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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 216304 times)
biff
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« Reply #1545 on: July 13, 2018, 10:15:07 AM »

We just have the right amount of rain, can you imagine that, ?
                        And it mostly falls during the night. The dry spell continues and our roads continue to degrade and distort. I mentioned the way that the turbine braking affects the surrounding areas and i post these pics as promised. Perhaps i should have pulled an orange line across the ground but that hose pipe will do instead. the hose was pulled perfectly straight and the bends are the actual hollows in the ground. The anchor point for the guy and safety rope opposite the winch are to the left of the pic. The anchor points set at 90% is in the rushes to the right bottom of the pic,
.  The soil/peat is barrowed down the garden from this point below,

Where Fredarica would spend hours pecking and scratching before disappearing to lay her eggs. We worried about her absence but reading up on her clan, we discovered that she sits on her eggs and only take a max of 10 minutes off duty at a time. So luckily this morning she appeared in front of me as i took a pic of the raft of the new conservatory, There was one years when the cats has over populated the place and they used to creep into the hedge on the right not far from where Fredarica has her nest. They would wait until the thrushes and blackbirds would be returning with their loads of bugs and grub.One week we had fantastic birdsong and the next we had total silence.The word went out that blackbird/thrush pie was on the menu and we were left without a bird in the place. Back then i nicknames it Death Row. Now we have a clutch of very sloppy blackbirds camping out under the cherry tree beside the shed. Angel spotted them eating the rasbers and took exception. So now we eat as many rasbers as we can before the blackbirds get at them. She does like rasbers. We will know when the bad times return when the blackbirds go quiet.

Still bold as brass and very trusting but with very little time to spend listening to me. I restocked her larder with crushed dognuts,,crumbled cheddar and popcorn.
   Getting back to the shape changing ground beside the wind turbine, It is something that has been happening for years so I have no worries about it. I used to run the turbine when it was in a reclining position and that was when the ground moved the most. The druth or dry spells exaggerate the problem. I considered taking the top of the ridge which runs in a straight line from the anchor point opposite the winch,,(Anchor point on the left) but decided to leave well enough alone and instead just fill in the hollows with tons of soil. I know the ground underneath and have run the bucket of my ex60 along the flat brown level rock, some 8ft down, which travels a good 100 yards beyond the site out into the bog . The burn that flows along the bottom of the site, has this rock as it,s base.
    I will chop up the peat sods and mix it with sand, then seed the lot for next spring.
  Our visitors have returned South after a very pleasant holiday, We are expecting a new bunch in a few weeks time. Hopefully Fredarica will have her new brood up and about. I sited her feeding table over a water trough. The one i use for mixing. It was the only one that offered any kind of security. She refuses to eat up on a proper bird table well clear of the ground and cats, so having it balanced on the water trough will make the moggies think twice and she has room to jump clear.
  I need another couple of loads of hardcore and then my concreting program will take off again.
I would like to thank all the members for refraining from indulging in political discussions. God knows but times have never been as uncertain as they are at present but happily we stick to RE and that way everyone will have a happy place to discuss things worthwhile.
                                     Biff

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biff
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« Reply #1546 on: July 15, 2018, 10:43:40 AM »

We are getting plenty of good wind here,
                                             Our Y/S is milling away steadily, The heavy downpours during the night have brought the grasses back to life but in an ugly green/brown rash. It was much cooler during the night which was very welcome. My road building, tunneling and aircraft runway program are all on hold. Even I need time to catch my breath and Diesel is quite ill. Our walks are slow and pensive but he is happy enough. Angel stole his favorite spot last week and he just stood there. She knew that he did not have the strength to push her out with his nose. I knew something was wrong when I saw that. She knows he is in trouble. She is going to miss him.
      It has been a great season for solar. Our rasbers are mostly gone and a family of blackbirds are the culprits. I will have to find a way to protect the plums. Fredarica sits on her eggs most of the day and only has a few minutes to snatch her favorite cheddar nibbles. Her breast is fluffed out with the outline of her eggs, She is all business. There is no real sign of the cats as yet apart from one long scrawny character who crossed the bottom of the yard last week. Perhaps they are waiting for the place to stock up before they move in to wipe it all out. Fredarica is quite fiesty, alert and strong but our feral cats are a ruthless/heartless bunch and I really would not miss them if they never came back.  Longmire is worth following once again. Vic and Walt could possibly ,,possibly be an item. What ever about Taylor,,Sackhoff is a class act and compulsive viewing. She is the most normal neurotic woman of modern times. I laughed my head off when she asked Walt for a raise and he gave this little slow sneaky smile. I don,t know why I watch it folks but I do. It is very different. Lots of corny stuff but it still flies.
                                    Biff
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« Reply #1547 on: July 15, 2018, 10:56:56 AM »

We could do with some rain here, I can't remember when it last rained and the ground now has 2 inch cracks in it. A downpour won't do any good as it will just go down the cracks.

The cherry tree has provided its best year to date and I managed to get them all (well nearly all) before the birds. Cheesy
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« Reply #1548 on: July 15, 2018, 11:33:48 AM »

Sad to hear of Dieselís slowing down biff.
I picked up a juvenile bird from the drive, hard up against the car tyre. I put it on the corrugated steel roof of the log lean-to for its folks to see but itís toes were wrapped tightly around a finger. It was difficult to disconnect but a burst of wing beats took it up onto the tiled roof above. Iím ashamed to not recognise it. It was sparrow-sized and itís beak was slender and curving down like a tree creeper. However itís plumage was light grey.
Stan
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 11:50:09 AM by stannn » Logged

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« Reply #1549 on: July 15, 2018, 02:37:51 PM »

Biff sad to hear that Diesel is under the weather, it is truly horrible when you witness a decline and there is nothing that you can do.

Still hot  and dry here, we have walked in the cool of the early morning. This afternoon glued to the telly watching the tour de France over the cobbles.
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biff
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« Reply #1550 on: July 15, 2018, 07:26:44 PM »

Thank you all for your kind words,
                                 We have an appointment tomorrow at the clinic but this evening he has had a mighty meal of chicken and sausages. Everything is working, waterworks, pooworks, nice bright eyes and wet nose but he is starting to stagger on the rear end and making it up the stairs is heavy work. he is also carrying a heavy does of painkillers every 6 hours. It is 8 years almost to the week that he landed here. I was unable to go and collect him sooner. Shortly afterwards i was unable to walk him or train him, There was a period of 6 months that I remember very little about, except that he slept on the floor, along side my bed. He was already house trained and fastidious clean.  By the time I could get up and walk out the front door, he was over 60 kgs and growing bigger and bigger until he was as long as the bed that i slept on. He was very polite and mannerly and extremely gentle with my wife but it was old Nat who raised him and put the manners on him when he needed it. He is one of these specials who was born to do good, despite being a harum scarum loony as a pup.
    He was very easy to train however, because of his size and weight, it was unfair to make him do all the usual things,  searching and sniffing out things were a delight to him and the normal training was effortless. Angel was everything that he dreamed off and she is going to be really sad when he goes. Dogs should die with dignity and not be allowed to suffer too much. There are those who would say, let him live for the remaining 4 to 6 weeks. I don,t think he would last that long, His heart could not stand it and he would die degraded. This is not meant to be a maudling dirge. Instead, I hope it shows a responsible attitude to caring for a good canine friend to the end. We have many happy memories of him winding up old Nat, Her patience amazes us. He had a lovely sense of humor and enjoyed a laugh. I have visitors coming from abroad who will miss him. We will all miss him.
                                             Biff
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« Reply #1551 on: July 15, 2018, 08:02:44 PM »

It is the last service and kindness that you can do for  your loved friend.
You will both be in our thoughts.
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« Reply #1552 on: July 22, 2018, 11:59:05 AM »

 Our wind turbine is busy belting out the amps,
                            The pv is doing it,s best with the dull skies. The rain started on Tuesday evening and Wednesday was a much needed washout. I began digging on Monday evening and finished at noon on Tuesday. It was bright and windy without the midge. Fredarica was busy hopping about  my feet and yet she seemed to know not to get in the way. Everything went as planned and I never at any time had to take his full weight. It mirrored his whole life. He was never any trouble. I planted a young ash on top and replaced the sods. After the rains, the grave outline is barely visible as the grass takes off trying to make up for lost time. Angel barely touches her food and as the days go by,she wanders a bit, one moment she is a hive of activity and the next she is lying in a deep exhausted sleep at my feet..I can understand it . If we had three or more dogs she could transfer her attention but with Diesel gone, her indirect means of communication are badly dented. All she needs is time and quietness. It upset her to see him suffer and he seemed to take up much of our time and our walks were shorter than she would have liked but no matter what way we play this, we always all feel guilty.
There is awful lot we don,t understand about our canine friends and their abilities. In time, Angel will step up and grow in confidence but right now she needs to feel secure and wanted. (loved). We have visitors coming in a few weeks time, so the timing is perfect. She is 5 years + and in good condition,(touchwood). She might never ever get an A+ in Maths but her heart is in the right place and she is definitely no fool.
The sun is trying to break through, Time for a visit to the shed before lunch. It is one of her favorite stops.
                           Biff
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« Reply #1553 on: July 25, 2018, 10:26:45 AM »

Sorry to hear of Dieselís passing biff; I know heís left a big gap.
This is already a summer which we will never forget. No rain, no wind, endless warmth, often hot, with shorts, tee shirt and sandals every day. One slip with the watering and Iíll have 50 tomato plants with black bottoms on the fruit. In the fruit garden everything was so promising and the black currants did yield a good crop but the other soft fruit has been poor. Even the wild blackberries generally look too small to bother with. The apple trees are still heavy with fruit but I canít be sure yet whether they will get to a decent size by fall.
All the wild plants are flowering earlier than ever this year. Although locally the insects are having an excellent year, I worry that the wild bees will run out of forage before winter arrives.
If you were born with a fur coat then the heat is not much fun. I take the 3 farm collies walking very early and very late, when itís comfortable. At 2pm we just loaf about on the grass as any running leaves them panting with tongues dripping for 10 minutes.
Looking ahead, the chimney is swept, the log burner clean and we have 2 years-worth of logs in store. Mustnít grumble eh?
Stan
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biff
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« Reply #1554 on: July 26, 2018, 05:18:44 PM »

Aye Stann/Tod,
               A big gap is the perfect description but time is a healer.Angel is starting to get serious about her food. For a week, she hardly ate anything and even when we mixed in beef and chicken,,specially cooked for her, She left half of the small amount but now she is on the way back up, apart from her long silences and going into deep sleeps on our feet.
   The weather here is both windy and wet, One moment their is a drought and the next there is heavy rain. Yet we are the lucky ones. I have more concreting planned. It is good for the soul as well as the weight..Fredarica Robin is a hard taskmaster. She has very strong tastes and will polish off a mix of crushed Dog Nuts, Mackerel and Crumbled Cedar. He chicks must have very strong breath. She is fiesty, yet secretive and makes a some great decoy moves, round the cypress before homing in on the ivy covered ash some 20 ft away. I don,t know if we will ever see the chicks but we will keep an eye out for them.
   I could possibly have her eating out of my hand but she stands a better chance of survival by staying smart and suspicious. It is quite funny to see her trying to encourage me to put the food down on her feeding table. I put one hand down on the table palm up and push the food of it with the other,,while she pecks the bare table round my hand,,hopping and dancing about furiously with impatience. The cedar is the first thing to go down the hatch. My head must be cracked if all i can think of is to be entertained by a hungry Robin.
                                               Biff
   
   
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« Reply #1555 on: July 26, 2018, 09:13:29 PM »

Hey Biff  , good that you both had a good relationship

My two cats died in the last 12 month  , Lilli and Luna   , good times we had ....

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« Reply #1556 on: July 28, 2018, 12:37:52 PM »

UK fossil generation at the moment is limited to 4.3GW of Gas - wind and solar are both at about 6 GW. How low can fossil generation go?
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« Reply #1557 on: July 31, 2018, 05:55:32 PM »

This weather is no joke,
                   Gale force winds and torrential rain.
           It,s a struggle, The cover was the only way forward.
   Even herself is finding it tough.

  She is in excellent condition but very bossy.
                                Biff
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« Reply #1558 on: August 06, 2018, 12:32:28 PM »

It is a bank holiday here,
                              I feel for those who holiday in tents, pack them up and wobble them over our mountains on their bikes to reassemble them still damp on fresh damp grass. Our grass is jumping up out of the ground to make up for lost time and while the MPVs rush back and forth with canoes,,surfboards Bicycles and caravans on board, I potter and futter on my own sandpile with my own bucket and spade. Who could ask for more. Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that you have a few ton of ballast and multiple bags of cement, sitting ready to create masterpieces that one can walk on. I have a friend and she gets up at 7am,,runs 5 mile and then goes into work for the day. I tell her that if she had a pile of ballast and some cement, she could avoid the running and make pretty footpaths all around her house and garden. She is  not impressed.
  So I finished the floor of the conservatory yesterday and popped outside this morning, in the rain, to remove the shutter and draw out the reinforcing ties,
the A142 is well worth the extra effort.

as is that daft looking cover.
The ties for the ramp. The boards to cover the ties is a must, The jagged ends can leave serious cuts.
  Angel is coming round and is slowly getting interested in her surroundings once again. It will take time.
 Fredarica, our resident Robin how has a family to look after and the amount of cheese and crushed dog nuts being supplied has increased dramatically. Rather than feed one large amount, I feed her smaller amounts maybe 4 to 5 times a day and hang about a bit until she gets enough.
  Our local MacGill Summer School is closing down this year if it cannot find another sponsor/organiser. Like Patrick MacGill himself, the schools is unique and one of the first of it,s kind. The school was founded in 1981 to honor Patrick MacGill , The Navvy Poet.,MacGill had lived several lifetimes before he was 20 years old and had an address in Windsor Castle. He fought in the great war, was wounded. In many ways he was well ahead of his time. He detested the clergy and the "Gobeen men" (Insurance sales men/shopkeepers) and made no secret of it in his writings. He seemed a very simple straight forward, blunt kind of soul and his writing were not unlike some of Jack London,s work. London,s time in the Klondyke scarred him for the rest of his life. They both wrote from experience. MacGill died  in 1963.
                       Biff
   
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« Reply #1559 on: August 19, 2018, 11:03:48 PM »

The house is quiet,
                Angel sleeps like a log. Our guests departed around noon. She is tired out with all the excitement and running around. She seemed to fall in love with my grandsons immediately and lots of stroking and feeding were the order of the day. I was pleasantly surprised by her placid behaviour and good nature. We never left her alone with them because she is so physical and if she wanted to go from A to b ,she would choose the shortest route and just push them to one side. Their welfare would depend on how much of a hurry she was in ,,so i thought, but it all went very well and she was the picture of patience and contentment. This evening her eyes were bright and her nose wet,the spring in her step was back and she barked at some stranger in the field next door, She will still have low spots but she is in a good place at the moment.
   My hardcore has been postponed for another week. Our hot water system stood up to all the showers and washing during the visitors stay, despite all the rain and low sunshine supply.
It must be a massive night in Limerick tonight. Limerick who never won the cup for 45 years, beat a very good Galway team to win the All Ireland Hurley Final and take the cup back to Limerick. Hurley is a massive sport in this part of the world. I used to marvel at the speed and grace of Kilkenny but this year, they never even got a look in.
   Fredarica has problems holding her own and I have to hang around for a few minutes while feeding her. There is quite a bit of fighting going on, so i don,t leave too much about to encourage the others to war over the spoils. I did note a couple of times, a strange robin waiting in the cypress for me to go away, If i had fed it, I would have sealed Freda fate.There is plenty of pickings for everyone and they can just go and work for it. I fed Freda in the dusk around 8,30pm tonight, it took a few minutes before she answered her call but she was hungry and stuffed her face. the red on her breast has now extended up her neck and the bottom of her head. She has a definite pattern to the red on her breast which is unmistakable and is is definitely her and not an impostor Grin, Her shape and mannerisms also define her easily. Our professor enjoyed her break. There was lots of music from the kids and I taught them Woodie Guthrie,s "This Land is Your Land",, with only 5 notes,, it is a must for any young and upcoming folks singer. Before I had sung the first verse, the oldest lad (10)had googled it and had the words in front of him but then they have dozens of videos and recordings on their blogs. I think back to when I was 7yrs old and 10 years old and I still had trouble tying my laces. The organ developed a fault, probably with not being played for years. My accordion weighed a ton,, not being played for 7 months or so.
  but it sounded ok with lots of bumnotes and laughing.,I hope they remember. Mrs Biff and I will get to sleep past 6am and we should not be woken by little feet running around the house..
 It will be September shortly and our harvest fair,,then Christmas, 2018 just flew by.
                                                   Biff
   
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