What have you done "naturally" lately?

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon May 07, 2018 4:21 pm

Well, it is gardening season and at this time of the year there is much to be done. Today I enjoyed some nude garden work hoeing some parts of the garden that were starting to show sprouts of weeds that I had not completely cleared a day or so ago, and also some extra attention to where there were lots of hardened soil clumps that were unpleasant to walk on, (that clay soil gets that way when the conditions are right for it. The hoeing not only clears away weed sprouts but refines the tilth so as to be a bit less like walking on coarse gravel. Then I used a bucket to water just the plants so as not to encourage weeds to sprout. I would still like to find a watering can with a bout a 30 inch or more spout and a 1 to 2 gallon capacity, it would be a lot easier on my back. So if you know where I can get one, especially if it is a chain store that might be in missouri, please post or drop me a pm, becuuse doing that with a bucket induces a posture that is hard on the back. Something like the guy on the right of the following picture would be ideal, but the one on the left would be marginal, if that!
Watering_Cans.jpg

I am hoping for something where I can remove the "sprinkler head" on the end of the nozzle because I generally do not want to wet the foliage because I do not want to promote mold. I want something where i can just water the soil at the base of the plant, and a skinny snout on the spout can be manouvered past the foliage.

I harvested a bunch of pepermint today and I have a whole food dryer full running in the basement plus large bunches hanging for air drying (assisted by fans) which will be slower but cheaper. Picking leaves to put on the drying trays does give a superior extra chance to cull less than perfect leaves, and the warmed air circulated through the dryer does put a nice scent into the basement, but the dryer is not all that large and I am trying to lay in a goodly supply as we give some to friends and also I want to take some to the food bank too. There is a considerable population of elderly in the vicinity who rely on the food bank to help with their meger budgets and I do plant plenty of extra so I can donate fresh produce and storeable staples, but I thought it would be nice to also offer them some extra food pleasantries such as peppermint tea. The food bank is allowed to distribute garden produce, but noting prepared as that would violate some sort of healt code so I can give away cabbage bit not sauerkraut. Likewise I can give away dried herbs but not something made with that as an ingredient. I suspect that the pepper mint can be used for flavoring though I have not recipes that use it. Some of the older folks who use the food bank might know of some, perhaps I should ask. Peppermint tea makes a nice soporific at bed time, and old age does sometimes bring on sleeping difficuties for some and it is probably for them than some pharmasutical sleeping pill if it works for them.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Mon May 07, 2018 7:22 pm

Bare_Truth,
Ferns thrive on wet foliage, but you make a good point about most everything else: watering is more efficient when delivered straight to the roots.
Perhaps a soaker hose would suit your needs best. Mulching prevents evaporation, making better use of the water you deliver.

I have heard that dried chamomile flowers make a good tea to drink close to bedtime, but I am not aware if it has literal sedative compounds or if it is simply a soothing flavor.
Too much liquid at bedtime of course may lead to a midnight trip to drain the bladder, and that's not helpful either.

A plastic-covered high tunnel in a sunny location could make a good structure to dry vegetables and herbs. Some discolor in sunlight, but you could rig shade inside the outer cylinder or dome.

I am hoping to repair my privacy fences and expand the nude-roaming portion of my yard in the weeks ahead.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue May 08, 2018 12:07 am

Ramblinman wrote:Bare_Truth,
.....................
I am hoping to repair my privacy fences and expand the nude-roaming portion of my yard in the weeks ahead.


Well I sort of need to do some of that sort of thing again this summer but as you might know I do that with bamboo groves. I sort of have to because privacy fences would be prohibitively expensive as my 20 acres has a 3/4 mile perimeter. However I think I have found (and have started implementing an improvement. Where the driveway enters the property the gap in the bamboo grove is seriously compromised with respect to privacy, but I have figured out how to correct that with weeping willows. As they are fast growing trees I think that in 2 or 3 years some strategically placed trees will provide an interior screen on the property that will block vision while not blocking vehicle entrance so that my side and back yards will be screened and only the front yard in front of the house will have compromised privacy and the willows sholuld make a nice addition to the appearance of the property. The way the leaves hang down in "strings" makes for a nice curtain and properly placed the trees for a continuous visual obstruction to the lines of sight that the bamboo groves allowed, yet along another line one can simply walk between the trees. I wish I had thought of it sooner. the good news is that one can simply cut of small branches and stick them in dirt or water and they will root. If you have a zone of damp ground one can often stick small branches into the damp earth and walk away and the tree will grow without further attention. At the present time I have to classify this as an experiment but it is proceeding well.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu May 10, 2018 6:12 pm

We have had a bit of warm weather and a bit of rain, and significant humidity and it is spring, all of which translates to The grass is growing like crazy. So crazy that I postponed breakfast because some sort of rain was in the offing for the morning and went after the grass. As my "lawn tractor" has not been in service yet this year, I decided on a different approach.

I have recently acquired a 5 foot wide" King Kutter" rotary mower for my tractor. most such implements require 4 to 5 hp per foot of width and as my Ford 1510 diesel (byShubaru) is 22 hp that is about right.
Mower-Mount_Start.jpg
Right Click for higher resolution

MoNatureMan has one of these for his Yanmar 4wd but in the 4 foot wide model. This brand is proving to be well built, rugged, and reliable. characteristics which I hope will keep me from having to spend so much time fixing mowers. The clay soil here has to get tecently tilled up or really soaked befor I have a serious tire track problem. MoNatureMan gets nearly lawnmower grade cutting out of his, and I am still on a learning curve but am already getting passibly close to that. The latest model has a hitch that makes it much better at ground following so that uneveness of the ground is better accomodated despite the width of the mower.

So before it could rain this morning, as the picture shows, I went out to the tractor shed, mounted up and started up and got in about an hours worth of mowing around the yard. some of the grass was 8 or more inches tall after less than a week since last mowed. It is not a "finnish mower" but the results were decent and finally I have a mower that does not shatter its cheap cast aluminum spindles just because a blade hits a rock that the frost or wet dry cycles has pushed up into the grass where it lies in wait looking for a hapless mower blade to ambush. Of course the mower is such that the manufacture says that it will mow 1 inch trees and I have already been using it for that.

One of the key reasons that I decided to buy such an implement is that I have enough bamboo groves that they were starting to get ahead of me. The ones in front were encroaching on the road to the point that last winter with only a modicum of ice on them they were bending over about 4 feet out into the road. No one complained (some tree branches do worse on such occasions), but I fealt that as a good citizen I ought to take responsibility for any imposition of my landscaping. I took about a 3 foot swath off the outer edge of the grove and the mower waltzed right through it, although it did require an extra pass or two to to reduce the bamboo poles to chopped mulch consistancy.

But that was not today's mission. As I was doing the mowing starkers, I chose to confine my mowing to the visually shielded side of the grove. So I was just mowing grass today and refining my techinque so as not to tear up the lawn with my heavier equipment. I have greatly enhanced my technique with the hydraulic lift control toward that end.

I have decided to use this mower to move my roadside groves back into the lawn several feet. The technique is to simply mow a few feet off the outside of the grove and then not mow off the new shoots that come up on the lawn side for several feet. This will take a year or three as the new shoots usually only come up in the spring, but because of the vigor of the root network they come up at the full size of what the current stalks are in the grove. The new sprouts are growing from rhizomes still attached to what is growing in the grove and they have the full energy of that root system behind them. That means I am currently getting 1 inch diameter stalks that will grow to 20 feet or more tall in their first 4 weeks...... It is quite a performance for a plant. The bamboo shoots can come up as far from the grove as the tallest plant in the grove, though most are closer than that. I am expecting that I can probably migrate the location something like 4 to 5 feet per year. But one thing at a time!

So todays thing, was mowing the lawn while starkers. Unlike my small lawn tractor this unit does not throw its cuttings to the winds so I seem to have no worry about the chaff blowing back on me and giving me a case of poison ivy should I find some to mow. :D
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Sat May 12, 2018 10:36 am

Bare_Truth wrote:...So todays thing, was mowing the lawn while starkers. Unlike my small lawn tractor this unit does not throw its cuttings to the winds so I seem to have no worry about the chaff blowing back on me and giving me a case of poison ivy should I find some to mow. :D
:lol:
And when the tractor hits the inevitable anthill, it won't fling angry ants all over your body!

My yard is a small suburban lot so I am NOT going to go with bamboo, but I have had good success with evergreen shrubs in the sunnier parts of my yard.
A big old Burford holly, Abelia provide reliable year-round privacy. But a good bit of the back yard border is shaded by neighbor's trees, so fencing may be my only option for privacy.
Back yard is about 1/8 of an acre, so fencing is not out of the question.
We have a law regulating fence height at the property line, BUT
Not regulating a privacy panel set back from the property line. That gives me a way to deal with the house next door on higher ground with windows that overlook my yard (until the panel goes up!)
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat May 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Ramblinman wrote:: And when the tractor hits the inevitable anthill, it won't fling angry ants all over your body!

No such ant hills, but we sometimes have some of those ground bees aka yellow jackets that build their nests in the ground but even those are rare.

Ramblinman wrote:My yard is a small suburban lot so I am NOT going to go with bamboo, ....... Back yard is about 1/8 of an acre, so fencing is not out of the question.

So let me see if I can visualize this.
1 Acre = 43560 sq ft.
43560 / 8 = 5445 sqft
If roughly square
5445 ^0.5 = 73.8 feet on a side.
73.8 x 4 = 295 feet if fence or thereabouts, Half that if you only need the side fences. and the fence where the house is sould be micj less.
If you allowed for 6 foot thick hedges on the sides the back yard would still be something 60 feet wide So hedges are not totally out of the question some varieties of arbor vitae might do well, However with hedges some manner of root barrier might be desirable.

Ramblinman wrote: But a good bit of the back yard border is shaded by neighbor's trees, so fencing may be my only option for privacy.

Some very shade tollerant hedging options may still be viable.

Ramblinman wrote:We have a law regulating fence height at the property line, BUT
Not regulating a privacy panel set back from the property line. That gives me a way to deal with the house next door on higher ground with windows that overlook my yard (until the panel goes up!)


Ramblinman wrote:

We have a law regulating fence height at the property line,
BUT
Not regulating a privacy panel set back from the property line. That gives me a way to deal with the house next door on higher ground with windows that overlook my yard (until the panel goes up!) [/quote]
That could get pricey if you want free use of your whole back yard As supposed to say, just enough to shield a patio or deck. But it might work well with other screening techniques, e.g. a tall hedge trimmed narrow up to the height of the fence. and then allowed to be thick enough for the privacy shield you want.

Of course a possible question to ask is: do you or your neighbors care? If you or they do, of the possible options, I would much prefer to look out my window at greenery than to look at some sort of structural panel, not to mention what you might have to do to brace such a panel against wind.

That higher ground issue could prove to be a real bugbear, depending on how high you would have to go with a privacy panel, and how close their windows are set back from the property line.
The best solution might be if your neighbors were friendly natuists. Then no problem at all :D

As you come up with a unique solution that serves you well, let me encourage you to capture before and after images and post your solution.
For instance this is my place (just the house and yard) as captured at maximum zoom from google maps.
Bare_Truth_home.jpg
Right click for higher resolution


Of course if you have any difficulties and are running short of ideas, and post them, you may elicit some suggestions, and sombody may actually have a good one that you could cull from the not so good and way out ones :roll: :D :lol:

Good luck in achiving a naturist enclave in your urban location. I can understand how much such a home modification could be to you.

May you freely frolic nude in your backyard without riling the neighbors.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat May 19, 2018 12:42 am

Well I did 3 phases of a larger task but only phase 1 and 3 were done naturally (for reasons that should become obvious shortly). To save verbage I will as I am oft wont to do, resort to pictures.
This Before and after shot will get us started.
Before_After.jpg
Left click for better resolution

The "after" phase of this picture is a bit off on its exposure due to the totally different lighting when I took it. But what you are seeing are before and after phases 1 through 3 were completed.

The tree shown is all but dead, It mostly died last fall, and as you can see it is a very large oak, and ready to become firewood, and the sooner the better, as the dying limbs will become dangerous "widow makers" if they rot and then fall on anyone working below ! So the sooner it comes down the better, and it will make better fire wood if harvested before serious rot sets in. As it is at the edge of the pond, and the pond is a bit less than high water, there is a "beach to laythe tree down on. If you compare the two images you can see that in the "Before" shot, there is a lot of brush and brambles and possibly poison ivy at the base of the tree.

Phase 1 (naturist mode)
We have had a good bit of rain lately, and while that is great for the garden, it sort of softens the ground so phase 1 of this project was to go see if the beach would support the tractor well enough to get in with the 5 foot wide mower and eliminate the brush, and thorns, and whatever other obnoxious was cluttering the ground near the base of the tree as well as the zone where we hope to lay it down.

As the beach was mostly clear and the softest ground would be next to the water I could perform that assessment in a natural mode Because if the ground were solid enough there it would be even better farther up the slope (or so the theory goes.

Obviously the day's operations were a success as the "after" side of the picture shows the vegetative obnoxiousness is obviously absent. However, phase 2 , the mowing, would see me getting in the midst of all that and I was not about to go wading or driving into brambles starkers ! :shock:

Phase 2 (textile mode)
You may wish to add to your vocabulary a new word.... "Thixatropic". It is a term best illustrated by a bowl of jello. It can be quite firm after it has set, but if you agitate or disturb it enough it will liquify. Damp Clay can exibit the same sort of property. it can be quite firm and support significant weight but if disturbed sufficiently it can becom soft, sticky and slippery, and thus it was today beside my pond.

As the beach slopes toward the water, and a bit more steeply where I needed to mow, the tractor started to "side-slip" along the way adding just that much more aggitation to the clay. Phase 2 of today's work was to get the actual mowing done and the next image shows what ensued as a complication to the mowing.
Stuck-unstuck.jpg
Left click for better resolution

Frame 1 shows the view of the tractor securely nestled in the disturbed clay. It probably would not have embedded itself and the mower had it not been trying to not only traverse the clay close to the water's edge but simultaniously attempting to climb up onto the peninsula where it joins the shore. The closer shot in frame 2 better illustrates the general predicament, while frame 3 shows the clay's ability to stick in the tire tred and form a slick lubricated smooth surface which readily eliminates almost all traction. This eventuallity was not an unforseen possibility nor something I have not experienced before, multiple times in this vicinity. Were it not that continuing rains on and off are expected for some time at this time of the year, I might have simply waited for dryer weather, but that tree really does need to come down, and should we be blessed by even more rain, enough to raise the pond, there might not be a good place for the tree to be laid down.

Frame 4 shows a repurposed 1 gallon plastic paint can (just the right size for 20 feet of 5/16 high strength chain :mrgreen: ) and a 5 gallon plastic bucket which makes a handy, ad hoc, tool carrier for nylon rope and chain and a come-along. The numerous trees at the forest edge are convenienly located anchors.

Suprisingly, the extrication of the tractor proved to be very simple as it was only necessary to move the tractor a very short distance uphill to get it to were it could just get enough of its traction back to get itself out inspite of the clay and the uphill climb.

Once unstuck, the tractor was manuvered to get it turned around and make the next pass going down hill. Getting stuck when going that direction, while not impossible, was unlikely and successfully avoided. Thereafter the tractor could be backed up hill into the remaining brush and brambles and driven back out going down hill happily mowing the offending growth into oblivion.

Phase 3 Naturist mode)
Equipment_Cleaning.jpg
Left click for better resolution.

One may not ordinarily think of cleaning the tools after a messy job as fun, but bear in mind that it was a hot and muggy day, and the primary cleaing tool would be a garden hose spewing cool water in a stream or a spray. The top two frames are almost the same but do suggest the truth that the tires require the lion's share of the cleaning and require spraying from multiple angles to dislodge the sticky clay from between the lugs of the tread. The lower left frame does show a reminder that the surfaces of the machinery, do also require spraying to clean them as well, but the clay and debris there is not near so tenacious as what is locked into the tread of the tires or as well attached as the mud in the crevices of the wheels. But the 4th frame does show a bit of the cleaning process that can be pursued with a little more zeal. After the larger chunks of clay have been dislodged from the tires, it can be more efficient if one has some long grass available in a field. A brief few laps around the field can use the grass to good effect in dislodging much of the remaining clay before returning the tractor and implement to the tractor shed so what falls off there will be a lesser mess than would otherwise occur.

Of course I would also like to point out that at all the hose work to clean the tractor and mower is on such a hot and muggy day does benefit from being in naturist mode. It is no problem to allow the splatter off the tractor or the occasional shot straight up to apply a cooling mist to one's body, and being starkers does not leave one with heavy wet clothing clinging to ones body. :D

So, while today did have phases of a major project to accomplish it was not all druggery without respite. The next phases will involving clearing up some saplings to get safe access to the back side of the tree, Laying out the cuts to aim the tree for a clean fall to the beach. I will likely cut a pocket in the back side of the tree to insert a hydraulic jack to assure the fall goes in the desired direction. The jack serves as extra assurance should the tree prove over balanced in an unsatisfactory direction by uneven distribution of the weight of the branches. The after the tree is down, it can be cut it into stove wood sizes.

The final phase will be finding someone who wants the wood and is willing to haul it away, as I have no use for it, (I am plagued with enough chemical sensitivities that burning wood to heat the house is a poor choice for me.) I think that there are one or more church based "wood ministries" that provide fuel wood to elderly folk who can ill afford to buy stove wood, or cut it themselves. As this tree died last year and has been "seasoning on the stump" for 8 months already, and it is oak. It should be ready for the 2018-2019 heating season and there are plenty of pickup loads in that tree. A 4wd pickup would be desirable but a 2wd should suffice if one watches the weather and exactly where one drives. The access to that side of the pond is fairly good seeing as how we had to open up a path to that part of the pond for the heavy equipment when we repaired the sink hole that opened up 2 years ago. If the truck gets stuck, then using the tractor and chain should easily suffice as a remedy. Of course if we get enough dry weather it should be no problem at all.

I suppose that those who might want the wood might be put off by my naturist ways, so I will probably have to go textile for that phase in order to accomodate them........... unless an opportunity to make converts of them should arise. :biggrin:
Last edited by Bare_Truth on Sat May 19, 2018 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Sat May 19, 2018 9:12 am

Bare_Truth, your photos and descriptions give us a virtual reality experience that is inspiring as we walk along with you through your projects.

I also have clay soil and have discovered that it is almost like rock in dry weather.
A few years ago, I rented an auger and watched it bounce on top of the fence post hole we had started.
Then one of us hit on the idea of pouring water in the hole, let it soften the clay for a few minutes, and the auger easily drilled down through it until it hit dry compacted clay again.
So we added water, waited and repeated.
We shouldn't take too much credit for this idea.
In observing nature, one will notice that trees tend to fall with a combination of rain-saturated soil and a gust of wind.
Perhaps you will find your dead oak tree easier to pull down while the clay is still fairly moist from recent rains.

As a naturalist, I aim to preserve natural habitats on my property, but I consider myself part of nature and do not think it unnatural to configure the natural landscape for human presence. I create soft-textured pathways, trim or uproot thorny vines well away from any place I am likely to walk. I also trim away branches that would otherwise slap my face as I walk my garden pathways.
English ivy and privet are exotics and I remove both without any guilt. I am making room for native plants, hopefully more beautiful or useful.

I learned somewhere along the way that catbriar shoots are edible and they do make a tasty snack and my grazing helps slow them down. Catbriar is in the genus "Smilax" and there are about 20 species in North America.

I wear protective clothing as a tool to protect skin from rough, splintery boards, concrete cinder blocks, and thorns and briars when pushing that stuff back to a safe distance.
Naturally, the clothes come off if I am behind privacy fence or dense shrubs and any tasks requiring skin protection are complete.
So much of my back yard is shady that I don't risk a sunburn.
When I want to make vitamin D, I do have a sunny and private area to put a cot for a half hour or so.
I can also take some of my garden chores out there on a sunny morning before it gets too hot for comfort.
Clothes interfere with vitamin D production and most garden chores, so I set them aside as soon as it is possible.

I own a garden tiller, a lawn mower, a shovel, hand pruners, a hoe, cordless drill/driver, a pair of leather garden gloves, a hammer, saw and a couple of trowels.
With a small yard, that is generally enough to get things done.

I want to join you in the praise of buckets!
5-gallon plastic buckets are right handy for toting tools to the wooded portion of the yard.
Setting tools down in the vines and leaves is almost a guarantee that they will go missing for quite some time.
So I not only use the bucket to carry tools to the woods, but tools return to the bucket the instant they are not immediately needed.

Our acid clay soils can damage exposed metal on tools, so tools are washed at the end of the day.
Long-term storage would call for oiling the exposed metal.
Tool washing is best done naked as you have suggested.

Bare_Truth, I am glad to see that your pond patch held and it is still full of water.
Is the pond good for swimming or is it more for stormwater and wildlife?

As for the question: What to do with deadwood?
If you are sensitive to wood smoke, had you thought about burning outdoors and transferring the heat via water pipe or hot air to the interior?
You might be able to rig some sort of conveyor to feed wood into the stove so that you can keep your distance from the smoke.
This is not a new idea, by the way.

Secondly, not all wood needs to be burned.
Wood chips are very valuable as chip pathways and shrub mulch, and eventually break down into rich top soil.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat May 19, 2018 2:31 pm

Ramblinman wrote:Bare_Truth, your photos and descriptions give us a virtual reality experience that is inspiring as we walk along with you through your projects.

Thank you Ramblinman, I am gratified to see that that they are being received as intended. This is the sort of fellowship and sharing I had hoped for, along with the interchange of information and encouragement that I have received from the posts of others and what i had hoped to offer in return. :D

Ramblinman wrote: I also have clay soil and have discovered that it is almost like rock in dry weather.
A few years ago, I rented an auger and watched it bounce on top of the fence post hole we had started.
Then one of us hit on the idea of pouring water in the hole, let it soften the clay for a few minutes, and the auger easily drilled down through it until it hit dry compacted clay again.

There is a parallel experienbce with dry sandy soil that I experienced in my youth when trying to replace posts in a vinyard in Michigan. During a drought any attempt to dig a post hole merely produced a crater as the soil had been reduced to the consistancy of a sand dune. One could only make a broad crater because the sids of a hole would simply collapse. We had to pour water on the ground and repeat the process as we made a hole so that the sandy soil would hold together and the hole would not simply collapse. too little or too much water can be a problem in a variety of soils.

Ramblinman wrote: In observing nature, one will notice that trees tend to fall with a combination of rain-saturated soil and a gust of wind.
Perhaps you will find your dead oak tree easier to pull down while the clay is still fairly moist from recent rains.

I should be so lucky! But the soil around here is so coherent that no thought of the stump coming out is anticipated. As it is forested land anyway I will besatisfied to leave as short of a stump as possible. For the sake of controlability I will probably cut the trunk off at 30 or 40 inches above ground and then slice off two more 15 inch pieces after all the other cutting of firewood has been completed. With a 16 inch bar and cutting from both sides I have previously cut up a similar sized trunk into 15 inch long pieces suitable for splitting, all be it that they weighed several hundred pounds, they are nice and round and roll pretty easily. In that previous case the trunk had about an 8 to 10 inch hollow right up the middle and that made things easier. I sort of suspect that this one may be hollow too. On a previous occasion, the hollow ran up to where a limb had been lost and water entered the rotted core about 30 feet up the tree. Then lightening struck the tree and the strip of blasted bark showed where the lightening ran down the branch and entered the trunk where the hollow started. The lightening entered the rotten wet core and flashed it to steam, which tries to occupy 15,000 tunes as much space as the water it came from. about 15 feet up the trunk the trunk was blasted apart so that I could not have done a better job if I had thrown a bunch of dynamite in there :shock: :roll: :!:

Ramblinman wrote: Perhaps you will find your dead oak tree easier to pull down
Naaah, there ain't gonna be no pull down on this one......... This is strictly a chain sawing tree felling, to be followed up with a whole bunch of firewood cutting, The good news is that a lot of it will end up as "limb wood" that won't need much splitting (not the plethora of slender limbs shown in the pictures) Those round logs tend to burn slow and long over night to keep the heat going on a winter night.

Ramblinman wrote:As a naturalist, I aim to preserve natural habitats on my property, but I consider myself part of nature and do not think it unnatural to configure the natural landscape for human presence.........

I am in tune to a great degree with your philosophy on that. Both a Naturalist and a Natuirist....... That makes a good combination. I think we are both singing from the same page of the Hymnal on that one :D :wink:

Ramblinman wrote:I learned somewhere along the way that catbriar shoots are edible and they do make a tasty snack and my grazing helps slow them down.

I do something along those lines with my bamboo. The pencil dimeter new shoots that come up in the spring, can be peeled down to the tender core by pulling off the leaves that form a sheath it the early stage and then chopped up into a salad. But it does not work for all varieties as some are bitter but my variety are tender and sweet.

Ramblinman wrote: I want to join you in the praise of buckets!
5-gallon plastic buckets are right handy for toting tools to the wooded portion of the yard.
Setting tools down in the vines and leaves is almost a guarantee that they will go missing for quite some time.
So I not only use the bucket to carry tools to the woods, but tools return to the bucket the instant they are not immediately needed......Setting tools down in the vines and leaves is almost a guarantee that they will go missing for quite some time.

AMEN Brother all that and more. I have to credit my wife for getting me started on buckets for tool specific to a single job. It started during the remodle of the house when I was working in the attic on the wiring etc. Just trying to find a tool that one has dropped into the fiberglass insulation is a pain and afterwards an ITCH :x :dislike:

Ramblinman wrote: Our acid clay soils can damage exposed metal on tools, so tools are washed at the end of the day.
Long-term storage would call for oiling the exposed metal.
Tool washing is best done naked as you have suggested.

Yes, yes, and yes. and if the tools are extensively fouled with dirt, it is often best to use a hose and if the tools have moving parts or crevices, then place them in front of a 6 to 12 inch fan and use forced air to dry them before oiling.


Ramblinman wrote:Bare_Truth, I am glad to see that your pond patch held and it is still full of water.

Well I don't think of it so much as a patch but rather a revision of the hydrology of the site. It appears that the failure was the result of a failure of the orignal builders of the pond to recognize that there was an underlying soil structure that could cause a failure which they simply buried. The repair was a bit more than a patch as the pond expert had to excavate down to a gravel and rock seam and interdict it with a cross ditch and then pack it with impermeable and stable clay. Whether that was not done by ignorance or carelessness on the part of the original builders is unknown, but the sort of repair that was done was more fundamental than just putting a patch on things, and likely (hopefully) a more permanent fix than just a "patch". With the help of the state geologist and the pond expert that I hired I think that the pond is good for longer than I will be around and hopefully also for another generation or two.

Ramblinman wrote: Is the pond good for swimming or is it more for stormwater and wildlife?

I would like to say that it is good for swimming and I have direct knowledge that the children of the previous owners used it for that extensively. However when we acquired the place, I waded the perimiter of the pond as deep as it was practical to do so. and swam in it, and when making repairs to the pipe that comes out below the dam for drawing off water for other uses, I dove to the outlet in the bottom of the pond as well as back flushed the pipe with both air and water, alternately. One cannot come away from such activities without a slightly fishy smell that needs to be showered off. I do however have hot and cold frost proof faucets that accept a hose so a little soap and a hose water fight should help kids to clean up (best done nude in the back yard). unless one is a sedate adult who finds that undignified. The neighborhood teen girls decided to have a friendly mud fight (they came to fish, and changed their agenda when the fish refused to bite) so I rigged up two hoses on a "Y" to assist them in their mud clean up, and that seemed sufficient to remove any taint even without soap. (I think that they appreciate that as they did not wish to inform their parents of their lack of reserve and unladylike behavior, (Ahh the exhuberence of youthful play :wink: ) (for the record they were not nudists, just normal textile teens. But if we ever have a meet up here I would hope to get whole families. It was just good clean fun..... after the mud was hosed off. Oh, their brothers were here at the same time, although they were more persistant at sticking to the fishing.)

Another concern for swimming is that I have a population of snapping turtles in there but it seems that while the snapping turtles will put on a strong defensive stance if on land too far to make a sprint for the water. Their stance in the water is very reticent as they are much better swimmers tha sprinters and rather reclusive.

Because the pond is frequented by ducks and geese, there is a swimmers itch risk, however that is managable and mostly around the ankles if one spends time walking in the mud in the shallows. Actually swimming and sunning oneself while on air mattresses seems to avoid that problem.

Fishing from a small boat is a useful activity.

Stray livestock have found it usefull tor cooling off and getting a drink.

Ramblinman wrote:If you are sensitive to wood smoke, had you thought about burning outdoors and transferring the heat via water pipe or hot air to the interior?
You might be able to rig some sort of conveyor to feed wood into the stove so that you can keep your distance from the smoke.
I have given some thought to some sort of outdoor water heating appliance that could transfer the heat to the house, but the expense is too much and I would only consider a convective system, (i.e. no electric driven pumps. As an engineer, I have analyzed the heat loss rate of the house and found that a 20 lb propane tank and a portable unvented heater will allow me to keep the house livable for an extended period in the event of an ice storm taking out the power grid, (ok two 20 pound tanks so I can go for a weekly refill with the empty tank).

Ramblinman wrote: Secondly, not all wood needs to be burned.
Wood chips are very valuable as chip pathways and shrub mulch, and eventually break down into rich top soil.

Chipping that size of oak would require one sizable wood chipper. the chips break down rather rapidly, and untill they are fully broken down and composted they tend to draw "click beetles" the larva of which are the nemesis of all tuberous crops. and while they do not kill the plants or do massive damage they make the tubers rather unsightly. Such oak firwood as this tree will yield has a much higher value as a fuel wood and all the more valuable to those who heat with it. I also get a lot of soft wood which is good for kindling and for a short duration fire as one might want to take the morning chill off the house and then die down before the day starts getting too warm. But the oak is what one would want for keeping a long lasting fire overnight.

I might spend more time on the heating prospects for my own house, but I get a discount on my insurance for not having combustion based heat in the house.

I might point out that I do keep a supply of firwood around in hopes of having a naturist camp out here sometime. My plan with that will be to use my tractor mounted, 4-foot wide rotary tiller to make fire pits for such an occasion as most of my land is wooded. and even when the fire danger is low I wold want to take such a precaution. :shock:

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Sun May 20, 2018 9:22 am

Bare_Truth,

Here's a summer house in the Stockholm, Sweden area that is enclosed in glass to compensate for the fact that the original structure was not sufficiently insulated for a Swedish winter.
Now the occupants can bask on their deck any day the sun shines, not a bad achievement for those latitudes.

It would be a bit too toasty for me (34 degrees north of the equator), but I realize that some sort of system that makes better use of the solar energy we receive would provide most of the warmth I need without logs or a power bill. And greatly expand the nude time of year.

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun May 20, 2018 8:19 pm

WOW! To comply with the old maxim, one would have to swear off of stone throwing.
One would have to hire 3 extra maids to just wash windows,
And one would have to buy Windex in the economy 20 Liter Bottles!

The winter heating bills are probably small but what would it cost to cool it in summer. However one could probably grow vegetables all winter long. I wonder how much the home owners insurance cost if you include damage from Hail Storms?
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Mon May 21, 2018 9:38 am

Bare_Truth wrote:WOW! To comply with the old maxim, one would have to swear off of stone throwing.
One would have to hire 3 extra maids to just wash windows,
And one would have to buy Windex in the economy 20 Liter Bottles!

The winter heating bills are probably small but what would it cost to cool it in summer. However one could probably grow vegetables all winter long. I wonder how much the home owners insurance cost if you include damage from Hail Storms?


What we were discussing in the case of the Stockholm-area enclosed home is a system designed to maximize solar energy input all year because it is so low, even in summer.

Let's look at the variables:
1. Although the days are quite long near Stockholm (approximately 59 degrees north latitude) in summer, the angle of the sun is much lower than it is here (34 degrees north latitude).
2. At approximately 1,000 feet in elevation here in the foothills of Appalachia, my atmosphere is ever so slightly thinner than coastal Sweden. (I get more sun through thinner air)
3. Summer cloud cover and higher relative humidity may be greater here than Stockholm thanks to the constant pump of moisture from the warm Gulf of Mexico compared to the less vigorous creation of clouds over the nearby chilly Baltic. (If all other things were equal, I would get less sun, but of course all other things are NOT equal).
4. Less winter cloud cover in SE USA compared to northern Europe

Retrofitting the Design for Lower Latitudes than Stockholm:
So, someone in the Missouri Ozarks or southern Appalachians would need to design a system that deflects unwanted sun in summer and maximizes it in winter.
A system of shade cloth or retractable shutters, perhaps an overhang that deflects midday sun, but allows sun when the angle is low (morning, late afternoon and anytime in winter).
I've seen one system that, at sundown in colder months blows in insulating beads, (automatically on a timer or photosensor) filling the space between the interior and exterior polycarbonate panels and sucks them out at dawn.

The head of a nearby commercial greenhouse told me that he knew that it was time to drape his greenhouses with shadecloth in spring when the sun started burning his exposed scalp.
A bit unscientific, but in this case, it worked well enough: His plants needed protection at the same time of year that his scalp did!

But for people growing plants, reducing heat by reducing incoming light is always a trade-off. Can your plants thrive in the lower levels of light caused by your shade cloth?
Around here, fans are never enough in high summer to keep heat levels down.
Just the same, powerful fans and/or being able to open windows are part of a heat management plan.

Another heat management plan: remove (or sell) plants before it gets hot! I have an outdoor summer home for some of my plants.

In the cold heights of the Colorado plateau, greenhouse design favors the heat retention of a geodesic dome.
For those wondering why, a dome is the geometric shape that provides the minimum surface area to enclose a given number of cubic feet of air space within that structure.

Here, where winters are mild and summers extremely hot, the quonset shape, a half cylinder with a system of powerful fans and vent flaps is needed to evacuate excess heat whenever it occurs.
I recall one sunny winter day, outside temperature in the 20's with snow on the the ground when the interior temperature hit the high 80's and the greenhouse fan had to briefly turn on to prevent the greenhouse from growing ever hotter into dangerous heat levels. A quonset hut is still a fairly efficient shape for trapping heat, particularly when double-walled, but not as much as a geodesic dome.
One aside: this makes winter nudity practical on any sunny winter day as one works inside a greenhouse or sunny patio enclosure.

In the far north, glass is the preferred material since it transmits more light. Here we get all the foot-candles we need even through visqueen/4 mil plastic walls (or polycarbonate panels).
In England's cloudy winters, supplemental lighting is used for sun-loving tropical greenhouses, even though the houses have glass walls, more light is needed in the darkest months.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby naturaldon » Mon May 21, 2018 10:02 pm

Put new line on my fishing reels, naturally. :D

Can't wait to go fishing in the outback of the local BIG lake, naturally. I hear the catfish are biting. Hey, perhaps a new strip on naked fishing? I'll get it going!
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm

I would suppose that some of you may have noticed that frequently my posts on this strip are about various work tasks. There is a method in my madness, it that besides an opportunity to fellowship with my fellow naturists, I sort of have an agenda of often posting about routine tasks that one can readily (if not just as readily) do naked. So it was when today's task came up, I thought, "Hey! I'll bet that is a task that wouldnt just pop into someone's mind as a task that one can do naked or would want to. And since I like a challenge and was pretty sure I could do it naked, I felt I ought to do so just to prove I could. This first image is probably going to be a tip off to what I am talking about, though I realize that some of you may take it that it is a tip off that I am "over the hill insane"
Foe_Friend.jpg
Left Click for better Resolution

Yes, that is :grrrr: DEVIL WEED :grrrr: (aka POISON IVY) on the left and on the right is my weapon of mass destruction. I am using a repurposed Spectracide spray jug as my applicator of choice. The pistol grip sprayer on the end of the hose is nearly ideal as when its nozel is set for a stream and when squeezed gently it achieves a range of up to 15 feet on a calm day. The gentle squeeze is critical because if squeezed vigorously the velocity of the stream is so high that the stream breaks up into a mist and blows around with the slightest of breeze. With a gentle squeeze it may be necessary to aim upward at a 45 degree angle to maximize the range, but the stream then breaks up into coarse droplets and rains down death and destruction on the target plant without dispersing widely all over other plants. As can be seen from the relabling of the bottle, I am using it with roundup as the active ingredient. This unit is more durable and less prone to leakage at the hand held pistol grip sprayer than what the original roundup sprayer was.

I am well aware that much criticism has been leveled at Round Up or any of the Glyphosate herbicides but I have found that when used as a targeted spot application to specific plants, not much is required and it performs as advertised, and there is no spread from plant to plant and even colateral damage to adjacent plants if it occurs is quickly replaced by new growth of new plants. It really does seem to deteriorate in the soil and no residual damage is seen. Of course I do not apply this around food crops as a precaution. Perhaps the fact that I am applying to a natural soil that is uncultivated and very biologically active has something to do with me getting the sort of performance and rapid dissapation and no long term side effects claimed by the manufacturer. But I have found no other herbicide so specifically effective when applied this way and given my high sensitivity to poison ivy (it ulcerates my skin, lasts for months, and leaves scars and may break open months later in sever cases of exposure). And I have found that glyphosate acts faster more completely and effectively than other herbicides, and its ability to kill the whole plant through its root system to be more obvious than with any other method. So regardless of whatever bad press the stuff has, I have found it to meet my needs better than anything else. (E.G. 2-4-D does not work as well in any such respect other than it does not seem to kill grass and that is advantageous in preventing erosion problems after treatment).

Until this morning I had not so much as noticed this infestation
Infestation.JPG
Left Click for higher resolution.

The area marked measures approximately 25 feet wide by 15 feet front to back and virtually all the green ground cover is poison ivy. :shock: And to make matters worse, it is adjacent to the area I would like to make available for camping. Bummer! I had approximately a quart or more of RoundUp ready for use and some concentrate in reserve. My expectation is that unless the root system is highly interlinked that it will require more than one application to extinguish an infestation this dense. However the compact size and density of the infestation is such that this is a credible possibility. Either way I should be able to get the stuff killed in a week or three as roundup works fast on poison ivy. Until then I will just have to avoid it. Fortunately I did not mow it as that would simply have protected it from absorbing the herbicide by removing the leaves.

Conveniently with the low wind and the 15 foot range and the narrowest extent of the infestation I could fairly reliably attack the infestation easily from two sides and achieve full coverage easily. I do however expect i will have to revisit it every few days. But the accesssability of the infestation was accomplished from several different approaches because the edge of the infestation was surpriingly precise and regular. The following image shows me pursuing attack from several key points as well as just about anywhere around the edge.
Attack_Ivy.JPG
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Tue May 22, 2018 9:38 pm

I have used Roundup with great success, but I won't use it anymore.
The stuff is simply too risky for human health.
Roundup is more than glyphosate. The other compounds in it magnify the danger to health.

Instead, try concentrated vinegar with a bit of detergent as a surfactant (keeping it away from streams).
Soap and vinegar are deadly at the point of application, but dilute and break down with no lingering consequences to the user if you avoid contact with skin.
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