Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What makes the hubby light up...

Every spring, this is a common view from almost anywhere near and around, far and wide. I know who the culprit is, and he rides a green machine; flame thrower in hand...

Here he comes now. And he has an accomplice. Guilty by association. He loves this almost as much as the instigator. I feel no sympathy for them.

Here they come closer. I bet they are both smiling. After all, this is their "thing." This is what excites them. One lives to burn, the other to ride.

It's hard thirsty work. A swig for the man, a cupped handful for his companion. They are partners in crime...with appropriate burn permits in hand, of course!

Smile boys! Time for your mug shot!

Now that's HOT!

We are required, by law, to burn certain fields. Ted is always happy to comply...he's a pyromaniac. It usually goes like this: Ted drives along in the Gator with his flame thingy (that's a technical term) and leaves a line of burning grass.

He's always very careful to pay attention to which way the wind is blowing. It's kind of important.

This native grass burns fast...and HOT!

His dad is following in Ted's truck putting out the fire that is going against the wind. That keeps us from inadvertently burning the woods down. (Ted's dad likes trees...that's another story.)

Did I mention that this is really HOT? (It's hot!)

This is the "big hose" that Ted uses to help put out the fire. Huh huh! I said "big hose." (It's basically an electric squirt gun.)

Sometimes, the wrong thing happens! The wind did NOT cooperate. It switched directions! This would be an "Oh crap!" moment... Ted's dad is on the wrong side...

No problem! He'll just drive THROUGH THE FIRE to the other side!

Then he'll drive between the fires and tackle it that way. (Did I mention that this is Ted's truck? Hmmm....)

Ted hops out of the Gator and I follow him snapping pictures while trying to remember to not run over him.

The Gator needs a refill. They pump the last of the water from the truck. Ted's dad has to take off to get more water, so he'll leave Ted to fight this on his own, for now.

No matter how unpredictable burning off a field is, one thing that you can always count on...Hawks LOVE a fresh burned field!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Smokey says: "Only you can prevent forest fires!"

Nope. Not low clouds. That's smoke. (And my house sitting in the middle of it.) On today's list was to burn off the "north pasture." No, we don't have cattle, but we do have pasture. This ground is only good for growing rocks, and sledding if we get enough snow.

The pasture sent up an impressive amount of smoke. Some people told us they could see it from the next town. That's impressive!

Sometimes, something catches fire that you really didn't want to burn. We kind of forgot about this brush pile. It wasn't hurting anything and Ted's mom happens to like brush piles. They make nice habitat for wildlife. This picture would make her sad.

Oh crud! Really didn't mean for this to happen! I'm fairly sure this is (was) a shag-bark hickory. Several other trees caught fire, too. That makes me sad. But, being a "half glass full" type...I have to ask: "Wiener roast anyone?"

Gearing Up!

Spring has sprung and it's time to check to make sure the equipment is field ready. This is a 1790 split row planter. (I sound like I know what I'm talking about...but I had to ask Ted.) Right now, it's set up to plant corn.
The big dude on the left is Jason. We love Jason. He's our field scout. We hire him to speed around through our fields on his 4 wheeler and tell us what to do. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

That is Jason on the far left following the planter...eating Ted's dust! He is watching the planter to see which press wheels we should use. Not such a fun job now, is it? (Click on the photo to zoom in.)

Ted drives just a ways and then hops off of the tractor to join the others.

On your knees, boys!!! They are checking to see how hard the ground is around the seed. It has to be perfect...or pretty dang close. Too hard or too soft and the seed won't come up. Too shallow also creates a problem...
Because these guys are watching and waiting!!!