Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Aftermath

Let's see. Our house had lost power by the time I got home, no doubt due to the high voltage lines snapping right about Plymell School. The school had some broken windows, as did Jeff's parent's across the road. David and Denise across the highway were fine, and had a fun time learning how our government works due to the panic over the complete non-emergency at the anhydrous plant across the road from their house. Mom was stuck at Plymell for a couple of hours in her car while they worked to get the power lines cleaned up. The Dairy was the hardest hit, losing an awful lot of tin from their awnings which proceeded to injure several cows and which left a debris field at least 5 miles long--I have a lot of tin in the field here on the home quarter. I heard that they had to shoot 30 cows last night.

Here is the most dramatic damage to our house. We also have a lot of cracked siding on the north side of the house.

We had quite a bit of hail.

Here is some hail I gathered after the hailstorm stopped. You have to remember that these stones had been getting rained on for about thirty minutes by the time I got them. They were originally much bigger. I saw several stones which must have been at least baseball sized.

And for the second year in a row, we managed to have a hail storm before I have remembered to call and buy hail insurance for the wheat. Here are a couple of shots from Thompson's... Dad figured about a thirty percent loss, but we will see.
Here is some of the Plymell dairy debris field on the northeast corner of the home quarter. Luckily our sprinkler was on the west side of the field.
Here is the view of Dean and Dick's sprinkler which is caddycorner to where the above picture was taken:

And here is Larry's sprinkler directly to our east:

Here is one of Boyd's sprinklers just about a quarter mile southwest of Frosty's house(about a mile northwest of our place):

Here is Frosty's sprinkler about 21/2 miles north of our place:
And here are some pictures from Heiman's place, 2 1/2 miles north.Same sprinkler, different angle:

Here is a shot looking north to the dairy. You can click on the picture to make it larger, but even so you can see all of the debris scattered everywhere:
Here is one of Johnny's sprinklers about 3/4 mile north of Plymell:

And here are a couple of shots from the Roach estates (I call it that because the land was developed by that infamous sailor, Admiral Roach) about 3 1/2 miles northwest of Plymell. There was at least one house there that was completely destroyed.

I should point out that we were also very fortunate to have our power back when we woke up this morning. Most of our neighbors are still without power. I am going to go get the paper now to find out about any injuries.

The Storm

This was the first sign of trouble. Dad pointed it out while we were working on the planter while Over East.

He turned on the radio in his pickup and, sure enough, radar indicated tornado warning. They said at the time that it was 5 miles south of Garden and headed east.

Here is what the storm looked like 40 minutes later. I guess this is what they call a possibly-rain-wrapped tornado (because you can't really tell if there is a tornado on the ground or not.)
It was about this time Chris texted me that the storm had changed directions and was headed our way.I stopped a few times on the way home to photograph the multiple funnels, some of which merged before my eyes.

I pretty much floored it all the way home after this shot.

And here is my deer in the headlights shot. Headed. Straight. For. Me. Can't. Look. Away. This one must to have dissipated just as it was upon us. It's nice because I can look out the back door and be in the basement under my desk in about ten seconds. Probably not a good thing...
This funnel missed Frosty's place by less than a half mile.

Meanwhile, this is what the storm looked like from 10 miles to the southeast (The farmstead pictured is Jay's.) This shot had to be taken just about the time I was huddled in the basement. Anna and Betsy were in town. The main funnel must have passed right over the northeast corner of the quarter the farm is on (which is located on the southwest corner), judging from the pieces of Plymell Dairy scattered in our field.THIS IS NOT MY PICTURE! I stole it from here.

Here is a shot of one of the ancillary funnels. This picture is taken about 3/4 mile south of the Finney county line. The black spot on the horizon just to the left of the funnel is the oil tanks located on the southwest corner of Ida Ruth's quarter. This is the same funnel you will see in my video just before I make my second trip to the basement. This one must have missed Boyd's place by a quarter mile at the most.ALSO NOT MY PICTURE! You can see the video I took this from by visiting KSN's Website.

And here is some of my own video:


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NW 32 Step 11

(Step 10 was burndown)
I had some urea spread in an attempt to use as many different nutrient sources as possible.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I was talking to Mark at church about the scrapers on these 7300 planters, and he mentioned that he had replaced his with the carbon tipped flat scrapers. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I went ahead and did the same. I have always had problems with these plastic spinning scrapers falling apart, and every spring I replace most of them. I did a little snooping and found out that JD doesn't even have this style scraper as an option on their new planters.

I think these should work a lot better.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Be Prepared.

Shocked and dismayed, i stared at the limp, frayed rope which I held in my hand. What would I do? If I couldn't fix my transfer pump, how would I ever be able to produce the wonderful corn and wheat and milo for the little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain?

Then I remembered a most timely and thoughtful X-mas present.

I smiled as I realized that the little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain would not wake up hungry. Their little tummies would be full of wonderful highly processed, fattening by-products made from the corn, wheat, and milo I could now produce. Chris, the little big brother that could, had saved the day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Spraying Fun.

Blue mustard (Chorispora tenella) is a horrible plant. It is (so far as I can tell) taking over the entire planet. I hate it. It smells bad. It is everywhere. It must be stopped.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Which lobiwan is Finally Forced to Do Some Actual Fieldwork.

One nice thing about it not raining for five(5) months, is that I didn't really have to worry about spraying for weeds until quite recently. I have been looking forward to hooking up the sprayer to the Puma ever since I got it. The Puma has several features which I theorized would make it super nice for running the sprayer. Now we can find out!
First I had to install the gadgetry. I guess CNH's idea with making their monitor brackets so high up is that it puts the monitors at eye level. I guess someone must appreciate this feature(?,) but really, I would rather be able to see out of the window.
Anyhoo, I finally got it all put together and was able to really put the Puma to the test. These are the things I learned:
1. I am super glad I didn't get the two wheel drive model (or the 2 wheel dirve 7820 I was looking at.) I don't see how I would possibly have enough weight in the front to ballast against the sprayer when full. I am relying on the brakes quite a bit to assist with turning when the tank is full as it is. (I also have to do this in the 8100 when I don't have the saddle tanks mounted.)
2. Speaking of ballast, Wylie advertises this particular model of Sprayer as being designed with 100 hp tractors in mind. I guess maybe it would work if you had a front mounted tank for ballast, but I certainly wouldn't want to use it with any tractor lighter than this Puma.
C. The Puma transmission really shifts nicely.
4. The combination of the cab suspension , the active seat suspension, and the shock absorbing feature of the 3-point hitch really make for a smooth ride through the field. I think I could probably bump my speed up to 12 mph+ (from 10 mph) in most of my fields. (needless to say, I am not looking forward to going back to using the 8100 for spraying after we are done with spring planting.)

I might have to find a different place to mount my radio, though. It is kind of nice to be able to see the whole boom...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mower Fun.

So I went ahead and got a used mower since Chris took ours in the Great 4430 Exchange.

And in related news, we made the final transaction of the G4430E.