Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Winter's Day Project





Since I expanded the Garden apiary this year I needed to trim away some Boxelder saplings that had been encroaching on the bee hives so I could put up the Winter wind break. This is another time when the battery operated chainsaw comes in really handy as I had a couple of 3" or so trees that I needed to cut off at ground level. Just the time for some one handed chainsaw action while the other hand holds the tree.




Supervisor kitty told me that using the saw like that without eye protection or saw chaps was strictly against OSHA regulations and company policy. I informed her that I was the company and she should try and make herself useful and catch mice or something. She wasn't impressed.




So I rimmed away all those pesky little branches and a couple of the trees that are too close for my liking. Supervisor kitty was inspecting my work as you can see. I usually try and leave these small trees as much as possible. They grow really fast and do supply me with some firewood occasionally but they are also in the Maple family and do produce syrup sap. These trees I think rate about third place in the sap producing lineup but hey they grow here like weeds and who knows I may eventually get enough of them to try making some Maple syrup.




It was about 35 degrees out and as you can see the sap was really running already. No wind for a change though but no sun either. In fact it has been so long since I have seen the sun I am starting to think we are in some kind of nuclear Winter or something. I know the moon is still up there because the cloud cover leaves at night but every morning those clouds are back it seems.




So I added a few more fence posts in and unrolled the windbreak to give these hives some protection from the West and North winds. Eventually I plan on clearing more of those little trees out from behind there and doing something with that area but I just haven't decided what yet.

Another good example of what Winter is for. I wouldn't have been able to get that close to the hives with small branches hitting them without wearing my suit during the warmer months. Only thing left to do is wire the windbreak to the posts but I discovered that I had forgot to charge up my cordless drill so that will have to wait until this evening or tomorrow morning now.




These sticks are my Paw-Paw tree. The damned rabbits apparently had themselves a snack. Grrrrrrr. I guess I need to build a cage for it tonight.




And here are some lovely yard ruts where the Bobcat traveled through the yard to dispose of the dirt we removed while leveling the spot for the cabin. I hate ruts. Hopefully they will melt down enough before Spring that I can ignore this part of em because they are not too deep here but there are a few other areas I am going to have to till and seed again I imagine.

Got this project done while a big pot of my famous (in my mind anyway) chicken soup was simmer on the stove. I love my chicken noodle soup but no one else around here seems to think it's as great as I do. They are just jealous I think.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!




15 comments:

  1. glad to see you keeping busy like usual! we have a supervising cat as well...we call him the project manager. he does absolutely nothing but thinks he is managing so i guess that makes him a manager in the true and appropriate sense of the word. i want to see a pic of that soup and get the recipe. I will be the one to tell you if it is world-famous or not! much love buddy!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. kymber - We don't need no stinkin recipe :) I just wing it!!! But I love it. It always turns out perfect as far as I am concerned :)

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    2. listen up there wiener...if i don;t get a pic and a recipe...i will go all over the internet and say that your soup ain't up to par...and you don't want that business on your doorstep, now dooya?

      ( i had to look up southern speak to come up with that comment. pretty cool, no? being that i am canadian and all...)

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    3. kymber - I don't think Wiener is used int he South all that much :)

      Seriously though I don't use a recipe. I just use medium egg noodles, chicken breast, carrots and fresh shrooms. Put em all together and simmer. The wife says it's more like chicken and noodles than soup but the Son and my Mom love it.

      Too late for pics now have to wait until next time.

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  2. The chicken soup would go well here today; 25 with freezing dense fog.

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    1. Rp - Oh man those dense freezing fog days are down right COLD. Much colder than the thermometer would suggest. Making my ears hurt just thinking about it.

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  3. My supervisor stays far away when I use a chain saw, too much noise I think as I don't ever remember cutting off a cat's tail or anything like that. The butcher did saw the steers in half with a little Stihl which was a grand test of anyone's ability to handle gore and blood on a hot August day. We have box elder but I don't remember it having a high sugar content though it is a maple. Our sugar maples used to form sugar on the bark where the liquid evaporated, I used to lick it but you have to get higher than the cattle for best results.
    A few good hard freezes might help your ruts.

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    1. Sf - This supervisor is not always put off by noise but is becoming that way more as she get's older. Two years ago she was barely above kitten status and O was cutting up a real tree with a real chainsaw only to see her sniffing the end of the saw. She really doesn't like moving things so tractors and trucks will send her scurrying.

      I didn't know about the Boxelders producing syrup sap myself until a reader actual told me a few years ago. After that I did some research and sure enough they were right. As I said it's not the first choice for making syrup with but it appears to be within the top three or four.

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  4. Yes jealousy explains it.I almost did something today but I thought better of it.

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    1. Bubba - Oh now you got my curiosity peaked.

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  5. If you ever get a tree damaged by rabbits all is not lost - try this - http://www.englishhomestead.com/2013/04/saving-rabbit-damaged-tree.html
    I managed to save an apple tree that way!
    I have never tapped a maple for syrup, never found enough of them in one place or the right type, we have field maples here and I don;t think it's so good. I have tapped birch trees before now to make the wine. The sap runs out pretty fast if you time it right and it's easy to kill a tree by doing it. Ever tried it?

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    1. Kev - Well the tree they ate is no bigger around than the small stems you used to repair the chewed on damage in your post. They literally just gnawed off my little beginning sticks that need to become a tree. I hate rabbits they are vermin and must die.

      I have never actually tapped these just read about it. Something on my list to do at some point I guess.

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  6. I've always known box elders where in the maple family, but it never occurred to me that they could be tapped for making syrup. Hmmm... the grove on the farm in MN is almost entirely box elder with some silver maple mixed in, both of which are just one small step above noxious weeds in my mind as far as firewood or wind protection, but I may have to rethink that. Of course I'm never up there when the sap is running.

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    1. NS - I never thought about it either. I agree the trees are really jst above weed status but once i have enough I am going to try the syrup thing. Google it and you will find a number of people who actually use em for it. I was amazed.

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  7. PP,

    The supervisor kitty is correct, you need to be wearing eye protection!!!!

    Rabbits seem to love just about everything you want to keep nice and hardy. I've placed fencing around several plants and the rabbits still squeeze through the fencing.

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