Friday, July 29, 2022

no kiln (yet), no rain (still), no pecans (again)

Another look see at the newer kiln and turns out there wasn't a wire loose after all. The controller on the newer kiln will function but the kiln doesn't start up. There are two knobs/switches that regulate...something...that aren't coming on and unless they come on the kiln doesn't come on. So today he took the knobs/switches that lit up on the old kiln and replaced the ones in the newer kiln aaaaaand, they didn't come on. And then a little wire did come loose but he got it put back in place and those switches still didn't come on. So now he's working on taking the relays out of the old kiln to replace the ones in the newer kiln.

I've had to start watering my two gingko trees. They started dropping leaves a couple of weeks ago and the squirrels are peeling the bark off some of the limbs and I think they've killed at least one or two limbs as they have no leaves on them and long stretches of no bark. I don't know why they are doing that, stripping the bark from the branches but the ground is littered with pieces of bark about two inches by a half inch. Further investigation says squirrels do it to thin barked trees to get to the sweet sap layer or to line their nests and happens most frequently in winter or spring but I've only ever had it happen in the middle of summer. Perhaps they're desperate for food though I put out cracked corn for them and they have access to water. They've done it before but this is the worst. They've attacked quite a few branches on both trees.

And because of the heat and the drought there are no pecans on my trees for the third year in a row and the few on my neighbor's tree are being got by the squirrels. My trees bloomed and set nuts but they only got about a half inch long before they started drying up and falling off.

We got the truck emptied and the burn pile piled higher and here's what the shop yard looks like. 

And the frustrating thing is that twice this week I looked across the cotton field and I could see it raining in the distance so I get the nervous freaky dog from the rumbling of thunder but no rain to at least make up for that. There's some kind of dome over this town that causes storms to bypass us, sometimes splitting in two with one half passing us in the north and the other half passing us in the south. Well, at least someone is getting rain. We all need it.

My turn to make dinner tonight...cheese enchiladas with meat sauce.


  1. Maybe they're peeling bark to get switches to use on young 'uns. Though that "switch" will maim a squirrel. I guess your heat is getting to me, too. Actually, our temps this summer are low; didn't get to 80 today.

  2. North America, geological-history-wise, is a semi-arid continent. People in the West don't realize the whole Mississippi basin, one quarter of the USA, has dried up many times when it gets hot. Those in the Southwest, living on federal largess, are demanding something that won't be there. Not when Chicago is the western citadel for the Great Lakes Sector

  3. The squirrels in my back yard gnaw at the bark on the Sugar Maple, to get to the sweet sap I assume, but so far it has not done any permanent damage to the trees. And speaking of trees I just finished a fabulous book called "Finding the Mother Tree" by Suzanne Simard. If you can get your hands on a copy I highly recommend it.

  4. I sure hope that kiln is now working. I'm looking forward to an update on that. What a project. I hope you do finally get some rain there. It is so interesting how some places are flooding and some places are dry as a bone these days. Hoping for better weather everywhere.

  5. Ah thanks for the idea of cheese enchiladas. I have been so sick of cooking!

  6. My dad hasn't had pecans in a few years - he's threatening to cut the tree down (because the leaves clog the gutters). But his wife and I noted that the sun room wouldn't have any shade then & that would be terrible (because even though it's called a sun room, it's actually a nice oasis from the sun).

  7. Those cheese enchiladas look delicious. You should post the recipe when you have time.
    Too bad about the kiln - I have no advice on how to make it work!
    Hope you get some rain soon, Ellen!
    Stay safe!

  8. Every day, I pick up plums from below our three trees, almost all either shrivelled up or eaten by insects like never before. I think so far, I had maybe ten eatable plums in all. The almond trees are dropping leaves since early July. We are taking note of what survives in this changed hot dry summer climate. You can only water that much.

    I am keeping my hopes up for your kiln. And for rain.

  9. May you get rain soon, Ellen! We've had a spate of dry days and it's frustrating. Nothing like what you're going through though.


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