Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

We had a little yellow rescue hound for a few years who was our smartest and fastest dog.  When the pack would take out after a rabbit she would go wide and circle the blackberry patch where they always lost pursuit; more than once she got the bunny using that tactic.  

But her favorite thing to do was chase the roadrunners out of our yard.  Turns out they will fly when they feel the hot breath of death on their tailfeathers.  Closest she ever came to catching one, he rounded a corner at speed and met her face to face.  By the time he got turned around he had already given up on running away and was flapping madly for liftoff.  He made it *just* in time and I'm not sure she didn't tug his tailfeathers.  

Miss that dog.
1 day ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Back when the fishing was good on the East coast of Canada, it was common practice to bury a "junk" fish under each potato plant.



Even before you wrote this, I was already thinking about whether memories of plentiful fish make me an old man in this world.  The time we were gillnetting subsistence king salmon in enough quantity that disposal of the offal was a problem was forty-five years ago.  These days, it's my understanding that they do individual fish counts by sonar on the upper reaches of the Yukon in Eastern Alaska, so that enough escapement (into Canada) can happen to satisfy our treaty obligations.  I'm told that most years now, there are either zero fish available for local subsistence fishing or the number is so few, people are happy to get one or two fish for fresh eating.  The chum (dog) salmon typically fished in the fall for sled dog food and by people with food insecurity (they are smaller fish that get beat to hell by the first 800 miles of their spawning run, so they aren't very appealing) have until recently stayed reasonably plentiful, but the news out of Alaska in the last few weeks is that this year's run failed spectacularly.  People are organizing crowd funding for emergency dogfood air freight shipments to several rural communities, where many sled dogs are at risk of starvation.  

Sorry, didn't mean to divert the thread.  Just musing.
3 days ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:Dan Boone: Oooh, tell me how it works for you!  Especially how much it eats line. My mom vs the line is never a pretty fight. She says bad words!!



Will do!  Sadly my review will be delayed another week; when the unit arrived yesterday, it showed evidence of having been dropped on its top.  The gas tank fill was smooshed into the tank and the plastic rewind housing was dented, cracked, and pushed in sufficiently so as to not work.  Return/replacement process underway.  UPS has been extremely rough on all the larger packages they've delivered here since the pandemic began so there's no guarantee the next one won't be bashed up, either.  But I'm not going inside a store to buy one in person.

The "line" on these is considerably heavier (.155" versus .065 to .085 for the handheld units) and you just loop precut pieces around little bollard-thingies on the cutting head, no fussing with reels or spools.  But how often it needs replacing is indeed the several hundred dollar question.
5 days ago
I've tried a number of different things, and I always end up with a mix.  Clover is lovely especially if you have any disturbed areas, but it's not cheap at all, so usually just include a little bit in my mix.  Carrot is not an option here because we have too many wild carrot-family and look-alikes, some of which are toxic/poisonous (yes, including genuine hemlock).  I don't want to fall into the trap of assuming stuff is carrot that I find out in my woods.  What has worked best for me (especially if you want a little food) is good old-fashioned purple-topped turnips, which grow through the winter, take off in the spring, and although many go to seed, enough do not that I am sometimes at risk following too closely behind my brother-in-law's brush hog as it spits topped turnips (that sort of grow on the surface of the soil, not buried in it) out the back of the brush hog at a high rate of speed.  I've also had pretty good luck with mustard seeds, not a lot but a small quantity mixed in.  Mustard plants are pretty distinctive and easy to find even in the weeds.  
Pearl, due to the fact that I'm losing all my fencelines here and completely not where I want to be with trail development for personal/animal exercise, I've been looking into mechanized brush cutting options.  Of course I utterly cannot afford the multiple thousands for a heavy duty walk-behind brush cutter, and in fact it would be cheaper to buy an ancient used tractor with brushhog attachment.  (I will probably do this, but the guy I rely on to help me with tricky mechanical rehabilitations is elsewhere for the indefinite pandemic-deranged future, so it's not a this-year ambition.)  

While wistfully window-shopping online for brush cutters I can't afford, I stumbled over the "unwieldy" walk-behind string trimmers like the one in your OP.  I have one on order because I think I can wrestle it around with reasonable dispatch and it was within my budget.  

However, my reason for posting is that while shopping for my walk-behind string trimmer, I discovered that there's a sort of hybrid category between hand-held kind and the kind with two wheels and a heavy steel deck that you posted and I am buying.  It's also a bit cheaper than the heavy-steel-deck kind.  It sorta looks like a short handheld string trimmer mounted on two wheels:



https://www.amazon.com/Southland-Outdoor-Power-Equipment-SWSTM4317/dp/B06XC9GZ3B/

I don't know if that's enough lighter and easier to control to interest you, but I thought I'd post it here just in case, and anyway it might solve somebody else's problem.

I was also amused to discover this 80-year-old man who took the cutter-bar type electric hedge trimmer and mounted it parallel to the ground on a frame made with steel tubing and bicycle wheels.  He did it to solve a very specfic problem (a dangerous-to-him ivy-covered slope) but it may suggest innovative solutions to other problems:



I'm going to see how I like my heavy walk-behind string trimmer with string, before worrying about modifications, but I am very interested in some of the alternative cutting heads that people use on the handheld string trimmers.  However, I don't think I'm crazy enough to just mount a lawnmower blade on it (spinning out there without any housing around it to protect the user from flying rocks or broken blade fragments) like this kamikaze gentleman on youtube:



6 days ago
My mother's "fish barrel" (salmon offal and water left to ferment in the sun) was a legendary stink.

However, most of the heads and guts when the salmon were running got dug into trenches in the rows between raised beds, and got covered by lots and lots of decomposed sawdust.  The smell was pretty much restricted to that section of the garden, and not too dramatic.  However, digging root vegetables from those beds in September after burying the material in July was ... an adventure.  One wanted to be cautious about where to step or shovel.  
1 week ago
It's not quite the same model but you may find some useful info here: https://permies.com/t/51002/Troy-Bilt-Tomahawk-Wood-Chipper
2 weeks ago
How I water my aloes may factor in.  Basically, if they are outside, I never do.  The rains we get don't seem to be enough to cause rot, although the leaves do sometimes get quite plump and fat with surplus water.

When they are inside for the winter, I water only a few times, and generally then quite sparsely (a cup or two poured into the drip tray under the pot).  
3 weeks ago
A lot of succulents are happy to root from any bit of stem or leaf that's buried in soil.  They do it slow, but they do it.  Reasoning from that, I have repotted several aloes with too-long stems by putting them in a deeper pot and burying all the extra stem.  I haven't dug them up to see if they throw out roots from the stem, but I've never had one fail when I did that.  Life is too short for me to coddle tall, floppy aloes.
3 weeks ago
The diversity issue may even be worse in practice than the Mother Jones chart suggests.  They list 19 varieties of grocery store apples if I'm counting correctly.  I believe I have seen no more than eight of those for sale at any of the stores I've shopped in during my adult life.
3 weeks ago