Archive for the ‘Green Acres’ Category

A tree fell in the woods

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

No one was around, but I heard it.

Sounded kind of like firewood too.? Gotta check that out this weekend.

After Work

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

image

Was a pretty good evening. Came home in time to run a few rounds through the AR, and then get some line wet.? I pulled this 2 pounder out of the pond with a grass frog at about 7:30. I really like living down here. Yeah, this is pretty much my normal routine when time and daylight permits.

Home

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I’m finally back.  It’s been seven months since my crapper crapped out, and now it’s finally fixed.  Seven months of sleep dep, sirens, a constant hum, and a high density of people in general were really starting to wear me down.  I can’t say enough for my Mom for letting me stay with her, she’s super.  But I’m really happy to get back to my happy place.  I still have a bunch of work to do down here, especially with finally getting everything in its place.  Now I have to get some rodent control.

Boots on the ground.

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Today was absolutely beautiful.  Not too hot, not too cold, no bugs or snakes.  Kinsee loves to go for walks, but in town they get real boring, with the same old sidewalks.  Out in the stick it’s completely different.  We logged roughly two miles up in virgin old growth forest.  To tell the truth, I saw things (and parts of the property) that I had never seen before. 

There’s one ridge that is covered in Karst topography (sinkholes), with a couple that would swallow a basketball court.  And tons of dolomite outcrops that I really want to run my Axial crawler on.  We hiked that ridge all the way to one of the property lines, then headed back on the road from the gate.  Kinsee was stoked all the way, but I could tell she was getting hot and tired.  When we got to the creek, she just laid down in it and got cooled off enough to make it back tot he house.

After that, I cut and split some firewood and rode over to the neighbors’ to chat a while and see if hunting season was still in (which it isn’t for the most part). 

Kinsee then decided that another walk was in order, so we walked the loop.  Up to the cabin, barn, through the wood trail, to the old house and back to the main house.  That was the second mile.  I know she’s wrecked, she’s down stairs now nodding off.  She should be good for the rest of the week.

Finding new ground won’t be hard, but what will be is the terrain.  Most of the farm is on the side of a mountain.  I guess it’ll be short jaunts till she (and I) get used to climbing mountains to get new ground to put boots on.

Fun with the Archos and the buggy.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

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Moar Upgradez

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

I hate to use the word “toys”, since some of the new stuff is not 100% safe.  I’ll start out with the safer stuff.

The one on the right is what I started out with.  A stock Gravely solid 16×4.5 8.  I decided to get a set of turf rubber, and wanted to try something a little larger than stock.  It took some finagling, but I finally got the new 18×8.5s mounted on the 4.5×8 rims.  See that Dewalt sawsall in the background?  I had to use that, a hatchet and a hammer just to get the old tires off the rims first.  Not too much cussing went on, but it wasn’t easy either.  They give the C a little more height, a little higher top speed, and don’t chew up my turf like the AGs.  However, with the higher center of gravity and narrower track (compared to the duals), I think I’ll stay off the back side of the dam when these shoes are on.  That’s not to say that slopes are out the question, I did use the next thing on some slightly less slope than the dam.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks.  That’s an OEM setup, not a hack.  Gravely made a chainsaw and 18″ circular saw for these things.  I now have two.  I did see a couple chainsaws on ebay, but I’m not sure I really want one just yet.  However, the circular saw is pretty handy for clearing brush and flushing up stumps (up to about 5 or 6 inch diameter).  I was a little worried at first about using this setup, but it’s not too bad.  You have to feed the saw into the work from the side, not strait in.  It’s a grunt, but it gets the job done.  I have it configured in chop mode in the pic, though I have not tried it out like that in the wild.  For brush clearing you set it up so the saw is parrallel to the alxes.  Never, ever, leave the PTO engaged when you’re not on the handelbars.  Period.  This will, without a doubt, cut a leg or two off and not even blink.  I’d have to say, this is probably the scarriest tool I currently have for the C.

So you say you got a rake?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Well, I bet it’s not as badass as mine.

So, remember when I ran out of gas after dark and decided to bush hog that scarry stretch of driveway?  Well, being as I’m on the east side of a freakin mountain, the sun sets a tad earlier than normal, so I added some halogen lights to the C.  They do a pretty good job of lighting things up.  The L’s and C’s used a magneto and not an alternator, so I mounted the battery tray (though I have yet to upgrade to electric starter) and did up a custom wiring harness and switch mount.  The mount is (try not to laugh) an old TV ariel clamp that held the antenna to the mounting pole.  I had to modify it a bit, and still need to paint it, but it fits right in on the left handlebar.  The mounts for the lights are flat bar welded to the tank straps from the parts tractor, sandblasted and painted AC orange.  For the most part they look almost stock.  Purists will probably bitch, but this isn’t their equipment, so fuck ’em.

The yard rake is something I drew up and fabricated this weekend.  I hate raking, and using the loader to clean up the bush hog leftovers kind of tears up the ground.  I got the idea from an ebay auction.  Some guy took the mount from the snow plow (essentially removed the bade from the swiveling mount) and bolted it to a commercial compact tractor rake.  I looked at Northern and Tractor Supply, but off-the-shelf rakes kind of got pricey, and it was looking like I’d have to take a torch to it right away.

Dad had all kinds of steel at the house, and I did see some haying teeth at TSC (great place for fabricating stuff).  Anyway, to make this a little shorter, I decided to make the swiveling yoke (unlike the auction guy), but still use the tractor side of the plow mount.  The haying teeth ended up being just the right size for the 1 1/2″ tube I had, and the correct length (mounted like I did it) so the tractor sits level.  3″ channel and a piece of 3″ square made the rake side of the mount.  As it turns out, the whole thing ended up weighing less than the 30″ rotary deck, and without the battery up front would have been ass heavy.  I found a barbell and a set of 4.5 lb weights in my old basement, so I hacked the tube and welded the halves where you see them.  That way I can weight one side or the other and still have it heavy on the nose.

I’m sure I probably over engineered the rake, but I’d rather have it that way than have it fail in the field.  The other nice thing is the haying teeth are easily replaceable, and readily available at TSC.  The black part just below the bar is rubber, so they flex.  I tried it out raking the back of the dam, and it sure does what I wanted it to do.  I also tried it on the cleared part of the driveway and it sure makes cleanup easier.  As a side benefit, it’s probably the tool I’ll use to rake in the grass seed, as it doesn’t tear up the soil.

Till next time…

It Lives!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I finally got my Gravely Model C running again. I’m not sure of the exact year of manufacture, but it’s late 60’s to early 70’s. I have a couple of attachments, but currently I’ve been using the 30″ rotary mower and the 48″ snow blade (for maintaining my half mile driveway). This first pic is from Saturday before last clearing brush from the back side of my dam.

Model C

Next up is from yesterday. Still clearing brush, but this time along side of the driveway near my house. I decided that a tree lined tunnel was just too creepy to be walking on after dark with no flashlight (which is a story unto itself and a lesson hard learned in regards to making sure you got gas before setting out in the evening). At any rate, that section is not not so scary when it’s pitch black.

Model C

Me and my dog Kinsie. She’s slowly getting used to the tractors and actually got pretty close when the C was fired up. I hope she doesn’t get too used to it when I’m out working. Got my standard rig on, Camel back to stay hydrated, tool pouch, Tilly hat and side arm. Snakes have been pretty bad this year, I’ve had to put down five so far, one just yesterday morning. I should have my gators on, but I have no idea why I didn’t.

Me and Kinsie

And lastly, what’s for dinner? Beef, need you even ask. Grilling burgers for mom and me on Fathers Day. I still miss dad very much, but I know he’s down here with me. And no, I didn’t develop male pattern baldness. It’s just cooler down here in the boonies with no AC, and it makes finding ticks a whole lot easier.

Dinner

And a final note. It took me about two hours to upload a handful of pix and write this post, all thanks to the crappy AT&T cell card. I honestly think dial-up would smoke this thing on a speed test. I really hate technology.