Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘trimming fence lines

Exploring Gravel

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Morning chores were done, breakfast was eaten and the paper read. It was time to commit to whatever work deserved to be accomplished for the day. Thinking that I needed to use the power trimmer, I asked Cyndie if it mattered to her what I started on.

She said, “Why don’t you go for a bike ride before the air quality gets any worse?” Man, I love her.

I got ready as quickly as I could and stopped to look at a map on my laptop for a new route to explore. 410th Street going north out of El Paso looked like a good option. (Did you know there was an “El Paso” in Wisconsin? I didn’t until we moved here.) A marker on the map for Driftless Farm Sanctuary caught my eye. I could check it out.

Being well familiar with the roads to El Paso, my exploration didn’t really begin until I reached 410th. Oops. It was gravel.

That wasn’t in my plan, but at the moment, I was feeling brave enough to ride the rough stuff. I turned onto the gravel and employed a little battery assist. What a smart idea it was to get an e-bike. The gravel continued for more miles than I expected, and every road that intersected 410th was also gravel. I learned that there are a lot more gravel roads nearby than I was aware of.

I came upon a very busy harvesting operation with two huge machines cutting and six trucks arranged for filling of what appeared to me would be processed to become silage. They probably didn’t expect to see a bicyclist passing by on that road.

I wasn’t aware there was growth already available for harvesting. This is the kind of discovery that comes from exploration.

There was another noteworthy find further on up the gravel roads. I came upon one of those places where you can’t roller skate.

When I left the gravel and rolled onto pavement again the pedaling became noticeably easier but the direction I was going took me to the big hills of 690th Avenue. I touched the control to increase my battery assist by two levels and sailed home with ease.

After lunch, I decided to test the idea of using the new zero-turn mower to cut along the fence lines from inside the hay field and back pasture to simplify trimming beneath the wires. I usually mow in there with the big tractor pulling the brush cutter but if the small mower can do the job, it would be easier.

Well, the little battery-powered beast was more than up to the challenge. That cutting, which knocked down grass much taller than I should have been trying to mow with the Greenworks CRZ426, will make the final cleanup with a power trimmer a breeze. I’ll be done in a fraction of the time it would have otherwise taken.

What a smart idea it was to buy that e-mower.



Written by johnwhays

May 24, 2023 at 6:00 am

Happy Grazing

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Late yesterday, Cyndie captured some great shots of the horses out on the big field as the sun was low.

Mix was walking around with only one fly sock on.









It was nice to see Mix out there with the others because she has been lingering back under the overhang for a few days whenever the others wandered out. It’s difficult to gauge her reasons so our concern rises a little bit and we watch for any indication it is health-related.

Maybe she just doesn’t want to venture very far in the heat of the day.

The other possibility might be the low value of grazing that is available during the increasingly troublesome drought.

I wondered if she just didn’t feel like walking that far, so I’m very happy to know there doesn’t appear to be any physical limitation keeping her from moving out there.

I ended the day doing some trimming along the back pasture fence line and by the time I stopped, I didn’t feel like walking any further than necessary.

We are prone to repeating an old phrase around our house with respect to how our feet feel at the end of a long day: “My dogs were barking.”

After getting covered in dog shit shrapnel from the power trimmer upon inadvertently hitting a poo Delilah had previously deposited, I had a strong interest in doing just enough walking to get myself into a shower as fast as possible.

Living a privileged country life isn’t always a glamorous endeavor.

At least our horses maintain a pretty respectable sense of decorum when they are out grazing on the big field by the road.



Trimmer Replaced

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Much as I wrestle over making purchasing decisions, this one was easy-peasy. When Cyndie received the call from the hardware store service desk, the list of damaged parts was so long, she couldn’t remember them all. Cylinder, piston, shaft… Can you say, ‘catastrophic failure?’

She asked what the cost of repair estimate was. She asked what a new trimmer costs.

It was cheaper to buy a new one.

They didn’t have any stock of the exact replacement model, which is on backorder with an unknown date of arrival. However, there was exactly one unit in stock of the next model up. The additional cost put things equal to trying to rebuild the old engine.

The decision didn’t get any harder to make.

Cyndie had them put our name on that trimmer and hustled her way to River Falls to pick it up.

In the nick of time. We are already behind in keeping up with the runaway spring growth of grass in the labyrinth, along our trails, and under our fences. Unfortunately, he or she who isn’t the one using it has to suffer the endless droning of the precious small gas engine.

If I time it right, I can be under ear-muffs and mowing on the lawn tractor while Cyndie is trimming.

Of course, the glorious quiet when we finally stop the engines is always a little sweeter when the moment arrives. That adds incentive to trim quickly and make short work of the miles in desperate need of being cut.