For A Swinging Good Time. . .

February 11, 2011

A while back I placed an ad in one of the local Freecycle lists to ask if anyone had a swingset frame.  No slide or swings, just the frame.  I got an email from a very nice guy about an hour away from us, who said he had one in his back yard he’d let us have.

The first pretty weekend, we drove over to pick it up.  We were expecting one of the modern, cheap, lightweight metal frames.  Nope, this is a homemade job someone welded together with HEAVY pipe, and is 7 1/2′ tall!

And did I mention it’s HEAVY???

It was a chore getting the thing up into the bed of our pickup truck.  The Farmer took some rope with him, but fortunately we also had spare rope and bungee cords under the backseat, because this stuck out a lot further than we expected.

pictue of swingset frame in bed of truck

We didn’t put enough on to start with, and part-way home the frame slipped off the end of the bed and was dragging along behind the truck.  Fortunately, there was a handy parking lot to turn into, and some nice dude stopped and helped The Farmer weave a web of bungee cords to hold it on.

The Farmer contemplates the web of bungee cords.

Considering the effort the guys had getting this onto the truck, we decided to wait until such time as the Cave Geek could help unload it.

Cause did I mention it is big and HEAVY?

I might also mention that those bungee cords were stretched really TIGHT.  When The Farmer loosened the end of one, it flew waaaaaaaay up into the air, and ended up here…


Way up in the sky, the bungee cords fly...

Even with the arrow pointing to it, you can’t see it without using a telescopic lens. . .

pictue of bungee cord in tree

I've heard of going out on a limb before, but this is ridiculous!

I think we might as well count that bungee cord as a loss.  It would take a ladder on a firetruck to reach it, or maybe one of those buckets on a utility truck… naw, I don’t think they’d reach high enough.

At any rate, we finally got the swingset frame unloaded with help from the Cave Geek. 

One huge frame awaiting final placement.

Oh, so why did I want a fame without swings or slide?  It’s to go in the peacock aviary. . .

picture of young peacock

Our younger peacock

They need a new perch as the old one was wood and finally rotted and fell apart.  However, since this one is 7 1/2′ tall and aviary is only 8′ tall, The Farmer is going to have to dig holes for the posts so it will be low enough for the peacocks to perch on!

They won’t have a swinging good time, but they’ll love being up high!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

October 8, 2010

Time for a round-up of photos from around the farm this week.  We’ve had some beautiful weather, and critters and people are all enjoying it.

The guineas are done nesting for the year, and back in one big flock.  Here they are in our front yard. . .

picture of guinea fowl

Foraging Guineas

They hatched a lot of keets, but made a poor showing for keeping them!  There are only two survivors.  Guineas will NOT be winning the mother of the year award!

The chickens like to forage in the grass too.  It’s a nice buffet of seeds and bugs.

picture of red rooster

Strolling along. . .

They not only forage in the front yard and fields, they go down around the pond too.

picture of chickens

Grazing by the pond.

And they are often near the birdbath, since they like to use it for their local watering hole.

picture of polish silver laced rooster

The Patriarch Rooster of the Chicken Clan

While the chickens are running around, the goat and llama are taking a break and enjoying the sunshine.

photo of goat and llama

Resting in the sunshine.

Since the weather was cooler, Toby and I decided to walk in the woods.  In the bottom pasture, there are still some butterflies flitting around.

picture of Gulf Fritillary butterfly

Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)

There are still white flowers blooming in the fields and woods.

picture of plants with white flowers

Anybody know what these plants are?

Since ya’ll are so good at identifying birds, how about trees?  There is a pretty tall tree in our woods with purplish stems at the top.

photo of tree

Name this tree!

And to help with the identification, here is a closer look at the leaves of the tree . . .

picture of tree

A closer look at the leaves. . .

And now, a closer look at those purple stems at the top of the tree. . .

photo of tree

Looks like there was fruit here?

So how about it, anyone know what the tree is?

And now, it’s time to jump into the week-end!

picture of chicken

"Gotta Fly!"

Hope ya’ll have a GREAT week-end!

Thursday’s Thoughts: Thinking In Three’s

June 17, 2010

No deep thoughts today. My brain is too tired, ha! So here’s an easy one… thinking in three’s. I mean, if pictures are worth a thousand words, then there’s some serious thinking going on here, right?

This trio of bright orange fungus starting to grow on a rotten tree limb is likely Sulfur Shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus), also known as “Chicken of the Woods” because it is an edible mushroom that some people think tastes like chicken. (Just once, I’d like to hear someone say, “You know, that tastes like beef.” Or even pork. Just something besides chicken!)

Orange fungus on tree limb.

This threesome is our older peacock with two of the peahens.

Peacock with two peahens.

A trio of red roosters… they no longer reside here.  And we still have too many roosters!

Three Red Roosters

These three trees are in our woods. This is an older picture taken back on a beautiful winter day in December of 2009.

Three Tall Trees

These blooms, however, are on the plant right now. It’s a big Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ Blooms

And finally, 3 blooms on a Chinese Sweetshrub.

Alas, that is not a tree we have growing here.  I took this picture when we were at a local nursery buying vegetable plants.

That’s it for today!  My brain is thinking more along the lines of Tired Thursday than Thinking Thursday, or Thursday’s Thoughts, or whatever.  So we have reached the conclusion of today’s post…

A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.” – Martin Henry Fischer

A redbud tree, or not a redbud?

April 2, 2010

Redbud tree or not redbud tree, that is the question!

There are a lot of redbud trees blooming in the spring.  Most of what people seem to call redbuds are like this tree. . .

It’s an Eastern Redbud tree. They don’t really have what I’d call red buds, but more of a light purple-pink sort of deal.

However, we had a tree growing at the edge of our woods that DOES have a true red bud.

It’s a pretty tall tree, taller I think than most Eastern Redbud trees.

Here’s a closer look at the top of the tree. . .

And here’s a closer look at one of the stems with the red buds. . .

So, my question is…. What is this tree? 

And no, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.  I seriously do not know what kind of tree this is, and if anyone out there does, I’d love to hear from you!

Lumberjack on the Farm Again!

February 1, 2010

The Farmer just can’t resist.  Every 3 or 4 months, he has to play lumberjack on the farm.  We have lots of trees around here, and as is the way of things, some of them die.  One of those dead trees is close to the house.  I think it taunts him, “Come on, you want to see if you can cut me down, you know you do!” 

Of course, the problem is to cut the tree down without knocking down the electric lines right beside it that are going to the house.  Or the many different fence lines near it.  Or gee, how about the tree falling onto the house itself??? Yeah, that’d be great. I guess we’d see how good our insurance is. Picture calling up your insurance agent, “Harvey, I need to file a claim. A tree fell on our house.” When he asks HOW that happened, let the hemming and hawing begin!

To give my heart even more palpitations than usual, instead of a regular saw, The Farmer decided to carry a chainsaw up the ladder to work on this tree.

The Farmer and his chainsaw, high up in a tree, oh my!

There he goes, up into the tree!

See all those electric lines?  Oh, and I neglected to mention there’s also a big transformer on the electric pole nearby!

Once he was way up in that tree, and after I’ve asked him if he’s kept his life insurance paid up, he whipped out his chainsaw.

Lumberjack on the farm with his chainsaw.

Now to put the chainsaw to work!

I stood on the ground and watched this big offshoot of the tree trunk quiver. Beside the electric lines. Close to the house.

Meanwhile, The Farmer concentrated hard on the job at hand.

Lumberjack on the farm cutting down part of a tree.

The Farmer is intent on his work!

It is well he concentrated on what he was doing. Have I mentioned all the electric lines near the offshoot of the tree trunk he was sawing?

Lumberjack on the farm, way too close to electric lines!

An electric line here, an electric line there, electric lines everywhere!

Eventually he sawed through far enough he felt he could pull the limb down in the direction he wanted it to go. He was done playing tree surgeon. 

So he put one end of a rope around the tree limb, and the other end tied around a big walnut tree in the backyard.

Part of his rope system includes a winch, or “come-along” as he calls it. (I’m not sure if that’s a southern term, Okie term, or redneck term. Also, please note that’s a wInch, not a wEnch – he’s not allowed to have those on the farm.)

Using a winch to tighten the rope attached to the tree.

The Farmer and his wInch.

Once he’s tightened the rope as far as he can with the winch, he starts pulling on it.

The Farmer pulling on the rope.

Heave ho, and down the tree will go!

It didn’t take long, and I barely got the camera up and “rolling” before the limb came down!

That was fast!  And fortunately, or no doubt because of the Farmer’s most excellent planning . . . the tree missed the electric wires, house and even all the fences.  Of course, it also didn’t mash down the pallet fence around my trumpet vine and lilac bush because the top fell against the guide wires attached to the pole for the electric lines and transformer.

Tree trunk offshoot fallend onto guide wires.

Guide wires to the rescue!

All that remained was to get the tree off the guide wires and trumpet vine, and cut it into pieces.

As Hannibal of the A-Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Lumberjack on the farm beside downed tree.

A job well done.

I guess it was another good day for the Lumberjack On The Farm.

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