Typical Day In My Back Yard

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by usedto, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    This one has had the "L" beat out of it...........:D
     
  2. Guest114

    Guest114 Active Member

    Messages:
    304
    Makes sense, since it fail'ed.
    Good comeback. :thmbsp:
     
  3. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Just like the old story about whether or not they're "ammunds" or "all-munds".

    They're "all-munds" on the tree, and "ammunds" on the ground after they get the "L" knocked out of 'em.
     
  4. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    I spotted this in one of the rows a month ago or so but didn't have my camera, then couldn't remember where it was (all the rows look the same to me:D) They're irrigating, so I had to go the the nearest dry row for my walk, and spotted it again.

    [​IMG]



    I can't swear to it, but I would bet these are moisture sensors, and the pins sticking out of the top are antennae to transmit info. I'll have to ask the owner or foreman to be sure.

    Another occupational hazard of being a farmer. This is a shot from about 1/4 mile North of my warehouse (the light colored building on the left ahead). You see the tire tracks that veer off to the right:

    [​IMG]

    The roadway between the orchard and the silage corn field on the right goes about 3/4 mile behind where I'm standing and ends on a fairly busy road with a small market right there. Some of the low-lives that live in the projects nearby frequently use this roadway to get to the market instead of going around on the street. They also have a tendency to be intentionally destructive. I don't know if maybe someone fell asleep and hit the tree, or did it on purpose. More than likely the latter.

    [​IMG]

    It may have done a little damage to a small car. Who knows. Anyway, it's another thing that will have to be attended to this fall. The grower also planted an orchard across the street the previous year. He came out one morning, and someone had dug up 14 of the trees and stole them.

    Always something.
     
  5. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    This morning I had to walk a different route due to irrigation, and spotted what appeared to be another downed tree in the field. I walked over to take a look, thinking maybe the mower had hit it, since it was in the middle of a row. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Wish I had my camera.

    The tree was technically still standing, but someone had intentionally broken all of the branches off at the trunk. They were still attached, but beyond saving. And there is no piece of equipment I know of that could have done it. My bet is vandalism - a frequent occurrence around here.
     
  6. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Sundown over the orchard. Those three lights you see under the sun are the stadium lights at the high school. Friday night football, you know.:thmbsp:


    [​IMG]
     
  7. SolderIron

    SolderIron Super Member

    Messages:
    2,426
    Location:
    California
    +1 on following development with interest.
     
  8. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Mowing the weeds again - less than 30 days since the last time. Takes about 4 day to cover the whole field.

    [​IMG]


    Another by-product of this type of farming: a combination of a nice fall wind and the mower running the resident rodents out from under cover of the weeds, and these come out:


    [​IMG]


    There were about 10 of them that started circling, catching the wind and any thermals to reach altitude. About 10 minutes after the photo, they were all following the tractor and making an occasional dive. Dinner time!:thmbsp:
     
  9. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    As with everything, there's a downside - nothing major, though. I was raised on the farm, and in the early 60s we planted almonds around our house, so living in an orchard is nothing new. Here in Tracy, though, it has always been open spaces since 1986 when we moved here.

    I'm a nosey sort by nature, and being able to see what's going on in the area was always nice. To the North I could see Grantline road and I-205, watching the commuters day in and day out. South, I could see the ACE trains hauling commuters to the bay area twice every morning, and home again at night. A little further, one can see 580 running along the base of the mountains and the trucks on their journey from the bay to LA. East - I-5, where it merges with 205. And to the West, the city of Tracy, Best Buy Warehouse, Amamzon's new distribution center, the Altamont, Mount Diablo, etc. You can even see the headlights of cars coming down the hill at night, about 10 miles away.

    Now that the trees are here the views are diminishing. I miss seeing all the activity, but wil enjoy the quiet - for awhile. This place is now officially for sale, and when someone comes along with enough money, we'll be moving on. I want a place on a hill............................
     
  10. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,167
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Very nice thread, interesting, and well documented.

    Best of luck selling your home. I'm trying to sell mine as well, tho it isn't official just yet. Want to get back to the countryside, like where I was raised.
    Wife gets all pissy with me for wanting to urinate outside. The nerve of her! (I live dead in the middle of a small and busy neighborhood).
     
  11. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Since my last post they've sprayed again. The centers are looking pretty good.

    A little horticulture today.

    I mentioned removing suckers in a previous post. Those are shoots and branches that grow from below the graft. They are basically an attempt for a plant to clone itself. Unfortunately, they can starve the original plant and take over. This appears to be a sucker, though I didn't remove the sleeve to check for sure. See how straight it grows, and the darker color? This fall and winter when they prune the trees, the sleeves will be removed, and the suckers cut off.

    [​IMG]


    Here's another little weed factoid. Most of you have heard of milkweed before. Here's a plant growing in the field. It's about 10-12" diameter, and about 12" tall.

    [​IMG]


    Now, here's why they call it milkweed:

    [​IMG]

    In the time it took to snap the stalk, then take the photo, it had oozed this much "milk". It's actually latex - very sticky, and very bitter tasting. At one time attempts were made to commercially grow milkweed and harvest the latex, but it proved unprofitable.
     
  12. GuyK

    GuyK Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,779
    Location:
    Shoreline, Wa
  13. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    There's tons of varieties of milkweed. Maybe that's not what this is, but that's what we've called it for my 6o someodd years.
     
  14. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Interesting development. Here's a current Google map aerial view of the orchard. This is the south end of the field:

    [​IMG]

    The street at the bottom of the photo is 11th St. - formerly part of US 50 - the Lincoln Highway. Also note the high voltage towers along the bottom edge of the field.

    As is with most older highways, this used to be lined with oleanders. Most had died, but a few still dotted the edge. There were also oddball trees growing under and around the towers with the oleanders. While prepping the field for planting, the grower removed all of the plants.

    A few weeks ago, I decided to walk along the south edge on my morning walk, and noticed a bunch of the new trees had a light blue paint on the trunks, and some had blue streamers tied in the branches. I found out yesterday what they're for.

    It seems the local power company (I won't mention their mane, but they're on the Pacific coast and supply Gas and Electricity) has decided that the trees along the edge are going to interfere with their transmission wires.

    Yes, I realize they have an easement for the lines, and there are probably stipulations about use under the lines, but it's odd that they never seemed to care about the trees that were THEIR responsibility, yet have issues with these.

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. They have a lot of trees marked.
     
  15. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    The neighbors up front have a huge mound of dirt stuck back in the corner of the property, and it had become overrun with ground squirrels. Here's a photo of some of their work that they've started in the orchard:

    [​IMG]

    They wreak havoc with their holes, they eat tree roots, and nuts when they're ripe.

    Yesterday afternoon, I looked out the window and spotted a squirrel sitting there like he owned the field, so I grabbed my 20ga., snuck up between our Italian Cypress trees, and fed him a serving of #4 steel shot. I saw him fall over, then noticed another sitting in the next row over just staring. I moved over a few trees and fed him the dessert. I couldn't see him, so I walked out into the field. The first one was there, but not the other. I knew I shouldn't have missed, so I walked closer to the hole. About 2 inches down was the tip of his tail. I guess he tried to retreat, to no avail.

    About an hour ago, I looked out again and saw this:


    [​IMG]

    My pet turkey vultures. Usually when I go out with the shotgun, they come out of nowhere, land on something nearby, and wait. Not this time. Better late than never, I guess.
     
  16. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Growing season is almost over, if not already. One last shot of liquid fertilizer (UN32), and a quick irrigation after.

    [​IMG][/URL]

    When the trees were planted, they all had tags on them showing their size. All of these trees were either 3/8" or 1/2" diameter. I walked out behind the warehouse and took this, with my calipers showing the diameter. Just over 2.2" now. I picked a fat one for the photo, but there are some even bigger, as well as smaller.

    [​IMG]

    Rain expected this weekend. Cooler weather will start the leaves falling.
     
  17. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    A sad (and expensive) lesson/reminder.

    I mentioned a few post back about how the local power company had marked trees along the street where the power lines were. A few weeks ago, the foreman stopped in my office and confirmed that the trees were tagged for removal. It then occurred to me that there is ANOTHER set of power lines running at a diagonal through the North end of the field. While on my walk yesterday, I noticed something out in the field, so this morning I took the camera to confirm.

    Note the base of the owl box, just to the left - how it seems bare.


    [​IMG]


    I walked out there to find this - to the East:


    [​IMG]


    And to the West:


    [​IMG]

    Pretty sad. The power company decided that the trees might interfere with the sagging power lines, and made them remove them - some 200 trees, if the foreman was correct. All that work reduced to this, not to mention the loss of income:


    [​IMG]



    I have very mixed emotions about this. Almond trees are no longer the 30 and 40 foot tall trees they used to be. The new varieties are more like large bushes. I hardly think they'd interfere with the power lines. That being said, the power companies secured easements years ago for the transmission lines, and the rules about what you can and can't do under the wires is explicitly spelled out in most (not all).

    Moral of the story:

    99.9999% of all developed property - city or country - has easements on it, and they are all a part of your deed/title. They may be above ground, underground, or all-encompassing. Before you do ANY major building, upgrading, or major expense regarding your property, be it in town or otherwise, READ THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF YOUR PROPERTY, INCLUDING EASEMENTS. If you don't understand them or how to read the location description, get a licensed surveyor or land attorney to do it for you. Dozens of people in a nearby town were forced to remove their swimming pools a few years back because they didn't know there were restrictions as to how close to a riverbank they could be.

    Better safe than sorry!!
     
  18. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Took a different route on my walk this morning to see about the trees under the power lines along the road. Here's facing East:

    [​IMG]


    And facing West:


    [​IMG]


    Chopped off at the ground, just like the ones under the other lines. I did a little reading on the subject yesterday, and it appears just the trees under the lowest point of the sagging wires are removed. They have specs that show the clearance required. I also found an article where the power company, some years back, was offering incentives for farmers to remove the trees. There may have been some prescriptive rights issues if they didn't require removal in the beginning. Our I followed the lines on Google Maps, and there are dozens of orchards with trees under the wires that are still intact.

    I talked to a customer yesterday who has coffee during the week with a higher-up with the power company. He's going to find out why all of a sudden they're making an issue out of this.
     
  19. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Time to prune! Close to 4" of rain, then a week or so of freezing weather put the trees into dormancy. Time to start shaping them. First - remove the paper covers that were put on when they were planted. I said before they kept critters from gnawing on the new trees. They also served another purposr - keeping the strip spray materials off the trunks. Although older trees are not bothered by the chemicals, the younger ones can be.

    Two people went ahead of the pruning crew, removed the papers, and piled then at the end of the rows.

    [​IMG]


    There were about a dozen pruners, so they went through the field pretty fast. In years past, first year or two prunings were pretty heavy, trying to shape the trees early. Newer varieties and growing methods have changed that. Now. remove clutter from the centers, get rid of the suckers, and move on to the next. I too photos of two trees, both before and after, so you can see what they did.

    Tree one before:


    [​IMG]


    After:


    [​IMG]


    Tree two before: (see the sucker coming up from inside the paper?)

    [​IMG]


    And after:


    [​IMG]

    Note the sucker is gone, and one main center branch removed right at the crown.

    Here's the prunings, stacked every 4 rows. Not sure how they'll be handled. In years past, they were bucked into a large pile and burned somewhere in the field. Those who endeavor to save the world from itself have put the kabosh on most of that now. They may run a shredder down the rows. We'll see in a few days.


    [​IMG]

    Since it's been foggy, a couple guys came through and burned the piles of paper covers, so they aren't an issue any more.

    There might be a dormant spray coming pretty soon, I don't know for sure.

    One last photo to show for now. Wifey wanted to try making a wreath out of some of the limbs, so we went out and collected enough for the project. I cut the tip of this branch off and took a photo for you to see. Note how puffy all of the buds are. The blossoms should start popping mid-February, and the orchard will take on a nice white blanket long enough for pollination to take place.

    [​IMG]

    Until next time................
     
  20. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,849
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Ran into the grower this morning while on my morning walk. They'll be bring in a shredder to chop up the brush. I'll try to get photos.
     

Share This Page