Monday, June 19, 2017

Even with the weather

Well now.
Yucca blooming

Starting to feel just a bit better though I seem to have a ways to go.

One of the things that helped me feel better this last week -- or at least took my mind off feeling bad -- was ranch work.

The work I essayed falls under the headings "fence" and "be nice to do."

Fence work is self evidently a necessity. Cattle are grazing animals, and left to their own devices will go wherever the grass takes them. They have no intellectual understanding of property or home, and care not a bit whether they graze upon prairie grass or neighbor's wheat. They are also valuable property; magical beasts that turn sunshine into more magical beasts which can then be traded for stuff like money.

So it behooves the rancher to maintain the fence. Cattle stay put that way.

As far as the "be nice to do" heading, I did a poor job installing corner posts when I did a major fence renovation project about 15 years ago. Those corners have been sagging for some time. They still do the job but not as well as they should, and they look pretty bad. Replacing them has been on the list for quite a while and, now that I've returned from vacation, that chore has reached the top of the list.

It's really not that big of a deal, but it does take a good deal of preparation and logistical coordination.

Shifting and preparing the former power line poles was the first basic task, and that involved a certain amount of physical effort. That effort was good exercise, and also made me feel better in my illness. Whether the feeling better was all in my mind or of actual benefit in combating the virus I neither know nor really care. Feeling better is good enough for me.

Once the poles were turned into posts, the next chore was to tear out the old, sagging corner posts. This involved removing the wire and digging and/or pulling them out of the ground. Nothing exciting there. I also did the math and measuring to determine exact placement of the new posts, each of which will also have a gate attached. Again, not exciting, but tedious!

This morning I hauled my trailer load of new corner posts to the five designated locations and offloaded them. That was a rather physical chore because the durn things are heavy and bulky and manipulating them is right up against the edge of what I can actually do. In that sense it's a challenge and I do love a challenge. Good exercise outside on a beautiful spring morning, too.

As I got stuck in this morning the conditions were just perfect. It was sunshiny and warm and there was just barely a puff of breeze. All around me the prairie was alive and colorful. The smell of June was in the air. Warm, damp soil, dry air, and the green smell of sun-loosened plant volatiles. A perfect work environment.

After delivering the posts I fired up the skid steer and revisited each location, carefully boring deep, straight holes and cleaning them out.

The skid steer is not a speedy vehicle, and the corner post locations were each about a mile apart, so this part took about three hours.

About the time I got home with the skid steer I had a bit of a breakdown, which required a run to town for parts. Sometimes that's how it goes.

By the time the quittin' whistle blew I'd got a good bit of work done. Tomorrow I should be able to finish with the corner posts and get the wire stretched back up and properly attached.

All in all a great day and I believe I may be getting over my New Mexico induced illness.


  1. I'm happy that you said that you picked up your bug in New Mexico, I was concerned that you'd gotten it in Oregon. Happy fencing to you.

    It is also a beautiful day here, also. Low 80s and a gentle breeze.

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Had to be New Mexico.

      Nice days are for cherishing.

  2. Replies
    1. It really is. Spring can be astonishingly pretty.

  3. Hotter than all get out here, triple digits all week, so the outside work has to be done around O dark thirty.
    There is something about being outside and getting jobs done that soothes the soul.

    1. Boy, we're (I'm) whining about 90! I have a theory that all the oxygen pumped out by plants contributes to a feeling of calm and well being.