Frank’s Saturday Chores

P6140002.jpgAnother busy day. I finally removed the old pond pump. This entailed cutting it’s cord at both ends and leaving the middle section in the ground. It was buried more than a foot deep in places, under rocks. It wasn’t worth fighting with. If I can fix the pump, I can get it a new cord. Someday I need to hook up the 14/2 that the landscapers left, and get this working properly.

P6140029.jpgI took two photos from the dump trip. The pink thing is all over at the forest edge. It’s very pretty, naturalized if not native, and we’d like to know what to call it, where to buy it, and/or how to propagate it.

P6140031.jpgI took the camera to get that shot, and then on the way home spotted another bush in flower along the driveway. I expect it’s some sort of hydrangea: That’s what the leaves look like, but the flowers sure look dogwoody, and our red-twig dogwood is in bloom right now, albeit with blossoms that look nothing like this.

After the dump trip , it was out to the new garden for more chipping. I got a few more trees down, and a bunch of stuff we hadn’t cleaned up properly in 1996 finally went through the chipper. I’m quite taken with the chinese chipper.

The Chinese seem to build things the way Americans used to. Bolted together, lots of grease fittings, straightforward design. My tractor is a Hardy Diesel that I bought used from a guy over in Canterbury. Actually it’s a custom painted Shenniu. which is getting low tech even for a Chinese tractor. Anyway, both tractor and chipper, give me the feel of American gear from the 40s and 50s — solid, dependable, extra metal if there’s any question about strength (vs. the Japanese who put extra engineering into making it just good enough) repairable by anyone with the least mechanical skill. Henry Ford would approve of this stuff. Actually the Shenniu has more of a 30s feel to it. The electrical system is a kludge, there’s no hour meter, and the repair manual really assumes it will be fixed by the village blacksmith.

Anyway, many chinese tractor dealers, whatever the brand, carry the same chipper. I got it from Bernie over in Loudon. Several other folks carry it too. I paid two grand. The closest American chipper I found was $5300. It was better, no question. If mine is worth $2000, the xxx is for sure worth $3000. But it’s a long way from there to $5300.

The chipper has a 4×6 inch throat, which is probably optimistic, certainly optimistic with my 20 horsepower tractor. But this is New Hampshire. Any hardwood over 2.5 inches is bound for the wood pile not the chipper. And on those terms, it’s working fine. It is also a fantastic big boy toy.

I had less luck with the trimmer. I can’t get it to start. I suspect this is my fault for leaving gas in it over the winter. (I was always going to use it again ‘next week’ and then it snowed in October.) If I can’t start it today, it’s in to the dealer on Tuesday when we go to town again.

P6140035.jpgI finally remembered to change the octenol on the Mosquito Magnet. The propane tank had run out and got changed sometime last week, but the octenol smell was still very pronounced, so I didn’t change it at the same time. But the mosquitos are out in full force, so we’ll see if a new cartridge will help.

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