Sunday, May 19, 2019

Crab Creek memorial

Before my dad died he always said, "just scatter my ashes in Crab Creek", so that's what we did yesterday.  At least part of them.  Some are buried at the Harrington cemetery, some are now in Crab Creek, one of his favorite places to fly fish, and the rest will go to the St. Joe river one of these days. 

Yesterday was a spectacular spring day.  The pasture surrounding the creek was lush and green, the water was flowing with a kind gurgle, the sky was bright blue with large, white puffy clouds and the air temperature was moderate.  There were even fish rising at the site we chose for scattering dad's ashes, making Dale, Alicia and my brother wish they had brought along a fly rod!

Dad's best fishing friend, Dale and his wife Barb joined us.  The spot where we chose to remember dad was one of his and Dale's favorite fishing holes.  It was with tears in our eyes, that we sent dad forth.  They were good tears though.  We all miss him so much, but know that he is healed and happy, watching out for all of us, and in particular the new little one that Roni and David are going to be parents to, the end of September.   Happy Crab Creek fishing, dad.....

The pasture and channeled scab land around Crab Creek.

There's quite a bit of water running this time of the year.

Roni Jo and Grandma looking for a good place to access the creek for distributing dad's ashes.

Reynald, Grandma Jo, David, Roni and baby, me, Alicia and my brother Ted.

David, Grandma Jo, Dale and Barb, Reynald, me, Roni Jo and baby, Alicia and her dog Charlie.
Charlie and Alicia.  

After our return to Harrington, we went to the cemetery to show Barb and Dale the headstone that our friend Les LePere designed for mom and dad.  The day before, Roni Jo, David, Alicia, Grandma Jo, my brother and I spent some time cleaning up all the family plots.  We did some planting in preparation for Memorial day and the upcoming summer season.  It looked so nice when we were finished.

The flags have been put out at the edge of the cemetery.  

In the background of this flag are several of our family plots.

Les LePere did such a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of dad and mom in this stone remembrance.

Water feature

We have an area in one of our fields, that has naturally occurring springs.  If we've had a wet winter/spring, the water table rises and these springs start to bubble through.  I could sit and watch the gentle trickle and listen to the babble for hours!  At night, the frogs sing like crazy, and the Horned Lark birds join in, and a coyote or two adds a howl and a yip.

The clouds were so interesting on this day.  I love watching the changing sky.
I want to go check this area on a week or so and see if I can find some tadpoles!  The kindergarten class in Harrington tried raising tadpoles that their teacher ordered on Amazon, but it didn't work so well.  Perhaps free shipping isn't so good for a baby frog?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Chicken House tour

Speaking of Kindergarten kiddos and life cycles, they have been studying the life cycle of chickens, as they do every spring.  They incubate eggs and keep records of each step.  Their chicks are due to hatch today!  Part of their chicken unit involves touring several chicken operations in our area.  For several years they have visited our chicken house.  If you have any questions about the life cycle of a chicken, ask one of these kiddos.  They have all the answers!

Kindergarten class in our chicken house.  They make these darling t-shirts each year, using a potato as a stamp then paint on the beaks and legs.  So cute!

This morning the Kindergarten classroom was a buzz of excitement and students watched their eggs hatching new baby chicks.

This little chick is working hard to break out of its shell.

And this little fella is checking out the world from an incubator in a Kindergarten classroom!

Chicks that hatched yesterday, a little bit early from their "due date".

And speaking of chickens, I got this back from the quilter a last week and just finished the binding.  I think it turned out really cute!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Signs in Harrington

Local artist, Gavin Wagner has been busy around Harrington.  First Heather and Justin at the Post and Office got the idea to have him paint their logo on the side of their building.  It looked so cool, that Jill at the Studebaker garage asked him to do some work at her building!  Then Les LePere got the idea to have him renovate the painting above city hall!

This sign was designed and installed by Alan Barth.  Alan passed away a few years ago, but left a lasting legacy through his children, who continue his business of restoring vintage cars.  Alan is the person that brought Cruzin' Harrington to our small town and each year it brings hundreds of people to town, to experience small town hospitality.  Alan's children and numerous friends are committed to promoting and supporting business and tourism in Harrington.  

Gavin painted this sign for Jill on the side of the Studebaker garage.

This sign was painted a few years ago by a friend of Alan's.  It signifies that this building was formally known  as "The Ford Garage".  Now locals refer to this building as both "The Ford Garage" but more commonly these days as "The Studebaker Garage".  I love it that we acknowledge both the history and the new life that this building represents.  

Gavin painting, sharing his incredible talent with the town of Harrington.  

Also on the renovation list was the sign at the Electric Hotel.  Again, Les helped Karen and Jerry get hooked up with a fellow in Ritzville that re-painted the sign in historically accurate colors and a friend of Les' did the neon work.  It's so cool!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Seeding spring wheat

OK, I'm back!  Many months ago we decided that we needed to re-crop, that is,to seed spring wheat, on the acreage around our house, which was seeded to winter wheat last year.  This land has a severe cheat grass infestation that we have tried to clean up with chemicals and that isn't working.  So, back to the old fashioned method of planting a spring crop, two years in a row.  We have put this off for a few years because of the work load involved, but the time has come.

In addition to seeding the acres around our house, we had to spring seed the acreage that we did last year, to finish out that rotation.  All in all, we seeded nearly 1800 acres this spring, which has kept us very busy.  Many days all three tractors were running!

I took a few photos of some of the work that we did, but this is by no means a complete accounting of the two and a half weeks of intense work that we completed a week ago.

I don't have the stamina I used to have, but this particular day was a long one!  The moon was so pretty coming up as I was quitting for the day.

A few mornings later, and a different field.  I love it when I have this commute to work.

So, we had a bit of a mess in one field.  We should have mowed the spring wheat straw on this piece, last fall, but we didn't.  It was a good crop, lots of long straw, that refused to go through the drills as Reynald was seeding.  

Plan B......pull out the Mielke Mulcher!  This is the skewtreader that Reynald designed and built many years ago.  Skewtreaders have been around for ages.  Called a skewtreader because the gangs of spiders are set at a skew.  The difference with this one is that is folds up and moves down the road, which is a huge time saver.

And here's the designer and builder!

A skewtreader is designed to incorporate and break straw.  It's like a giant garden weasel!  We haven't used it much since we purchased our mower.  But, as mentioned above, we didn't mow this field last fall so.......

Now we are spraying our winter wheat crop, which we will finish today and then on to taking care of our summer fallow.  Hoping to be able to take a breath in three or four days!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Back in the saddle

Spring work is starting a little bit late for us this year.  This would be fine, if we weren't planning to plant a billion acres of spring wheat!  Alicia sprayed the spring wheat ground with an aid to tillage rate of roundup during the few hours of calm weather, between wind and rain events.  I started harrowing on Thursday, then it rained a little bit Friday morning, but dried out enough for me to finish one field Friday afternoon and start on another, but then it rained just enough to stop me in the late afternoon.  Such is the way of spring work, an hour or five here and there until the weather settles down.  The next few weeks will be filled with hurry up and wait and then fly like crazy when we can!

Spencer the sprayer, ready and waiting for action, with Baxter!

The shop daffodils are blooming!  
Ready to spend some time with my favorite little Colt tractor

Watching the clouds, and the harrow in the rear view mirror.

I love the pattern that the harrow makes, and with the auto guide steering, it's all so straight and neat and tidy.

More cloud watching, and if you enlarge this photo, you can see Alicia way off in the distance with her Arthur tractor, starting to cultivate!

The harrow gathers straw in the tines.  When I come to an area where the soil is light or shallow, I dump the harrow and empty the straw, in an effort to put a little extra organic matter on those spots.

This whole slope needs extra straw.  We've been dumping straw here for years.  Every little bit helps.

Storm clouds gathering.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Bike Ride

Saturday evening we were invited to dinner at our friend's Ron and Claudia.  A few other friends joined us for a grand time.  Excellent food and entertaining conversation in one of our favorite settings, their lovely home.

The afternoon was lovely so Alicia and I decided to ride our bikes to Ron and Claudia's.  It was an 18 mile trip and a perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous spring day.

The scenery at home, before we left on our ride to Ron and Claudia's.

The sage brush at the top of the Lamona hill.  Breath taking, both the hill and the scenery!

Almost to Ron and Claudia's, this unusual columnar basalt rock formation was worth stopping and taking a picture.

Ron and Claudia's place in the distance.  We were rewarded with an amazing meal, good friends and a couple glasses of wine!