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Monday, July 8, 2013

We've got beaver problems.

Nature has its surprises and things one might expect.
Often the expected things are felt like surprises -- nature doesn't know good timing.   The weather has been extraordinarily hot and humid - like a wearing a wet blanket at the beach.  Good for the plants, but I'll get to that.  The propane gas refrigerator here at the cabin did not work well.  I thought it was the heat, then after a few days, thought it was kinda broken.  The temp wouldn't go below 50 degrees F.  The water out of the well is around 45 degrees so I initially load up the main compartment with kettles of this cool water to give the thing a helping hand.  (To counteract the 90+ degree initil temp) So I filled a large stock pot, more the better.  Not so.  The difficulty turned out to be that pot of water.  Gas refrigerators aren't terribly strong coolers. It just couldn't bring all that water further down in temp once it gave up its inital coolness.  Removed, the fridge is back to working fine.
Early the first morning here, my neighbor (from about 2 miles away) came by on his ATV with his wife and told me we have beaver problems.   He and Hatchet Jack (another neighbor) had been working for hours trying to clear out a culvert which had been blocked by a two beavers, one is very large.  I went to help....  They had cleared one culvert but the other not so lucky.  The beavers are good at what they do and the entrance to the culvert was difficult to find.  Having done it before,  I knew exactly where it was.  Didn't take long to get it going.  The beavers see this as a challenge and, since they have nothing but time, block it up in short order.  Night time, I sleep , and I think beavers do not. Honestly they seem to be trying different things making my dam breaking more interesting.  Met with a guy with a machine yesterday and he'll be back in to dig and drain so I can install some pipe and fencing (beaver deceiver).  I really want to wait to install the fencing until after it is drained pretty good.  Standing chest deep in muddy water and trying to place fence posts and fencing while there is a 90 pound rodent with razor sharp teeth swimming around brings an expectation of surprise I'm not comfortable with at all.

This morning the clouds are thick and it has rained a small bit.  The clouds are providing some shade and it is cooler.  

Sea Buckthorn Orchard
The heat and rain has been great for the new Sea Buckthorn plants, all 440 of them!  I have not come across one which isn't growing.  Same for the Saskatoons and  other new transplants.  The grass has grown well too.  It needs to be cut.  Should be able to do that later this week.  

New growth on some plants has reached 8 inches.  I hope that is a sign of robustness and not some sort of last gasp effort.  You can see in these photo's a difference in leaf shape.  Not sure if that is an indication of sex or general varietal variations.  Time will tell.  

These couple of pictures show the growth of the pasture grasses in the last few weeks.  In some areas of the field the grass is about 4 feet tall and, if all goes well will be cut later this week.  

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