Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Life is speeding up

Life is speeding up and blogging will decrease.


Eaton Rapids competed at Williamston.  The women's team was getting thoroughly shellacced by Williamston.  The score was 70-17, Williamston's favor when we left.

The throwers did OK.  Belladonna threw 20 feet less than her personal record but she was very consistent at 25, 22 and 20 feet short of her PR.  That was a very respectable performance for a 40 degree day and gusts to 25 mph.

Wildchild found her groove.  She came within 7 feet of her PR.  She was dancing on happy feet.

Motor bikes

Kubota discovered that bicycle tires and glass do not play well together.  I think he may have been showing off in front of his friends.

We finally got the chain to stay on.  We suspended the bike from the garage rafters and drenched the chain with diffy lube and let it run for an hour.  The chain is now limp enough that it does not walk off the rear sprocket.

The drier

The tensioner wheel showed up in the mail yesterday.  It is now installed in the drier.  Everything is happy there.

The War on Woodchucks

Woodchucks undermine barn floors.  My dad fell through the floor of his pole barn.  After the dust settled, the ground was at belt level as he stood in the hole.  Fortunately, my dad is as tough as a cheap steak.

Woodchucks can also decimate a garden.  100' of newly sprouted green beans is just an hors-d'oeuvre to them.

The answer?

A 160 body-grip trap, sometimes called a "Coni-bear" trap, set outside a fresh hole.

By rights I should eat these ground squirrels.  Their meat tastes like excellent roast beef or turkey dark-meat.  Instead, I use them to attract pollinators for Pawpaws (Asimina triloba).  Corwin Davis of Bellvevue, Michigan determined that Pawpaws were pollinated by carrion flies.  Further, he determined that hanging carrion in the Pawpaw thicket greatly increased the number of flies in attendance and significantly improved Pawpaw yield.

It is prudent to enhance carrion fly numbers only in those Pawpaw thickets that are cross-wind or down-wind of your dwelling.  It also helps to have an understanding spouse.

Hazelnut seedlings

As reported earlier, Tom Molnar of Rutgers gifted me with a sampler-pack of seeds from some elite, blight resistant hazelnut selections.

The Eaton County Coryulus germplasm repository.
I potted out the seeds in 5 gallon nursery buckets, similar to the Black Locust root cuttings.  I had squirrels help themselves to some of the Moscow #2 and the Santium seeds.  After cussing, I moved the pots to a shallow stock tank and covered it with a salvaged, glass storm door.  I found it beside the road while walking with Mrs ERJ.  I knew it would come in handy someday.  All of that junk on the left side of the cover is wire netting.  The door is about 3 inches too short to completely cover the tank.  I may look around to see if I have a spare sheet of plywood.


I like ducks.  They are happy birds.  Give them a wading pool, ample food and a way to get out of harms way and they are happy, happy, happy.  The Captain clued me into using pickup "toppers" for bird shelters.  You can find them beside the road for "Free".  People sell the truck and then just want to get rid of the topper.

They make dandy, varmint resistant shelters for birds.


The apricot trees are about 30% in bloom.  We are expecting 25 degrees F tonight and 24 degrees F tomorrow night.  That does not bode well for the 2015 apricot crop.


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