Monday, February 24, 2014
Spring is Near
I know the great weathermen of the internet are predicting a return of the polar vortex in light version this week. Supposedly we are to drop down into the lower teens and maybe even a single digit or two night for the next week or so but the signs of Spring are coming anyway.
Starting Friday the huge waves of thousands and thousands of Snow and Blue geese began arriving along with a few of the Greater Canada's. Unless you have had the pleasure of actually being within honking distance of tens of thousands of feeding geese you really cannot understand the sound and it goes on all day and all night for days. The skies are filled with huge multiple V formations and the fields in corn stubble are almost solid White because of the feeding geese.
In a grid down scenario I would be out harvesting me some Goose meat and for the most part I wouldn't have to even leave my deck or barn yard area. I could just wing shoot a few minutes each day and probably drop at least three or four before they figured out to stay away. Just carrying a shotgun around with you will net you a couple of decent in range flybys every few minutes. I actually used to do just that several years ago when there was less traffic out here. Of course I am assuming that the corn stubble will actually be there in a grid down situation. If it wasn't I guess the geese population hanging around might be a bit reduced.
There have been several times over the last few years during goose season that I have heard the pellets hitting my wood furnace ducts outside from hunters out in the fields. The first couple of times it happened I thought we were getting some sleet until I noticed there wasn't a cloud in the sky. For some reason when visitors find out that happens they get all upset and tell me I should complain but I have never noticed it being a problem. Just little light pellets of steel or lead raining down occasionally. They don't even have enough force to sting if they hit you.
Sometimes I think everyone is just too touchy about things.
After almost a solid week of being free of wood cutting it finally dried out enough for me to get out again today. My supplies of split Oak and Locust heartwood are looking really good for this next cold snap but as usual come this time of year I am woefully short on small dry stuff. Nothing keeps a flame going better than tender-dry Elm in the 6 to 8 inch diameter range and luckily for me the woods I cut in seem to have a limitless supply of little dead Elm trees.
The downside to cutting these small trees is it takes more time to get a full load and pulling em out of the thick grapevine covered woods is always a pain. Add a little long dead Cedar and a small Locust or two and I have a load of small, dry stuff ready to go. I throw in a couple pieces of this small stuff, chuck in some big split Oak pieces on top and usually the furnace will stay kicked on for about 4 to 6 hours. Just the perfect mixture.
The buds are coming out strong now and Saturday while doing a bit of work on the fenceline I am trying to clean out one of my honey bees landed on my arm to warm herself up. We were a good three hundred or so yards from the nearest hives and she had a bit of pollen on her legs. When the bees begin ranging out that far it's a good sign Spring is near and things are pollinating.
With this cold snap coming I am hoping it keeps the fruit trees from flowering out too soon. The last couple of years the early false Spring has caused the various fruit trees to begin flowering at different times and drastically reduced the amount of fruit they bore. The pears especially have been effected by this by it's also been three years since I got a good apple crop as well.
Even with this predicted cold snap I need to get out and get to work on the fences and other brushy areas. The ground is still too wet to run a vehicle down into the fields without creating huge ruts but if I wait too long the March rains will make it completely impossible and then when that dries out the weeds will be thick once again. A few frozen days will allow me to get out there and get as much done as I can so this cold snap that is coming isn't as unwanted as it might seem. I can make good use of it.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!