Monday, June 30, 2008

Spraying Fun.

Here you can see where I killed some corn with the drift from spraying Round-Up on the corner.

I had several of these spots in the field, which is where I would stop the planter because it was dragging.

There were some pretty good weed patches in the field.

Quite a few spacing problems. Mark's rig was pulling to the left and my eyesight pulls to the left, so between us we had some WAY off guess rows.

Here is some classic ALS herbicide action on shattercane. These pictures were taken thirteen days after I sprayed. You can also see below how much the corn grew in this time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grammy Rita.

Click here for the article that ran on Thursday.

Click here for the Obituary that ran on Friday.

Here is a prayer card from the vigil; front and back. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

Here is the program from the funeral; front and inside. (Click on the images to enlarge.)

Here is the picture that we placed next to the urn.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Facelift.

So I decided to give S'wheatie a facelift before harvest with some new quarter fenders and some new tires. The old recaps which came on the truck were getting to be pretty bald, which really reduced their already lousy traction in the field. I have been running for the last four years with no fenders between the tires and my back window, which has gotten me not a few comments along the lines of "doesn't that worry you?" I really didn't have to many problems though since the old tires hardly ever picked up rocks for the same reason that they hardly ever had any traction when I needed it. You can see from the third picture that my decision to first get the fenders and then get the new tires was justified. The fenders were way cheaper than I'd expected, the tires were more. Too bad--I just had to buy 2 fenders, but 8 tires.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One field, three stories.

First, we have the areas where the wheat came up well in the fall. This wheat is already ripe, and has nice big heads. This is mostly sandier soil, which allowed the 0.30" of rain last fall to reach the seed zone giving the wheat a pretty normal growth pattern.

Then we have the areas where no wheat came up until this spring. This is heavier soil, where the 0.30" of rain did not penetrate to the seed zone, but it also has a lot more subsoil moisture. This wheat is still in grain fill (way behind,) but has nice big heads.

Then there is the rest of the field...

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Breathtaking Wildlife Photography.

This buck is still my buddy because he hasn't jumped out in front of my pickup yet.

This bunny could have been Dad's buddy, if he hadn't eaten the cantaloupe.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Desperate Times Part Seven and an Invader.

See Part Six.

Moving into the home stretch now. It is all headed out now and getting some pretty good grain fill. It is a pretty thin stand in most places, but with good plant health and pretty nice head size.

Looking West.

Looking East.

Looking Down. Like I said, pretty thin.

A lot of really nice kernels in this field, if not as many as could be desired.

And now a look at a minor problem that is quite prevalent this year.
Here I have pointed out a couple of white heads. These white heads are showing up in every wheat field I have seen in our area.

Here you can see it... A seemingly healthy plant topped by a dead-as-nails head. Quite peculiar.

Well, if you split them stem cross ways, you will find a spot where someone has been living.

This little guy. The Wheat Stem Maggot. Apparently he had a banner year last year as well.

How big is this problem? Well that's easy. Simply count up the number of white heads you see in the above pictures and divide by the number of green heads you see to get your percent damage. Ans: Not Much

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not Rain Fast.

Well, the pictures didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I could definitely see the difference between what I sprayed before and after the rain last time. Generally you need anywhere from 2 to 6 hours for the herbicide to be absorbed before getting a rain.
To the right is what was sprayed before the rain, so the herbicide got washed off of the plants before being properly absorbed. The cross piece is the exact spot where I stopped spraying to wait out the rain.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So my dryland is all on a three year rotation. Wheat, Sorghum, Fallow. The last time I planted this field, which consists of the four corners between two circles, was 2005. That year, I started planting on the west half, finished, made a couple of rounds on the east half, and then got rained out. Deja Vu.

In 2005 it rained over an inch at this point, and I ended up spraying the whole field before I finished (to make sure I got it all sprayed before the west half emerged.) This year I sprayed the whole field before I started planting, and it only rained a quarter inch. In 2005 the west half made 100+ bushels per acre, and the east half made less than 50 (not as shocking as it sounds, the west half is a lot better soil.) This year?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Quit Bugging Me, National Geographic, I Refuse to Sell Out My Art

Behold what no eye has ever seen! Gasp at the beauty before you! Tremble at the awesome specter which is lobiwan's photographic genius! Pinch yourself! You are NOT dreaming, those ARE pictures of the elusive Coyote pup!
You have no idea how difficult it is to chase a coyote puppy and its mother around a field in a tractor trying to steer with one hand and take pictures with the other.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Look Inside.

So, the wheat has headed out, what happens now? Well here we have a look at the flower of the wheat plant.These plants have flowered, which we can tell by the anthers hanging out of the heads.

Here's a good looking head. If we pull of the outside layer of one of the spikelets, here is what we find:
Here are the three anthers surrounding the fuzzy pistil. You can see why wheat plants are almost exclusively self pollinating due to the closeness of the anthers and the pistil. No bees required here. This particular flower has almost certainly completed pollination because the anthers have lost their green color. (I think.)

Now we just need the baby wheat plant here to store up some food for itself.

These pictures were taken on May 28th, which puts the wheat about 2-3 weeks behind the normal schedule.

Baseball TEXtravaganza Part III: Postgame

So Anna spent most of the game with her cousins and Linda, as Daddy was too busy bleeding and taking pictures. She had a GOOD time.

Here you can see Luke taking full responsibility for the team's loss. A little harsh, Luke, but who am I to argue?

Then we went to the Olive Garden with the fam and with Mr. Parker, Missy and their kids. Here's Anna puttin' the Olive in Olive Garden.

Mr. Parker decided to let Anna try a lemon.

Lauren knows the key to a toddler's heart: Simultaneous ice cream cones and Popsicles.

Here Luke demonstrates what it means to be a teenager in the late oughts.
Anna was a very competent navigator.

Fun with feet in the car:

And now a special treat. On the banks of the Canadian River, T. Boone Pickens (pictured) is creating his own personal Palm Island (pictured,) except in reverse.