The corn train, as I like to call the tractor with its 2 trailers, came and went and came and went as I put a pillow on my head and tried to sleep. These days, the drone of the combine can be heard nearly 24 hours a day, as field by field in our area gets cut. Happily, it ended up being a good year considering the late start we had.
Sunday dawned bright and early according to the clock, since we put our clocks back during the night. Time to wash and wax the car before winter comes. When that job was done, I took a walk in the freshly-cut fields and inspected our windbreak.
As always, Cooper's in charge. He's our foreman:
We've been adding trees to our windbreak since 2007. So far we've planted about 200 trees - spruce, ash and oak. All trees are well-established and growing, however weeds still present a concern to the spruce trees. We didn't have access to the fields until now, and one of the tasks on the long chore list is to take the Bush Hog out and clean around the trees. When you have half a kilometre to do, you want to break out the big equipment. There's a time and a place for a whipper-snipper, but it's not here. We've got lots of phragmite (Phragmites australis) growing, a highly invasive plant introduced at the turn of the century. It's propagated by seeds and rhizomes and is almost impossible to eradicate. Apparently, burning works just fine, but we'll hold off on that thought. For now, it's the Bush Hog or bust.
Bob decided he wanted to tag along during our walk. At some point, he sits down and waits patiently for our return. He's no fool, this boy. We were about a 1/2 kilometre from the house when he decided he'd had enough. Buh-bye Bob, see you on the way back:
Under one of the older pines in the hedgerow, we found four LARGE piles of pine cones.
Each one of them purposefully broken off:
Pardon my fingers. I took advantage of walking to the field to empty the ash bucket, ergo my hands look a bit...gnarly. I guess a squirrel must be stock-piling the pine cones for winter. I'll have to check back and see if the piles grow or diminish. It seems weird that they'd just leave them here. Some research attributes this to the hard-working American red squirrel who I have seen in the hedgerow. Our common gray squirrel is not so common here - generally, when I see a squirrel, it's a red squirrel, at least on our property.
I had hoped to make it all the way to the construction of highway 30. I wanted to see if there were any trees cut down or other damage at the end of our property, (because there shouldn't be), but I wanted to make sure.
I know, I know, the look of elegance. Rubber boots and polar fleece fighting for top billing.
The walk back to the house was like seeing a mirage in the desert - when oh when would I make it back? Damn the long-lot property division system. Everything's so near - yet so far.
Just remind me not to make this trek in rubber boots again, will you?