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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 318616 times)
stannn
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« Reply #1530 on: June 16, 2018, 01:20:37 PM »

Hi Tinbum,
           We had years of no fruit. Nice trees but very little fruit. I read up on it and got advise.I was told that the trees needed potash..I researched "Potash" and discovered that the ashes from the ash logs makes excellent potash, so all winter I spread the contents of our ash pan around the bases of all our fruit trees and that was when we really got.bumper crops.
 It might be that simple.?
               Biff
I must try that this winter biff. At present all the ash goes on the blackcurrants and goosegobs.
Stan
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« Reply #1531 on: June 16, 2018, 01:38:17 PM »

Tinbum/Stan,
     It is worth a Pot, surrender
                    Biff
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Tinbum
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« Reply #1532 on: June 16, 2018, 02:39:13 PM »

Oh yes without a doubt.
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« Reply #1533 on: June 27, 2018, 11:22:17 PM »

And now there is talk of a water shortage,
With long hot days of drying breezes. The midges have gone on hols and between the warm breezes and the Jungle spray, they must be suffering some kind of blood famine. We have had some bats visits us lately, not every night but for some reason they seem to visit over weekends which makes me think that perhaps they normally hang out near some one,s holiday home, Maybe,, sadly our own bats seem to have left us. My grandsons will be disappointed.
   My concreting project has ground to a halt, I was due another load of hardcore but I put it off because everything is turning to dust and the binder that normally holds it all together and also makes it easy to spread and level, blows away in the wind, All my sand and ballast mix are in one ton bags to prevent being scattered by drying wind. The farmers are doing well with the hay and it should be bumper crops this year.
Mrs Biff and I went on extended drives this morning.  I had disconnected 2kw of PV which heats the thermal store last night. There was no point in heating the place when we are trying to stay cool Grin..
We see and hear the reports of the terrible gorse fires on Saddleworth Moor. We have similar experiences in the past but nothing of the scale of Saddleworth Moor. Those very same breezes make the fire so much more dangerous and unpredictable. Lets hope it rains very soon. There is wind due before Saturday on our charts, blowing down from the North west and hopefully it will bring rain and perhaps a thunderstorm and downpours. Bog fires can burn for months in certain conditions. They are the most dangerous fires of all, especially if they are allowed to take hold of the peat and burn underground, then it becomes a real nightmare for the fire services, that is why they risk life and limb to extinguish the flames as soon as possible before it takes hold of the actual peat itself.
   The Russians have had some fearsome bog fires that burned out of control for months on end ,with serious loss of life and the destruction of thousands of homes. Those fires that have burned some 750,000 acres burn deep underground and are too dangerous to go near. They have swallowed up entire fire crews and vehicles, Once the peat reaches a certain temperature, it evaporates the water and turns to gas. It does not seem to need air to burn,. Large tracts of bogland next to Moscow which were drained in the 1960s had to have water reintroduced to prevent further bog fires.
   So pray for rain folks.  I sally forth out into the gloaming, hopefully our bats will show. The hounds are not keen on the hot weather but the night time saunters please them to no end.
          Good night to one and all.
                             Biff
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todthedog
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« Reply #1534 on: June 28, 2018, 06:25:20 AM »

We are walking at the crack of sparrow. The beach is glorious early. Elliott and I took 2 hours to do our normal walk, all the mature dog walkers were out resulting in much chasing and chatting. Home and hid in the house and read too warm for me.
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biff
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« Reply #1535 on: June 30, 2018, 10:25:46 AM »

It is hot here,
                We have quite strong winds buffetting about the place,stirring up the grass and dandylion seeds, filling the early morning air with a strong heady brew that must be hell for the hayfever sufferers.
 Our birds are back but no swallows and sadly no bats. I know that there are bats nearby to within 400yds of our place but I gather by now that these bats must be territorial and stick to the same routes each night. We have two robins who do not look too healthy.One is extremely tame and follows me around, pecking at my feet. I am guessing that it is a young one and the red patch on it,s chest is barely visible.
At the moment,it is safe enough because the cats are giving the place a wide berth for reasons that I don,t know, So we have two robins that could possibly see the season out and raise their families in peace.
  Fifteen years ago, I counted seven robins on this site, They were all bold as brass and hung around the mobile home that I used on the site. Then news came in of a terrible disease in the UK that was affecting robins and I noticed that ours were getting very fat looking but that was because their feathers were losing their waterproofing ability and the little birds health plunged into decline. Within a very short time they were all dead and gone and the site did not see a robin for another two years. We have a good selection of song birds back and the dawn chorus is enjoyable.The Pies tried to establish a presence here again and even started nest building but that came to a stop about a week ago. The thrush and blackbirds are now once again dodging back and forth between the fruit trees and the hedges. They clear up the snails and bugs. Their future is not guaranteed and despite all my enquiries, I still don,t know what is wiping out the cats and the other birds.We have two hawks that visit regular, one I am guessing is a harrier who does not seem to have any fear of me and has buzzed me a couple of times close to the lower side of our white container. That was a surprise
  My concreting operations have fizzled out to a full stop and my hardcore will not arrive for another week. I have plenty to take care off meantime. We are trying to restrict of visits to town to a minimum. The roads are awash with hot tar. The local joke is that at last the pot holes are getting filled in, There is a strong background noise from noon to dusk. The reckless drivers flog their vehicles through the sloppy tar and the chippings spray the underside of their vehicles, creating this quite audible sound over the parish, not unlike the sound that the grit makes under the vehicles travelling through the snow but this is much louder.
Yesterday was 32 degrees and today is supposed to be the same. I will wait till after noon and sally forth to the shed. At the moment is it too hot in their . The rising sun heats the rolller door and leaves it like a giant radiator which would actually burn you to touch. Once the sun passes overhead, I can start a fan and rootle and futter in comfort..
Angel is on half rations. Diese has taken to slumping down in the damp earth under the fruit trees.
He had become a mystic in his old age. He enjoys his walks in the gloaming,  The countless times that I switch off my headlight and slip away quietly into the darkness so that they come looking for me, My eyes become accustomed to the darkness and I wait till the dark shapes glide towards me. Even with my back to a wall of the house, He is standing beside me looking out for Angel,s approach almost as if he was there first. Creepy is not the word,! but then,, sure he is a mind reader. He has a way of brushing the fingers of my left hand with his forehead, to let me know he is there and it happens when he is not there and I will rise and look for him in the hall to scratch his ear as he sleeps. He has trained us well.
It is splitting rocks out there with no respite forecast. There is a hose pipe ban in the North and we will probably have one here as well.
 The hounds are fast asleep, Their heartbeats slowly tumbling over, an excellent way to cope.
They need copious amounts of good clean drinking water this weather and extra grooming to remove as much hair as possible. Dogs get sunburn just like us humans and it can kill them. Certain folks put sunblock on their dog,s testicles but somehow I would prefer to keep the dogs in a shaded building completely out of the sun, while it is at it,s zenith.
     Biff
   
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stannn
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« Reply #1536 on: June 30, 2018, 12:21:35 PM »

Ive only just noticed that you have drifted over 200 000 hits biff. Not bad for small forum. Mums and dads must be reading your adventures as bedtime stories. ralph
Stan
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« Reply #1537 on: June 30, 2018, 01:25:27 PM »

Some may remember the 1976 summer when it was also a bit hot. I rode my 350 to Pwllheli to visit my folks on their hols in a caravan. The top-dressed road-surfaces were flowing like A'a lava on the gentlest of slopes. The 'reckless' cars soon found themselves slithering around as if on thick oil. (which the tar is).
Having had a few near misses on the bike, the slightly more mature and wary part of me came to the surface and I slowed down. Despite my best efforts, all of my beautiful silver paint was soon covered in black cobwebs that took a lot of white spirit to remove. (the bits that I couldn't get off helped to prevent rust). I drank gallons and p'ed pints in my efforts to stay hydrated. I think this year will be comparable, but me older, wiser and more decrepit.
Drink plenty!!
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« Reply #1538 on: July 01, 2018, 01:46:21 PM »

Aye Stann,
             Many years ago, in another life, I was in big demand for bedtime stories. I had the books and the pics but try as i could, i could never stick to the script. I was extremely lucky. None of my kids were like me. All I had to do was read them a story,,any story and they would drift off to sleep, happily.
   So Yes, I confess, I do prattle on quite a bit.
 This is the founds of the new conservatory
The ideas that I come up with sometimes,,Barrels are for liquid, ? Nay, Barrels make good piling gear.
Little Fred, joined me las week when I was scutching the sod that has grown over the base, I pulled the grass sods and Fred/Frederica pulled a load of worms, He /She is far too tame for her own good. Too trusting. I doubt if He/She will last a week, this is one tough teat of a place for a little bird like that.
There is nothing anyone can do.

Sunday morning wizardry, While the rest of the good folks of the parish are on bended knee, praying for redemption, yours truly is swinging that lump hammer at an impossible angle to cure the ding,
Did it work, ?  YUP.! but it is never metal on metal.
                                            Biff
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:54:31 PM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1539 on: July 02, 2018, 11:01:42 PM »

Another record breaking day for pv.
                    We even had a decent breeze from the east that drove the immersions in the early morning before the sun got going. These morning our array is slow to get up and running before 10am, The sun has reached the peak of it,s arc and does not quite land square on the array until after 10am. a few years back, I installed a further string of 660watt facing due North and it catches the last of the sun,s dying rays this time of year. The whole system is set to perform best in winter. As it is, We still have to leave the windows open to cool the house,either that or disconnect a pair of strings.{2kw}.
Frederica Robin is one crafty bird. She is quite young and maybe only just having her first moult with her dull feathers and lack of red color. She was also in quite a desperate state when she landed here and it had occurred to me that she may have traveled up from Southern Spain. Anyhow, She is very keen on crushed dog nuts,, grated cheddar, breadcrumbs and porridge oats. She also has the place to herself practically . The other birds don,t come so close to the house as she does. She is also much sleeker now and mush more energetic.The other Robin who moved in up the driveway,rarely , if ever ventures down this way but there are rich pickings on the front lawn and garden walls. It is good to see her doing well and becoming much better at looking out for herself. No cats as yet but there are signs of mink 50 yards from the house and the hounds get quite excited. If she is smart, she will court the hounds and learn to share their space while they are out and about. She stuck very close to me on her first few days here and it is only now that I realise why. It was not just for the few worms and bugs. It is interesting.
      The footie will soon be over and the world will return to normal. Everyone will wonder what was wrong with their heads. But by gum I cheered Uruguay against Portugal and laughed at Ronaldo,s little Irish dancing steps, getting him absolutely nowhere. I,m bad. Then I was cheering for Russia who was defending against Spain. It was the battle of Stalingrad all over again. The Russians just would not give in and were ready to go on the attack when the penalties came up and. Then a single Russian,,a Russian goal keeper crushed the hearts of them
with the big toe of his left foot. Who on earth saves penalties with his big toe,?,,but there you are, Portugal/Spain are on the way home. Ahh Football. who needs it.?
                     Biff
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« Reply #1540 on: July 03, 2018, 02:00:38 AM »

You might be able to get the robin to perch on your hand to be fed.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/advice-blogs/wildlife-in-my-garden/january-2015/robin

We have a visiting badger again - not had one for many years and has been digging for chafer grubs.

http://sendvid.com/i4msahuw

And yesterday around 6-30pm, there was Foxy under the walnut tree.
Hope he can catch any of the squirrels that have all the walnuts before they are even close to ripe.


* P1000895-close.jpg (564.82 KB, 1385x1303 - viewed 214 times.)
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« Reply #1541 on: July 03, 2018, 11:02:32 PM »

Thank you for that Link Supremetwo,
                                 And Congratulations England, Well done. Fredarica Robin is getting bolder and bolder.She eats  by my side as I sit on the front step. I may cut back on the crumbled cheddar because it could be a bit strong for her but the crushed dog nuts go down a treat. Our grass is being burned brown and the earth is packed hard, so scratching for worms who have gone deep is not profitable and making her dependent on the little food she gets from the house.
 Our rasbers are ripening early and I picked a few handfuls today.This is te first year that the birds decided to eat the rasbers and I am not happy about that, however, I understand the problem with the lack of food,,worms etc and hopefully this little rain on the way might change their habits, if not then I will throw a net over them and try and keep them away from the plums..
  We are having fantastic weather here and even the town was pleasant.  We traveled through the Derryveights and only encountered tar slicks withing a few miles of home. The rest of the roads seemed to have different composition, One that does not seem to melt easy.
                                     Biff
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 08:20:25 AM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1542 on: July 05, 2018, 10:07:28 AM »

Rain,!!
      We actually had a good heavy downpour of rain during the night. The grass is jumping up and suddenly everything is turning bright green.
There is heavy rain in Fermanagh as I type but we are back to bright sunshine and cool breezes.
                                         Biff
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« Reply #1543 on: July 07, 2018, 11:57:30 PM »

Fredarica Robin is a little pest,
                             I only have to lift the shovel and stroke the gravel and she hops out of nowhere and lands beside my feet,,clinging to the shaft of the spade or the shovel. She has got very selective and is refusing to eat her porridge oats but she polishes off the cheese darn quick and the crushed dog nuts seem to be her steady diet. She hops about as I spread the gravel but somehow she is not that hungry, It seems to me that she is forming some kind of bond, we are friends of sorts and while she stays within a few feet of me, she is safe from predators, That is the impression that I am beginning to get. She is very trusting and hops down the holes that I dig and I have to be careful that I don,t throw something on top of her, yet i can see that she reads the situations very well and stays out of trouble mostly.
    The hounds can hear me talk to her and they stare at her trying to souse the situation. It takes time. Diesel will figure it out.
  I got another large load of hardcore today and I am looking forward to getting a good result from it.
It is a little ODD but at the moment,,as I type, the Golf is on the telly. The competition is being held in Ballyliffin golf course.. The golf course runs down to the sea, Ballyliffin Strand which is supposed to be 3 mile long. the very first job that i ever got was shoveling gravel on that beach,  We were always shoveling flat out against the tide. We would follow the fine pea gravel veins and the distance from the entrance to the beach and the places where we lifted the gravel would get longer, so that when we had 10 or 12 ton, we had to rush like hell to get clear of the beach before the tide caught us. The golf course was just starting then. I loved the freedom of the beach, I ate like a horse and when it was time to go back to college after the hols, i said no. There were rows and ructions but I stuck it out. I recon i was quite a highly qualified shovelleleler of gravel and sand. I had a little latin, A little greek, A little Algebra,but not enough to boast about. Ballyliffin deformed my arms and put torsen springs under my shoulder blades down to my hips and it happened quite quickly, perhaps 6 months.I could never dream of taking an inside job every again.
 So when I see the Ballyliffin add, Half of me is happy and the other half is sad, One of the founder members of that club was an illegitimate sob who taught in the college. He was an evil character but I was as glad to stay out of his space as he was to stay out of mine.
 So I am way out on the wrong side of pension age and I still want to shovel sand, gravel and hardcore, I was spading bog today, the choice is endless in this neck of the woods. How could you not be happy. It is midnight and I must sally forth with the hounds. I will lock the gates at the head of the drive, There seems to be a new band of devil drivers or boy racers and i don,t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by someone looking to get pulled out of the hedge on our famous drifting corner,(it used to be plastered all over utube.) I am getting more generous and hospitable as the years go by. Our visitors are having a great holiday and the grand children are in love with the place, I do hope they have many happy memories of it. The rasbers have ripened early and little hands make short work of the low hanging fruit. Good night to one and all.
                           Biff
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 12:02:35 AM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1544 on: July 08, 2018, 09:09:51 AM »

A lovely dose of early morning Biff! Grin

Just back from walking Elliott, glorious on the beach. By chance a lot of friends were walking at the same hour and the various circuits coincided. So there was a lot of chat as well.

The is a fish festival at Aberaeron today so we will go and have a drive to see it. It would be lovely to have fresh fish. We have yet to find fresh locally sourced fish.

Having shaved and oiled my legs for the tour de France in the morning a quick change into football kit for the afternoon. It was a really lazy day.

Well done to England. Never thought I would ever write that!
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