Thursday, August 8, 2013

It Was Too Good To Last

By all accounts, yesterday should have been a good day, and it mostly was.  It started out with Pam's blackberry pie for breakfast.   That's one advantage to being an adult and all your children are grown and moved away.  You can eat and do anything you want to, without having to set a good example.

I waited at the cabin while Pam had the car over to her mom's house to take care of Jeremiah and so I got there a little late.  Earl was already working.  The man is a working machine.  I don't know how he does it.

While Earl was filling Dumpy, I busied myself with either separating logs and brush from the woodpile, or picking up rocks to add to the LRP (linear rock pile) stone wall.  I did one or the other, depending on where I was and what mood I was in.   I even dragged the mobile home frame around the low area on our field that never seems to dry out just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.  It was almost all dry due to the lack of rain.  "Drag mobile home frames around while the sun shines" we say in Bleecker.

A bit later, Pam came by riding Jeremiah.

The green hat is to keep the bugs out of his ears.  Horses hate that.

Earl waved me over.  Dumpy was full.  I started him up and drove him over the field towards where he would take  his dump, and then the engine died.  The filter was clogged with rust from the fuel tank.  No big deal.  I jumped out of the truck to remove the filter to blow it out.

As I did so, I watched as Dumpy broke through the top layer of dry dirt and started sinking into mud.  It was just as if he broke through ice and was slowly sinking in water.   For any of you new readers, I was worried that this part of our field might have a spring.  During May and June, when it rained nearly everyday, this area wouldn't dry up.  Well, it seems that we still have a problem.  Even though it's dry on the top six inches, it's still muck below that.

I put the filter back on and tried driving it out and got nowhere.  Earl got Casey the Backhoe on it, and it still wouldn't budge.

"I think we need to dump it," said I.

"NO!" said Earl.  "There are some big rocks in there!"

So we tried and tried to move it, but Dumpy wasn't going anywhere.

The photo below shows the problem.  The field is all dusty dry dirt, but just below the surface is muck.  If Dumpy didn't stall, everything would have been fine.

Earl got his tractor, which has a little backhoe, to dig out the wheels better than I could get them with a shovel.

Dumpy still wouldn't move.  Finally, I convinced Earl that we had to dump the load.  After doing so, Dumpy came unstuck.

"Every time we do anything over here, we run into more shit." said Earl.

"I'm starting to think that you're bad luck," said I.

Today,  if it doesn't rain, I'll use the tractor's back blade to smooth out the pile of dirt.  It's mostly good topsoil.  I can move all but the largest rocks with Bessie.  I'll need Earl and the backhoe for the two really big rocks in there.

For those of you concerned about the dogs, they get locked up in the car whenever machinery is moving about.  I don't need that shit, as Earl would say.  

Pam says I'm becoming more and more like Earl.  If I can still work like Earl at 82, I'll take it.

1 comment:

  1. The more you mess with soil, the more it loses its integrity. Your cleared area is likely compacted and rent of much of its biota now. Guess the potato farm is out. I had suggested sowing a cover to protect/build your soil.. might help with absorbing the moisture too. Extension could suggest a basic soil cover that would give you get a catch before fall gets serious in Bleecker.

    I see two boys playin' in the dirt, but I guess you're having fun. (Sorry but I'm used to farmers who don't mess around like this).