First day of spring

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It’s sunny this morning, but oh, it’s chilly.  High temps in the 30s today.  And its breezy, which accentuates the cold.  Quite a contrast to Spring 2012, which was exceptionally warm and dry.  Instead of field work, I’m in the shop changing oil in the pickup, and new stone is being delivered this afternoon.  We intend to make the lane a more comfortable drive.   Gotta fill in those holes to make the driving smoother.   As the old joke goes, there are too many potholes… you just can’t hit them all when you drive in here!  Maybe by tonight, there won’t be any to hit!  We may have to bring in some additional stone tomorrow or Friday, if the 4 loads don’t quite get the job done.  The backhoe loader bucket and the Reveal tool will be great tools for this work.  Typically, this top-dressing of stone keeps the lane in acceptable condition for about a year.  The freeze-thaw cycles of late winter are particularly hard on our lane.

This is the Reveal tool, mounted on the back of the JD 7130 tractor.  It was designed and built by a friend of Ross, and it's main use is to condition the surface in the horse riding arena.  It is also perfect for shaping and smoothing the new stone on the driveway.

This is the Reveal tool, mounted on the back of the JD 7130 tractor. It was designed and built by a friend of Ross, and its main use is to condition the surface in the horse riding arena. It is also perfect for shaping and smoothing the new stone on the driveway.

The blue dump truck roughly spreads some on the road, but it has holes and dips behind it.  Following the dump truck with the Reveal tool smooths the surface, filling in the dips and pulling down the humps.

The blue dump truck roughly spreads some on the road, but it has holes and dips behind it. Following the dump truck with the Reveal tool smooths the surface, filling in the dips and pulling down the humps.

We had one load dumped in a plie at the farm lot.  From there, we can use the backhoe loader bucket to place it in holes in various spots.

We had one load dumped in a pile at the farm lot. From there, we can use the backhoe loader bucket to place it in holes in various spots. Each tri-axle truck holds about 21 tons of #53 crushed stone.  The #53 has extra lime in it, and it ‘packs’ tightly after it’s placed on the road.

Gonna go see the Boilermakers play tonight in the CBI tourney.  They play Western Illinois at Mackey.  This will probably be Ben’s last game in the Paint Crew.  He’s seen some magnificent games over his student career.   We are all a little nostalgic for the Robbie Hummel days of Purdue basketball, but the future is bright, too.  It’ll be a late night return for us.  March Madness has begun.  May your favorite team go deep into the brackets.

We are ready for field work here, just as soon as the conditions permit.  Here we are…on the threshhold of another crop year, facing it with hope and optimism.  We don’t know the outcome, but we trust our Maker to provide all that is needed.

Happy Spring, everyone!

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