So I did. I also found what I was looking for, paid for it and left without so much as a suggestion that she might want to inspect my handbag (I practically had to force her to do so). This happens from time to time here still and I rather like the naivety of it all.

As I said, tomorrow will be chilly, and the rest of the Easter Break is not looking terribly fabulous, but I guess I will at least have two consecutive days with no commitments and will be able to get on with something without interruption.

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