Cold Spell Freezes Big Pond

Had a good week to 10 days of below freezing temperature, usually only getting into the 20s and getting close or below zero at night.  The big pond froze a good 5 inches thick, I tested it in multiple places with a hole saw.  The boys got their hockey skates, sticks and puck and gave it a whirl.  Not so much as a creaking noise from the ice.

I took the opportunity to get out onto the island and clear out all the overgrowth.

At the end of the video below me and Patrick take the UTV for a spin over the shallow part of the pond, again not even a crack in the ice when we drove over.

Even in below zero temps this must be a warm spring upwelling into one of the small ponds in the bottom area.

Patrick helping clear the underbrush

Temperature dropped to 7 below zero that night.

Had the fireplace ROARING!

Lower Pond Overflow

So none of the 5 small ponds down in the bottom area have had proper overflows.  Eventually the dirt overflows erode to the point that the pond gets very low.  I fixed one by replacing the dirt and then putting stones on the top along with gravel underneath the stones to help prevent erosion.  The below pictures are my attempt at doing this for the second pond.

Tractor in for Service

First time I’ve transported the tractor myself.  Used JJ’s almost brand new trailer, worked perfectly.  The tractor has a hydraulic leak that I just couldn’t pinpoint, so figured I’d bring it in to get it squared away.

Strapped on and ready to go

Barn Star Up!

Rented an extension ladder that was barely tall enough to get the job done.  Luckily it wasn’t windy and was relatively warm or it would have been a painful process.   In general, I don’t like heights, but I had to get this done, I’ve had the star for several months now.

Its a pretty big star, not heavy, but bulky trying to get it up the ladder

Got it up there!

Bolted it on from the inside of the barn. Barn will come down before this star comes off.

On que, the skies clear…

Post Thanksgiving Hunting

Me & Patrick and later Patty, PopPop, and on Saturday Grammy & Beepa came down. Friday night was hunting, Patrick up in the tree stand on the back property, me over by the graveyard. Patrick got a shot off at a 6 pointer but didn’t appear to hit it. We went through the heavy brush and look very hard for a blood trail but saw nothing. I didn’t see anything over by the stand behind the graveyard.

Saturday morning was interesting, Patrick went out first and didn’t see anything. I went out about a half hour later and walked down the old property line thinking I might push deer Patrick’s way. Halfway down the trail I would see a huge buck with a big rack at the edge of the trail about 75 yards away, heading into a ravine. Couldn’t get a clear shot, tried to circle around but never saw him again.

Saturday afternoon I spent cleaning the deer skull from Paul’s kill 2 years ago in hopes of doing a european mount. It is really coming along, I boiled it with dawn dish detergent and after using a wire brush (at PopPops suggestion) it came out nicely. Now for the bleaching operation…

Michael came down on his way back to Va Tech to mow ($$$). He mowed all afternoon, but the place looks great now, very tight. Unfortunately he had to leave before dinner for the drive back to tech in order to beat the thanksgiving weekend traffic on Sunday. A good move.

Mark, Gavin & Blake came by for some target practice prior to an evening hunt. Patrick did some target practice with them and I think they all enjoyed themselves. At about 3:30 we headed out for the evening hunt, Patrick on the stand in the back property again. Gavin, Mark & Blake setup behind the gray house. Not too long after everyone was set we hear two shots from Patrick, in fairly quick succession. I texted him but got nothing back, he didn’t charge his phone the night before…So we hopped on the atv and headed back with Patty, Mirlo, PopPop & Beepa. Got there to find Patrick in the brush looking for the buck, he says a 4 pointer and was pretty sure he hit it, especially the second time. We went through that brush with a fine tooth comb, VERY heavy brush, lots of stickers, etc. We searched and searched until after dark but never saw a blood trail and never came up with the deer. Exciting, but somewhat disappointing for Patrick, but I think he had a good time.

Mom & Dad brought down spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread so we feasted on that afterwards, very good. Below are a few pictures from the weekend.

Opening Day Deer Season 2017

Had a great extended weekend with my oldest and youngest brothers.  None of us successfully bagged a buck, but we had a lot of fun in the process:  Beer brewing, log splitting, skull preparation from previous years and of course football games and drinking.

Moving the deer stand

Prepping for tree stand install

Just finished moving this puppy, overlooks the graveyard area

Awesome Chili

Steve snoring up a storm!

Cold and very windy…nothing was moving

We split some huge logs

Preparing for euromount


Getting that last bit of juice out of the grains/hops

Getting read to add the yeast

Lunch time