What have you done "naturally" lately?

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby DaveT » Mon May 29, 2017 8:45 pm

I'd recommend a multi-year controlled experiment. Treat two areas nearby the same, except for one with charcoal, and one without. Record any differences or lack of such.


I will do that. But I think it will happen even without intentional implementation. It takes a lot of work to process wood and turn it into charcoal, it will get used as it's made as far as it goes, combined with horse manure compost and without, and plenty of areas with only the horse compost. Starting with the original dirt adding nothing I get very poor results. Add lime and it's much better, (soil test shows 700 lb soluble calcium before adding any, should be 3000) add soft rock phosphate it's a bit better, but it's still hard to keep nitrogen from leaching. Add compost and the nitrogen holds much better. And of course the biological activity and fungi in organic matter helps digest soil minerals and feed the plants. Charcoal supposed to work just like the compost but longer term and maybe even better.

Today was cool, cloudy, light rain off and on. A little too cool for nude comfort so I stayed clothed. Delivered the trailer load of logs, got another load ready to go. Otherwise spent a bunch of time on the track hoe pulling trees out of the ground, since it needs to leave for awhile I'll get a bunch done and be ready to do without it for a few weeks. Need to get my log splitter rebuilt and go at the wood gettin and charcoal making between gardening duties.

Neighbor came along with a stripped down beat up old nisson pathfinder, said it runs fine, but clutch is out from someone abusing it off road. So I agreed to buy it for a few hundred. It's a junky thing but It'll make a good gardening truck, wood gettin truck. or company truck for woods access if someone comes along to join me and needs offroad transportation.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:28 pm

Sometimes a project keeps going on for days. The good news is that you don't have to think up a new project, the bad news is that you don't get to move on to new projects. So it has been with the bamboo wind break for the pond. My last post on this project left off with an image showing parts of my lawn beside the bamboo groves looking like a moonscape with a slew of craters where I had dug up bamboo to plant. For the last several days I have been busy with about 200+ feet of hose so I can water the plants that are struggling to keep their leaves green, but I have been helped by rain every couple of days. However that rain has been keeping things wet so getting to the repair of my "moonscaped lawn" has been delayed. Every time I get a bunch of dirt loosened up to use as fill for the pits, the rain comes along and turns it to mud. But I did finally get a chance just long enough to dig it up and move it.
Fill_Dirt_Trench.JPG
Click for better resolution and size

What this image shows is where I got the fill dirt from. You might remember from a previous post, that my soil type here is clay and also that I put in a bunch of flood control swales and berms to keep the hillside above my garden from dumping all of the water from a heavy rain into the garden and turning it into a pond. The swales run across the hillside at a constant elevation (i.e. following the contour lines) and the dirt from digging the swale (trench) is pushed up into a berm on the downhill side of the trench. I had used my tractor mounted rotary tiller to till up the swale so it would be easy to shovel and then dug dirt from the swale right next to the berm. The clay was extra heavy due to being wet, but it did shovel easy and a slightly deeper swale is just fine. The clay held together in clumps about the size of my head and the wetness made sinking the shovel in quite easy. The statistics for the trench shown in the picture represent how much clay I had to move to fill all the craters in the yard.

This next two images show the results of the damage from digging up the bamboo where the groves meet the lawn followed by the results of of about 3 days labor to get the repair of the lawn under way.
First the results of digging up the bamboo transplants:
Lawn_Pits.jpg
Click for better resolution and size

and now the filling of the pits which took about 3 days of work.
Lawn_Pits_Lumpy_Fill.jpg
Click for better resolution and size

As you can see and compare to, the holes before and after they are filled, but now instead of breaking an ankle by stepping in one of the pits one can now trip over the lumps sticking up out of the pits. The amount of dirt is about right, it is just that even at slightly (not as slightly as I would prefer) over 200 lbs my weight is insufficient to crumble the clumps into a nice even fill. I have a cure for the lumps in the pits however. Now all I need to do is
-- take the trailer off the tractor and
-- remount the rotary tiller and
-- simply back it in to the zone of the filled pits and
-- till it all smooth.
-- It is still too wet to do that, as the clay is wet enough to be sticky, and instead of grinding it all to a smooth surface an awful lot of the lumps and even the surrounding soil would end up stuck to the underside of the tiller. So I have to wait for a few days without rain and then I can do the tilling.
-- Then after that I can re-seed grass, (Falcon IV turf fescue), and then
-- I can drag the hose and sprinkler over to get the grass seed to sprout, seeing as how by the time the soil gets dry enough to till up properly the drier weather of summer will likely have arrived and the seed won't sprout unless I water it.

So you can see what I mean when I say, "Some of these retirement projects just keep on giving and giving ....... and giving".
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby DaveT » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:53 pm

Giving, giving, or handing out work to do. That's life, always another job waiting to be done. Sometimes several at once. My naturally natural work day got buried in scrap metal and clothing. Decided I better not spend all day cutting and welding without protection. Leather boots, jeans, and a shirt. Still got enough metal splatter on my arms from cutting and grinding to itch. But the naked log splitter is getting close to functioning. It does actually work, but not quite like it needs to. For one thing the little washer engine is too small to run the pump to full power. So I'll have to switch it to a larger one. (there are several laying around) And only one little metal fabrication item to finish, the pivot hinge. I should replace a couple hoses as well.
It's a naked splitter because it has no housing to cover the working parts. Wait!!! that's not what I meant. It's a naked splitter because a naked man will operate it most. But how does that make the splitter naked?
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:49 pm

Hmmm, Naked splitter, got any pictures
DaveT wrote:the little washer engine is too small to run the pump to full power.
would you be talking about one of those old hit'n" miss engines, or something else.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:56 am

Well, It wasn't me that was doing most of the doing, It was this:
Tractor+Tiller.JPG
Click for larger size and better resolution.

When using the tractor nude there are only a few extra precautions dictated by the nudity. The first is some sort of foot gear is recommended because there are pinch points around the pedals that could catch a pinky toe. The other issue is to sit slowly upon the seat when the tractor has been out in the sun because the dark vinyl of the seat can become very warm so it is important that the butt and tender bits approach with caution :shock:

The tiller is as I noted last time intended for smoothing out all the soil around and in the pits where the bamboo transplants were dug up. And as the 4 frames before showed the lumpy and messy conditions. The after frames show the improvement.
Lawn_Pits_Smoothed_Fill.jpg
Click for larger size and better resolution.

Now all that is needed is a little grass seed and raking and watering. So this ongoing project can probably now be regarded as complete and done "altogether" :wink:
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:23 pm

So as usual I did every thing waking up until now nude wearing no more than Glasses, a hat and some work boots and sometimes none of that. I got busy on fixing the mower deck on my lawn tractor (indoors). The lower bearing in both the spindles had come loose and the one had lost its seal and retainer and the balls were about to fall out. Fortunately I had some left over parts from previous spindles and and was able to use some epoxy (JB Weld) to seat them in the wallowed out aluminum castings. Just needed to fill in about 0.010" to 0.020" (0,025mm to 0,5mm on the diameter). I only used foot protection due to the risk of stepping on something un-nice on the shop floor. The floor was nice and cool because the AC was on but also the concrete is in intimate contact with the subsoil, it being in the basement. I left the epoxy to fully cure and final reassembly will be tomorrow's project

Then in the afternoon I went out in the early afternoon 99.3F heat (37,4C) and using a long handled garden claw snagged rocks out of the areas in the previous post, and leveled them, then I seeded them with Falcon IV turf fescue which I raked in lightly and then watered until puddling. After I went in It rained for about an hour and plenty heavy so I could have skipped the watering. As the areas that I had to level and seed are by the road are on the lawn side of the groves and not the road side, I could do that work starkers I have enough tan that I can handle that for an hour or two without having to worry about burning (at least if I have a hat on).

I even did an inspection of my newly planted grove and it is coming along nicely thanks to having enough hose to reach it, as there are a few plants that have been struggling with the transplant shock, but I think I may only have to replace 2 of the smaller ones. But it looks like, all in all, my wind break is off to a good start.

Some data failure that has been building up on the hard drive took down my operating system but the Linux Live DVD let me boot and do a new intermittent back up so I won't even lose the data since the last time I backed up.

It is now 10:15, about bed time, and I still have not dressed to any significant extent since hopping out of bed between 05:00 and 06:00 this morning. So I guess I can say for today that pretty much everything I have done qualifies as having been done "naturally" Oh and I took a shower too. A couple of hours working in that 99 degree heat did leave me sort of sweat streaked.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:55 pm

I practiced my aim with my old air rifle today. Bare all over, except eye protection (always remember that when shooting!) and my watch. Very fun, although a few BBs ricocheted and came uncomfortably close. The almost worst part was coming inside, and the absolute worst part was getting dressed again!
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Yeah, I'm white--more of me needs to see the sun more often!
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby naturaldon » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:16 pm

Nice shot, Mav, in more ways than one! You inspire me. :D
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:33 pm

Maverick wrote:I practiced my aim with my old air rifle today. ... a few BBs ricocheted and came uncomfortably close......
So like what was your target that it could rebound the BB's ???

What make is that gun ?
Is it CO2 or pump up version?
Pellets at least flatten to absorb the impact energy and are less likely to rebound like BB's Of course ricochets are much less likely from soft targets. But the glasses were a good idea if you are getting that ricochets.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby JimShedd112 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:06 pm

Good for you Mav. Hope you're able to get some more outdoor time. I occasionally get to lay in the sun to work on my no-lines tan, the latest being this morning for nearly an hour. Midday is just too hot here in the high desert.

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:04 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:
Maverick wrote:I practiced my aim with my old air rifle today. ... a few BBs ricocheted and came uncomfortably close......
So like what was your target that it could rebound the BB's ???

What make is that gun ?
Is it CO2 or pump up version?
Pellets at least flatten to absorb the impact energy and are less likely to rebound like BB's Of course ricochets are much less likely from soft targets. But the glasses were a good idea if you are getting that ricochets.


My back fence is a chain-link one with wooden posts but metal horizontal pieces. (There's a big field behind all the houses on our side of the street and a row of conifers against the back fenceline, so I'm shooting into a very small wood.) I mounted a small cardboard box on one of the fenceposts. The occasional rebounds were ones that I think bounced off the top horizontal metal piece at such an angle that they came back at me. Some bounced off harmlessly to the side. All were due either to bad aim or not enough "pump" in the gun, which allowed gravity to do its thing.

It's a Crosman pump-action. It'll also shoot pellets but I happen to have BBs on hand so I'm using those. I'm considering upgrading to a better Crosman soon since they're not too expensive. I wear corrective glasses all the time anyway but threw on my aviators over those for extra protection.

Thanks to everyone for the approbation!
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby naturaldon » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:01 pm

I've got a Crosman M4-177 with a Weaver red dot sight (the vintage sight, nice one). Shoots very good for a run-of-the-mill pneumatic. I've also got other air rifles (and pistols) but nothing comes close to my RWS 34. It's more accurate than I can shoot! Target below is the M4 shot with clothes on. Well, the rifle was only wearing a red dot sight, I'm the one who had my clothes on (argh!) but maybe that will change soon. Maybe we should start a new strip or topic on shooting sports? Stay tuned...
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby webmeister » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:13 pm

Sorry...read previous post incorrectly - you can delete please...
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby webmeister » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:04 am

When I went to purchase my .177/BB I just looked for the fastest FPS :) Enough to go through minor obstructions so must be mindful where the barrel points. This post does spur one on...would like to do some shooting and without clothes too, one thing I haven't done :biggrin:
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:27 am

Several years ago I acquired a Beeman break type piston air rifle in .177 pellet gun. It is target grade and capable of keeping its group on an aspirin tablet at 10 meters. Definitely not a toy and very effective against small game/pests. Especially effective for garden pests. Look into those if you want serious target practice with real accuracy and the occasional bunny that cannot otherwise be deterred from raiding your garden.
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