Friday, August 9, 2013

Corner posts, continued

Dennis Dezendorf, author of the PawPaw's House blog on My Blog List reminded me that I need to get religion about bracing corner posts.  I love the comments I get.  They really help me out.

A job well begun is a job half finished.  And fencing starts with the corner posts.

First Corner Post.  I leave them tall unless I can get a two, eight foot posts out of a stick.   This post might get a kestrel box on the top.
These blue skies were photographed in Wyoming and Photoshopped into this picture.
I got another corner post set today.  Unfortunately the place it needs to go is an old rock pile.  The rocks ranged from 35 pound 10 inchers to countless fist sized rocks.  I also hit some brick at two feet.

Iwan Augers are fabulous post hole diggers but they do not do well with rocks the size of hen's eggs and bigger.  So I tried using a T post to spud out the rocks.  No-go.  So I hunted up the spud and found it at the last fencing project.  I could auger a little bit.  Spud rocks loose.  Go on my belly and grab the rocks in the bottom of the hole and haul them out.  Then back to augering.  It took about 60 minutes to worry that hole into the ground.

Between grubbing rocks out at that fence post, the vibration from trying to McGuyver a T post as a spud and the holes punched in my hands by the Black Locust thorns....I was ready to knock off early today.  Here are a few of the pictures collected during the day.

Stump of the first corner post.  You can get a feel for the proportion of the heart wood to sap wood.  The heart wood is the color of Nestle' Quick.  Black Locust twig with thorns accidentally snuck into photo.  Those thorns stay on the bark even as the tree matures.  It is advisable to wear leather welders gloves when cutting Black Locust in the woods. 
This tree just finished ripening all of its apples.  It is called "Japanese Beetle" because the fruit of this tree seem particularly attractive to Japanese Beetles.  I love how the pink marbles the white flesh.  I wish it tasted as good as it looks.  This tree is teetering on the brink of being culled.
This is a tree of an apple named Liberty.  It was released by the New York State Testing Cooperative Association and was named for its disease resistance.  You can see how the branches are arching under the heavy fruit load.  In fact, one of the main branches (left foreground) is pointing diagonally down because it broke near the trunk.  Most of my trees are carrying very heavy fruit loads this year.
Not every seedling tree is a winner.  I planted my seedlings on 10 foot centers.  The vicissitudes of nature thinned out about a half of them.  Of the remaining half, about a third are worth keeping as-is.    Because the keepers are not evenly sprinkled across the planting, I graft and/or bud non-keepers that are well located with more desirable varieties.  The arrow points at the bud. 

Close up of the bud.  Normally I would not place a bud or a graft this far from the trunk.  This tree will end up with a 30 inch step in the trunk as I prune to encourage this bud.  But this  tree has been rejecting everything I tried to put on it.  I think the bark stops slipping (goes dormant) exceptionally early.
Farmer Dennis's wheat field.  I like the way this family farms.  He spins clover seed into the wheat during the winter.  The field stays green, the soil stays cool and picks up organic matter and Nitrogen, the deer have something to munch and it controls erosion.

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