Today’s post comes from Ben.
Sure has been a beautiful fall so far.
GDU’s, Growing Degree Unit’s are 529 above average for the Rochester area. Average is 2702 GDU to date giving us 3231 this year. In 2020 we had 2914 GDU and 2019 was 2800 GDU’s to date.
A little unusual we haven’t had that killing frost yet. Lilacs are blooming again. Weird.
Neighborhood reports are that soybean stems are still green and making it hard to combine, but the beans themselves are almost too dry at 9% or 11% which leads to them shelling out of the pods too easily and that means ‘header loss’, meaning they pop out before they even go into the head of the combine. Can’t cash them in if they’re on the ground. A lot of time is spent adjusting the combine settings to capture as much of the crop, as cleanly as possible. (Mind you, I only partially know what I’m talking about here; I don’t have a combine) The rotor and separator are where the crop is separated from the cob or pod. It’s adjustable of course; bigger for corn, smaller for oats or beans. Large fans blow the chaff and debris out the back of the combine. It’s *quite* the deal. There are all sorts of YouTube videos out there. Google it if you’re interested. Most guys are done with beans and working on corn. Corn has reached ‘physical maturity’ or ‘black layer’. Meaning all the milk has dried out in the kernel and there’s actually a black line that moves down the kernel and now there’s a black spot down at the tip. That doesn’t mean it’s dry enough to store without drying, just that it’s done growing. Again, no freeze and this warm weather is helping it dry further. All good things. My beans are still out there. They’ll get to them when they get to them.
I don’t see many fields between our house and the college unless I take the long way around. A trip to Plainview for parts gives me a chance to see what the neighbors are doing. And that works all year round.
A while ago I removed that broken gearbox off the brush mower and took it to John Deere. I was up there for other parts last week and the shop foreman showed me a bad spot in the gear box meaning it wasn’t worth repairing and I should probably order a new one. Sigh. I had ordered the shaft already for $750. Labor on replacing it was going to be at least that same amount. And now I’ve got a 10 yr old rebuilt gearbox. So, for another $800 I could get a new one. It’s only money… I ordered a new one. Haven’t gotten it yet… any day now.
I spent some time working on the grain drill one day. Got several things put back together and a few more things apart. “One day” I hope to have time to work on it again.
The ducks are expanding their area and this morning were up around the house. They are getting calmer when I throw corn out to them. They don’t panic and run away so much; they’re figuring out I provide food I guess. There’s a hose that I leave out to fill buckets and a large puddle for the ducks. Over near the water hydrant, the hose has a pin hole in it, and I get a little cold water shower as I take corn out. Some mornings that thrill is a little more exciting than other days. I could walk around it, I could patch it, I could just turn the hose over… but sometimes that little thrill is a good way to start the day, you know?
The last two weeks I have been busy with theater. I’ve lit ‘Evil Dead – the Musical’. It’s a total spoof on the horror movie genre. “Five College kids at an abandoned cabin for the weekend. What could go wrong?” It’s pretty fun. I don’t like horror movies and I’ve never seen this one. But the spoof is fun. And it’s a musical! Between that and the remodeling at another theater, it’s taking up my time. Plus, construction at the college for our show here. “Women” by Chiara Atik– a spoof on ‘Little Women’. Keeping me busy.
Kelly and I had a ditch date the other day. That’s what we call it when she helps me pick up garbage from the township ditches. Took the dogs along too. This was a couch and at least it wasn’t a sleeper. I stopped at the townhall to pick up some stuff in the building to take to the recycling center and there was one of those 55 gallon cardboard barrels we wanted to get rid off. Empty other than some newspapers from 1977. It seemed too good to throw out so I left it on the side of the road by the townhall. You people in town have it so easy with the boulevard exchange thing. This morning the barrel was still there. I think I need to put a $5 sign on it. Or maybe people are afraid to see if there might be something inside it.
I’ve gotten some good stuff off the boulevard. Or out of the ditch. Like my winter ‘ditch jacket’ and an air compressor, and a large wicker chair down in the theater furniture storage area.
They say to scare yourself every day. What are your daily thrills? Talk about things you’ve found on the roadside.