In which we work on reversing inevitable farm entropy

Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines entropy as a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder.

Here at Haiku Farm, it's just reality: Stuff falls apart. Especially in winter.

Last night a big windstorm blew through our region, knocked the power out and blew branches all over the houses and roads. We had only a little damage, mostly just a wooden door that was torn off of the hinge installed by the former owner. Since the hinge is actually the wrong size for the door, we need to replace it completely; for now, it's just tied down securely.

Jim woke up inspired by all that activity in the air, and revved up the chainsaw for some preventative tree repair.

There is (was) an alder tree growing by our driveway. I assume it planted itself and the seedling was ignored by the former owners (they were adept at ignoring stuff) until it was no longer a seedling but was an actual tree.

The thing about trees is that they get bigger. This tree was obviously planning to get bigger in the direction of the driveway.

The thing about alder trees is that they delight in throwing branches at stuff--fences, cars, livestock...anything that people might care about. Jim got that driveway alder in his sights and *poof*.

Now it's just a bunch of firewood. Nice how it happens that way, isn't it?

After chopping down the driveway tree and a peach tree* in our orchard that was just a haven for ants, it was time to remove the entropy on the axe blades!

* yes, a peach tree.
** no, peach trees don't grow here.
*** no, I don't know what the former owners were smoking when they planted a peach tree--they didn't leave any of that growing here when they left!

While Jim was de-entropizing the upper part of the property, I toured the pasture fenceline.
The goats are doing a great job of keeping blackberry bushes and underbrush from taking over the fenceline, but one little blackberry vines tried to sneak onto the fence. I snipped it. Ha! Take that, evil weed!

There were a few spots where the electric fence wire had drooped a bit and started to short out on the field mesh. This might make bouncing off the mesh even more exciting than usual for our little goats.

I walked the pasture fence twice: the first time was with the fence charger turned ON so I could hear the snap sound that fence wire makes when it's arcing to something. Even though there were several shorts in the fence, the fence tester showed a strong charge over the entire system. With the shorts removed, the charge will deter even a goat. Most of the time.
I marked the snapping parts with bright orange surveyers' tape. Then I went back to the fencing shed and turned off the electrical charger. Fixing the electric fence when it is turned on is possible, but I'm a sissy. I'd rather walk the fenceline twice, thanks.

More entropy: the front porch had several boards that needed to be replaced.
Noise-cancelling hearing-protecting radio-enhanced headphones. Jim loves those things.
Finally: we've worked hard enough! The sun is out! Let's ride!
Blue skies and brown ears.
Life is good!


  1. It's always something when you live in the country. Never a moment to rest on your laurels here at Casa Fry anyway.

    Boys and their toys!

  2. I don't think I'd know an alder if I saw one, but hearing about them always makes me think of LOTR. I had to go look it up, but Tom Bombadil said "Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow!" If Tom doesn't like them, that means they're bad trees - down with the alder!

    How did you fix the fence? Do you have some kind of retensioner thingie that get the hotwire tight again?

  3. thanks for the cool post. i love seeing your farm through the camera eye.

    i can just barely see that huge mountain you live at the foot of in one of your shots. it is so amazing in real life!

    i am impressed that you guys were able to field fence the entire place. that would be a task so very difficult here, i cannot imagine undertaking it. we have not a meter of flat here - everything is up and down.

    i'm glad you got a nice ride too. feels good after all the work is done.

    sadly here we have nothing to cut down. it was done shortly before we moved in, hence our stump-covered hang. i love to daydream about what it looked like full of huge trees. i usually stand on a stump while doing this. but oh well, it's all done. now there are countless saplings coming up, and with luck, they'll grow into trees. with luck, because baasha loves to scratch his belly on them. horrible! (some are alder: ))

    and we have blackberries galore still. with all this snow, i cannot even get to them, but as soon as it's gone, i hope to attack a few. it's gonna be years. or never. they are everywhere.

    we have moles all over our field now, and moles are a protected species here. protected, my butt! there are molehill communities in every field in this state. who would feel that they need protection when they are in every yard? perhaps baasha needs to cavort more, to annoy them. but then that is just dangerous, cavorting over mole cities. when i say cities i am serious.

    but one of my favorite books - my top 3 of all time - is a book about a mole community. it's called duncton wood. it's very much like watership down. but moles. i hate them, but i grew to love those fictional moles. i recommend it to you!

    speaking of books, funder will also recommend "the other end of the leash" by p. mcconnell. i have ordered it twice now, as gifts for doggie friends. i simply love the author's research into animal communication, and i don't even have a dog. for horse people a lot of it is like "yah, duh." cuz horse people learn about horse body language as a matter of fact. dog people don't always do this, so in this book they learn about dog language. i just love it! it takes me right back to my days at the UW, my animal behavior classes.

    tomorrow i'll go to the bookstore to get it for a friend's bday.

    (funder recommended the website to me, i got hooked, and now i'm buying the books in german!)

    jim would look funny on an airplane with those headphones, wouldn't he? i didn't know those existed, the "construction type". i hope he has a different set for air travel! (i cannot travel without mine.)



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