Two neighbors came and asked to scrap the old stove and various metal objects out of the dumpster.
Located Matelea gonocarpus along the creek. It was blooming, has an interesting flower in a dark greenish yellow star with a chocolate brown star in the center. The petals are thick and waxy, shiny. There is a seed pod, very interesting shape with fins along the length. Erected bamboo tripods in order to locate the plants again. Found a rudbeckia species in the bottomland near the creek, Rudbeckia fulgida? Posted 250 feet of no trespassing signs up at Turkey Hill where the ATV incursions had happened. Mike and I put a small cable across the road where the intruders have been coming in.
Went to Gene and Matt tractor sales. Matt is a big, heavy-built dude who has a mutton chop moustache that makes me think he does Civil War re-enactments. Bought a Kubota tractor, 34 hp. It is a 0 class Light Utility tractor. Its back wheel is huge, and this is the smallest real tractor you can get.
In the east pasture, put down strips of 10 foot wide black plastic to test solarization for weed control. There are 8 beds from 21 to 30 feet long. Each bed has black plastic down for solarization, and the plastic will stay in place of about 8 weeks.
Walked the north boundary to see if there was any more ATV traffic. Have not seen any additional tracks since spring. Walked down the western edge of property , checked for survey stakes, found a few, found a pre-fab metal deer stand, rusted. Mike showed me his path along the creek. Partially follows a well-worn deer path.
Mike went out to the property, put the address out on the driveway post. Started stripping the trash and walls out of the hunter’s shack. There seems to be a rancid mouse infestation in the old walls. Not sure that we will be able to use the building or not. The smell of old rodent urine and feces is overwhelming, even soaking the walls with a 10% bleach solution has not cut the odor. The building is also built unlike any other house shelter we were familiar with: it was a pole barn that had been walled in and had a deck floor floated between the posts. There was no foundation, the building has settled unevenly; there are cracks everywhere.
Over the past several weeks, I have been researching tractors. There are quite a few tractor blogs out there on the Internet. When I was a kid, I did not play with Tonka toys, my brother Leon did that; I was too busy catching snakes and frogs. But here on the tractor blogs are all the grown up boys who have their tractors, and they love them! It’s amazing how in depth the affection for a vehicle or tool can get. Some of these fellas will write pages and pages of either praise or vent their frustration. Very colorful language, and really informative; I think there is enough information here to help Mike and I make a decision as to brand, horsepower, and accessory tools.
Worked on securing the hunter’s shack. Got the address today, 1575 Elberton Road. We have continued to look for the phantom well, no sight of it yet.
Mike and I went camping on the property just above the boulders. It was our first night on the property. June-hot, the air wouldn’t move, it stuck to us like warm sugar water. As evening fell, a nice breeze finally blew up. A ¾ moon splashed through the forest into out tent. 12:21 am, a sudden, sharp, insistent cough about 20 feet from our tent. Went on for a long time, Mike asked “what the hell is that noise?” He flipped on the lantern and barked back at the unseen animal aggressively. The sound stopped. 5 minutes later, a few barks hacked out; maybe 100 feet down the hill. The next day when we returned to Decatur, I looked up animal sounds online; it was the territorial bark of the gray fox. There were fox dens under the boulders; one of them was active. We had camped in the foxes’ side yard. No wonder they were pissed.
3 am: Horned owl.
Whippoorwills’ wistful sounds off and on throughout the night.
As the soft light of dawn crept across our tent, birds awoke in an explosion of song. The morning chorus was amazing.