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March 2008

April 2008


"When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

Abraham Maslow

Almanac March, 2008

Full Pond

Three inches from the top.

20 March 2008 -- Pond Day

Normally Pond day is just that. Spring comes in with a rush, the snow melts, and the pond goes overnight from being down four feet, to running over the lip. I've been trying to build up a mat of grass and plants on the fields to slow this down, but this year it's taken over a week. I would like to think that my land management is paying off, but I think it more likely that a dry fall left the ground thirsty, and a chilly mid-March after a very warm first week has meant that the run-off is a lot slower this year.

Pond Culvert

Three inches from the bottom.

My second spring here this culvert ran 2/3 full.

Willow Twig

Willow Twig

The amount of water that goes through an open culvert goes up very roughly with the cube of depth. So 18 inches will have around 200 times the flow of 3 inches. And here you see that the opening is partially blocked with ice. This is just a trickle compared to to our second spring here.

Geese Pix)

Geese Coming Home

18 March 2008 -- Geese and willows

I was hasty about winter's return. All the new snow is gone. Now we've gone back to working with the old snow. March is always interesting here. Sunlight is warming everything up, but there's a lot of cold stockpiled. Because of the snow and the water, humidity levels are high. I think I saw budding thunderheads on my way home yesterday. And Abby our border collie, turns into a velcro dog when there is thunder. She hears it long before I do. She was nervous last night.

It seems whenever I hear geese, Nicholas (my nikon camera) is at home. When I've got Nick, the geese aren't around. So I've been lugging my electronic albatross with me so that I can get a goose pic for this page.

Red Willows

Red Willow

I spotted this willow driving home from work today. Most of the willows have twigs that are more of a chocolate brown colour. I may come back for a bundle of cuttings. See what I can do with it here.



16 March 2008 -- Winter is back. Sigh...

Two inches of fine blowing snow, and -15. I'm tired of winter. I won't even dignify this latest round with a picture. A good day to work on the web page.

At this time of year, like many Canadians, my attitude toward Global Warming: Bring it ON! I would gladly trade-in March for an extra copy of September. Alas, it doesn't work that way.

13 March 2008 -- Time to plant.

Last fall I had some sense, and put a few buckets of potting soil in the green house. Temps during the day in the greenhouse are running 30 degrees warmer than outside temps, and that soil isn't frozen. So I started planting cuttings. I figure I can get dogwood and willows started this way. Give each tray a good soak when I'm finished, and put them under the spruce trees in the shade. That way they won't dry out too fast, and as it warms up, they can root at their leisure.

Dogwood Flat

Not even the Ides of March, and I've started planting!

11 March 2008 Goose Day!

Yes indeed, the honkers are starting to come back. Spotted two small vees on my way to work yesterday.

9 March 2008

It's been busy. Wanted to set up a secure channel between my computer and my web hosting service so that I could run a single command and update the web page. BANG! Shot myself in the foot, and for 4 hours this morning no one could view my site. Got it fixed, but I was sweating bullets for a bit there.

Reorganized the Home section. Shuffled all that business stuff into its own subsection. If you want to buy from me, you'll find it. Or you'll send me an email.

Rewrote the ordering section. I've got mixed feelings about the deposits policy. On one hand, I figure that what goes around comes around, and that when I trust people, people act trustworthy. On the other hand, I've already had one person verbally commit to a thousand trees, then not follow up. Take a look at the ordering and pricing section and send me your thoughts.

Added an employment page, or maybe that should be sub-contracting. Probably not of interest unless you live in my neighbourhood. But if you live in the Warburg area, or know a high school kid who is looking for a bit of scratch, point this link out to him.

Poplar Buds

Balsam Poplar buds.

1 March 2008 -- Buds

Late February was warm indeed. Sure enough, Spring is on the way.

March is a good season for working on firewood. I take down trees, and cut them up at this time. By looking into the treetops I can see which trees have fat healthy buds, and which are starting to die. I come through with the tractor and trailer as soon as most of the snow is gone. Early in the morning even the surface is frozen. That way I don't compact the soil around the roots.

I don't take out all the dead ones. I don't need all the wood. I have a network of trails so almost all of the wood comes hurling distance from the trail. The grandfather balsam poplars I leave until they drop. A dead tree is an important resource for woodpeckers and the birds that reuse their holes for nesting cavities.

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.