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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 157444 times)
stannn
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« Reply #1005 on: May 04, 2017, 02:58:53 PM »

Another memorable epistle Biff. I had been wondering by the silence whether you had hit a problem with Sheba but you've reacted admirably to the situation. Well done.
I'm walking 4 collies now, 3 apprentices from the sheep station and my old dog Bryn. This is becoming a mammoth undertaking but I love being with dogs.
Stan
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todthedog
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« Reply #1006 on: May 04, 2017, 05:13:51 PM »

Absolutely Stann out with that camera!! Grin
It is just there Biff, Elliott follows the cat endlessly, just up until she gets fed up and bops him. He then runs away and tries to climb on our lap. All the other dogs learn from this, 30 seconds later he is back following her. On the other hand he can be fast asleep in his bed and the cat will miaow next to him  until he takes notice. Strange dynamic. We are only here as walking companions and providers of tuck.
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biff
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« Reply #1007 on: May 06, 2017, 09:49:03 AM »

The days fly by,
             Today looks like another scorcher, a strong wind blows from the south east and the sun is already working it,s magic on the pv. Yesterday , was ackward. somehow or other the power to the pump that drives the excess heat from the thermal store round the rads, was switched off by mistake and has probably been off for a while. It,s job is to stop the thermal store from boiling and yesterday as i mounted the stairs and put my hand on the newel post at the bottom, I felt the thumping as the steam struggled up the short expansion pipe to the gallon header tank. A quick gawk revealed the switch in the off position and it took a good half hours before the pump could run turbulence free. Later in the quiet of the evening I checked the thermostat dial settings and reset it higher but the rads remained warm till after we went to bed around 12ish. Everything seems ok. I can shine the light under the T/S supports and check for leaks,
 Today is much colder but the wind is still strong so i will be keeping an eye on the performance of the T/S.
Yesterday was spent hauling wood back to the store a distance of less than a mile. They were heavy loads with a few floors of junkers. It makes you wonder. People were paying a ransom for solid oak floors, some18mm thick and here is I,,storing it away to be cut up in 14" pieces to fit into the stove and burn during the winter. The same stove will hardly be lit in anger for another 5 months. It is a question of storage space, but then again, I have plenty of that.
Diesel is in love, he wants to get married and settle down and have a family, Angel says absolutely "Not" but even she knows that in another 7 days or so she will become a real strumped lassie for a few days of passion, but it is not to be. Much as I would love to raise a few of their offspring, I fear that the fallout would be more than I could handle. And yet the vet a kindly lass did suggest, ringing around for a pedigree dog to suit..We are happy with things as they are and in another 7 weeks she will go in to have the problem resolved. To leave it, is to invite all kind of future health problems, even i who railed against neutering our canine friends have to agree that there is no alternative if pups are not in the making.
Nothing breaks the bank like horses and dogs. At least with a horse, you can turn him out into a field and shut the gate but dogs require constant daily companionship or else you let them down and the deal is, you look after them and they look after you. Dogs differ so much that it is virtually impossible to see any comparison between the way dogs are reared and cared for in the UK against a country like Romania. So it must be that the care shown to our canine friends reflects society as a whole and if that is the case, then we are far back in time. Then again it should not be a surprise to learn that all the illnesses and mental problems,,good and evil that emerge in us humans also appears in out canine friends and I mean all,,,,,everything. To the people who say that there is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners. Good luck with Santa.
Diesel lies at my feet, it is time he had his breakfast. Angel is somewhat subdued and confined but more to rest her than anything else. She is just a very good little character and these heats are a shock to her system as her biological clocks taunts her into action,,,almost against her will. I have never had a dog yet that I did not learn masses from. Angel has been a real education for both Mrs Biff and myself but a lovely one at that.  Dog breakies,,coffee and. I will arise now and .....                                       Try and get this trailer finished.
                                                        Biff
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todthedog
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« Reply #1008 on: May 06, 2017, 05:32:27 PM »

Great post as ever Biff.
I am trying to build another Elliott, you would not believe the amount of hair he is shedding for his daily brush.
Someone has pushed the green button, leaves coming out, had to cut the grass! 30 km circuit down and around the local lake I just love the ebike a comfortable 20 degrees no wind a lovely potter, goslings swimming on the lake. It is an undulating ride nothing horrible I would really have struggled, being honest I would never have started without my 250w friend! As it is feeling fine.
Before feeling in any way smug MrsT and Nicky rode around with me without assistance.
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biff
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« Reply #1009 on: May 07, 2017, 08:45:38 AM »

Hi Tod,
         I guess you already know, but you get a glove for grooming dogs that really comes into it,s own when the dogs are casting hairs. It is easy to use and easy on the dog as well.
  Still perfect weather here, Everything is growing like mad. Our lawns need top be cut immediately and now there is a water shortage,,wow. what next.?
                                                                      Biff
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biff
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« Reply #1010 on: May 07, 2017, 11:41:30 PM »

It has been a beautiful day here,
                           Plenty of sun and wind, My drills and grinder were silent, Instead it was a perfect day for hauling out the little Hyundai lawnmower and cutting the rear lawn. The fruit trees have now used up over half my harvested rain water and there will be no let up till next Friday when the first rain is due to appear.
Today, our rads came on and off like clockwork, so that is a relief.
The hounds are coping well , it will be over another two weeks before we are in the clear and life can begin to return to normal.
                                                      Biff
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« Reply #1011 on: May 08, 2017, 09:13:07 AM »

These mornings are action packed,
                      Strong sunlight, the wind will get up later. Everything is tinder., yet rear lawn looks good in the dew. The hounds sport and play. He ,so armorous and gentle, fobbing off the rejections,
 It has never ever happened to him, (that I know off) that the slack around his lower jaw got gripped and twisted hard, but he seems to know and spends the briefest of briefest seconds looking into her eyes as she tell him, "How dare you, I am a lady you know,,"  "Be off you ruffian!,, you vagrant!, You uncouth beggar!" and off he lopes down the lawn to seek bashful comfort in my presence. She has put a spring in his step and he exercises more frequently. His co-ordination has improved and his footwork on the stairs has to be seen to be believed, It is a two way street and she finds great comfort in him, They are made for each other. We all just need to fast forward a month without any mishaps. As it is, They get exercised much more than normal, mostly separately but a few times together. It is time consuming but revealing and they stay happy.
  I have fruit trees to water before the sun gets too hot and evaporates it before it does an good,,  Crikkkkeeee,, this is Donegal not Puerto Rico. G/.dang. Where has all that lovely mist and rain gone,,,wait,,i don,t mean that.,  Wuff Breakies,
   I will ari......se and go now,,,
             Biff
 
   
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biff
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« Reply #1012 on: May 08, 2017, 12:17:57 PM »

  Where they sleep with a rose for each,  This morning cutting.

Yesterday,s cutting, Plenty of rushes for the newts.

  I have no idea what kind of am apple tree this one is, this is the very first time that it put on a performance like this.

, This is our Bramley,entwined with the dog rose. This is our best apple tree and produced the most sumptuous desert apples. The kid investigates the bumble bee while his true love sleeps. Our plum tree has cast all its blossoms and is laden with small fruit..but it is a long , long way to the finish line.
   
                          Biff
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supremetwo
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« Reply #1013 on: May 08, 2017, 12:37:19 PM »

The fruit trees have now used up over half my harvested rain water and there will be no let up till next Friday when the first rain is due to appear.

Thought your ground is generally boggy and therefore stores lots of water.

Are these young trees?
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biff
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« Reply #1014 on: May 08, 2017, 03:17:51 PM »

Hi Supremetwo,
                The trees are approx 9 years old. They took a long time to get going.
I had 1000+ tons of top soil trucked in and raised the level of the rear lawn by a good 6ft in place, I also raised the level of the front lawn. It was a good long term move because during prolonged heavy rain the site can shed water on 3 sides.. It is drained on 3 sides as well. The soil for the trees is a good mix of farm till and compost ,Ironically, The bog does not hold water very well if there is no source or rain, When the sun shines for more than 2 weeks without any rain, the top skin shrinks and goes rock hard and will prevent the rain from reaching the roots for at least 12 hours , meanwhile the water can drain away elsewhere without doing any good. So it pays to keep the tree root damp and well supplied.
 The most visible effect of the prolonged lack of rain but having more ample sunshine, is seen on our roads. They sink and stretch leaving 4 inch x 2 inch ribs on the brays facing the sun at noon. When the roads sinks as the bog shrinks it is immediately noticeable after 3 weeks, Long stretches of road just sink evenly. When enough rains fall afterwards, the bog expands but the road does not come back up to where it was originally It is a kind of hit and miss. The rain is not a problem. the drains and the rivers can handle it but too much dry weather causes all kinds of serious financial trouble on our roads.
                                                               Biff


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biff
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« Reply #1015 on: May 11, 2017, 08:50:11 AM »

  I saw the first clouds yesterday evening,
                                        It never as much as spit but it felt like rain. Wow Betide the farmer who was praying for rain last week. Even our grass is turning brown. Our fruit trees are thriving and if they have a fraction of the fruit that they promise, I will be exporting to Kent. Shocked. Parts of our rear lawn have sunk but it was a bit like that anyhow but now it is much mire visible. I sometimes ponder the dynamics that would cause such prolonged  shape changing to happen. The only thing that could possible do it is the reclining wind turbine and tower, going full whack during a storm and the resonance and vibrations pulling the solids under neath, to form a ridge between the anchor for the guys opposite the winch and the base of the tower..But the ridge is there and much more prominent than ever it was.
  I will take a pic today and post it later,.
The hounds are far from happy, She spends her day mostly confined in a secure pad with regular walks every few hours, She needs those walks and gentle exercises to keep everything working properly and he sleeps and waits.They are at the stage now where they want you to think that everything is fine and that I can leave them alone together but finding them locked would cause all kinds of problems. That we do not need.
 It was great to get to cut the grass on the lawns and the driveways. It was so dry that mower flew through it. We don,t bother with any kind of weed killer. I leave patches of nettles for the corncrake but have not scored one yet. I am told that they will visit. We have a bonkers cuckoo that leaves no gap between it,s calls and Mrs Biff would love to be able to shoot it hysteria,, as for me,,I would hardly hear it , if it roosted on my shoulder. An Irish family called Donnelly has gone into the Guinness Book of Records last Sunday as the oldest family in the world. They had a lot to do with apples.
  Our PV heats the house now and it has been a while since the little stove was fired up in anger. Our thermal store is now performing as it should with no serious after effects.The evenings are still very cold but the house remains warm. There is bound to be quite a serious savings in fuel and labor.
   Wuff wuff  breakies , coffee and a visit to the shed,,I am in the middle of wiring the new trailer, It is a good job that i am not in a hurry. I would sack myself.
                                                                                      Biff
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« Reply #1016 on: May 11, 2017, 03:00:42 PM »

The rolling lawn..The ridge is clearly visible between the tower base and the anchor point on the far right. This was filled with good clean rubble, and two feet of topsoil all on top of approx 5ft of peat with a hard level brown  rock under neath the lot, The rock would hold the water and the peat would be susceptible to expansion/ contraction and hydraulic dynamices                                                                                                                                                    Wots zu looking at,, Eh ?

  Ahhhhhhhh the good life,, Romance in the air,

   Watch it, sir, I am not that kind of a Lady,,,
                                                 Biff
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« Reply #1017 on: May 11, 2017, 04:57:54 PM »

Lovely pictures Biff
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« Reply #1018 on: May 13, 2017, 08:39:46 AM »

Then the rain came down for real,
                             The dust has settled, The leaves glisten in the weak morning light, fallen apple blossoms litter the grass, rain is heavy stuff and spent blossoms cannot compete. The fruit probably help push the petals away to welcome the raindrops, H,mmmm. The potholes are overflowing and not before time. Some crittur lit a gorse fire yesterday and smoke reduced visibility to some 50yards or less.
Reports are coming in that the fire brigades from all over Donegal have stopped trying to put out fires in Inishowen because no sooner have they sorted one fire and another few springs up nearby and fire crews have exhausted themselves trying to keep up with the problem, so they announced yesterday morning that they were no longer tendering to fires in Inishowen, they would have to depend on their local tenders. No one has ever been charged with lighting a gorse fire in Inishowen.
The cyber world wide cyber attacks seem like something out of a HG Wells novel, Almost 100 countries have been affected. Sadly it will cost lives.
The misty muggy weather dampens the hound,s spirit but they struggle on. They have a lot on their minds but they are coping well.
My trailer project inches forward, I have learned quite a bit from it. I have learned not to try another one.
                                       Biff
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« Reply #1019 on: May 13, 2017, 10:05:00 AM »

No sign of it here yet Biff, apart from 1mm overnight on Thursday the ground is still cracked and the bracken stunted. Not had any wind for days or much solar either https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IHIGHLAN44#history/s20170413/e20170513/mmonth . Cement mixer been running for an hour and still a couple of ton to mix, methinks the Lister will be running before the day is out. One of the best things I did was switch from petrol mixers and compressors to electric motors, so much quieter  extrahappy We've got plenty of water in the well so quite happy for the rain to stay away a little while longer  Grin
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