Friday, April 12, 2013

Friggin Burr

It's a good thing I didn't go out and get started on the garden last week after I got it all tilled up. I was sorely tempted but I saw the long range forecast was predicting lower temps this week and since we are not out of our frost date yet I restrained myself.

This is a bit much even for early to mid April around here. Last week we were pushing 80 degrees a few days and this morning I had ice over the rain barrel. We haven't even seen the Sun in at least three days I think. Frost is one thing but actual ice forming this late is rare.

The wet and mud has kept me from doing all that much really. I also wiped down, WD40'd, and put away all my reloading dies and molds for the Spring/Summer season. The ammo has all been packed and sealed and placed inside the house for better climate control along with the surplus powder and primers so I couldn't really fall back to my cold weather standby activity either. I need to put together a few more swarm traps but I prefer to cut the lumber outside so I been putting that off as well.

There are plenty of other things I should be working on outside but this cold and wet just killed my motivation. All I want to do is feed the wood stove once again and huddle inside. I did make myself get out and take the wire down off the other fence line and removed 600 pounds worth of broken and bent cattle panels.

I must admit the one bright spot to taking over a property that has been neglected for so many years is that I have subsidized all the materials for this Spring's projects so far by recycling scrap metal. The new shelves in the storage area, the gas for the woodchip runs and the RR ties to hold the next load of gravel in place have all been purchased from scrap steel I pulled out of the storage shed or fence lines. I believe with this latest haul I broke the short ton number of 2000 lbs. but from what I have seen at the recycling place there is a reason scrap steel prices are so low now. I think it has averaged out to about .11 cents a pound, which barely makes it worth my while, but there is a never ending line of guys bringing it in and some serious ID collecting when you do because of all the theft I guess. Don't get me wrong I am happy I can get rid of it and make some profit while doing so but at the prices I am getting I don't see how some of these guys can find enough scrap metal laying around to make money off it. Even the higher prices that copper and such bring doesn't strike me as being enough money for the risk I see in the papers and such.

I guess what I am saying is that when it is all said and done I can't imagine there being that much legal scrap to sell and make enough money to survive and not enough money from a risk versus reward aspect to go the illegal route. Maybe there are some tricks to the trade I am not aware of or something. Like I have said before I do not have a devious criminal mind at all and things like that just never occur to me.

Whatever the case this is going to be a short lived minor cash flow at best. I have a few more runs worth of other scrap I can get to. A couple of old water troughs, hay gates and such. Once I get to cleaning out the barn itself outside of the light cleaning I have already done there are a couple of old (and I mean ancient) chest freezers that were once used for feed storage that need to come out. My guess is those things are from the 50's and are going to weigh a metric Butt Ton each. After that however there will be no more scrap metal to help fund repairs and upkeep. The fields are totally clean and junk free it is only the area around the barn that saw the accumulated junk just stacked up and left.

Just so you can get an idea of how long some of these broken panels have been around, when I was loading up the ones the other day I walked over into an area of weed trees I hadn't got around to cutting yet and stepped on another stack of steel poles that were hidden under the grass. The fescue had grown up and around them so thick I couldn't pull them out by hand and finally had to use my tow chain and the truck to get them out and I even felt resistance in the forward momentum when they did break free. That is some serious weed growth over time.

Despite the late arriving Spring however I have made a big dent in cleanup this year so all is well. I really can't complain as things are moving right along and the new orchard area appears to be on schedule. Once I get the last four poles pulled out of the ground and it dries out enough I am going to plow up the orchard area and about 2 acres besides for seeding in some pasture grass for animal forage and put in a new fence.

The Mrs. is already talking about buying mini-cows because they are so cute....

Just shoot me now.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. I understand your dismay re: the cold snap. We had two or three weeks of sun & mid-40s at the beginning of March (too soon for that), and then it began to snow again. From last Friday through Tuesday this week, we got another 22" of snow. Overnight lows in the low single digits, too.

    Hang in there, brother - it WILL get better.

    1. RP - I wasn't really complaining, or I didn't mean to complain. It has been a little boring and I feel a bit guilty not getting anything done but the bees had over a week of fairly good forage temps and I fed them more syrup before this cold snap hit.

      Suppose to start warming up again tomorrow so I will feel more motivated I think.

      Gonna hafta start mowing now :(

  2. Mini Cows? I got to google them... lol

    So much for all that global warming mumbo jumbo..
    Its been in the 80s here all week, and the humidity has started, feels very tropical all ready. I think we are in for another wet summer..ick

    1. JuGM - Apparently there are several breeds of very small cattle. I still want Dexters but the wife has found some very very small minicows she wants.

      And yes Global warming is just a liberal redistribution scheme.

  3. I second Glock Mom, way too hot and humid here. It took a friend back in MN 2hr 20 min to get to work on Thursday. Flights were 21/2 to 3 hrs late. 8" to 12" snow.

    There will be no summer this year, rain on and off and a early cold winter 2013/14

    1. Rob - I could live with a cool, wet Summer even if it means more mowing time.

  4. I took a chance and put in a few tomato plants. Our last frost is still a few days away, it has been warm, and they weren't very expensive.

    1. Russ - Ya I usually don't worry much but the cold has lingered enough for me to wait till the last frost date this year.

      I do have a few varieties that I can not replace if they die off though. I would need to order new seeds and they are not a variety that can usually be purchased as starts somewhere.


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