Progress in Paradise... I forgot to mention yesterday that the barn painters showed up, to start work on the outside painting. It's warm enough now! They caulked and reset siding all around, and painted three coats of white on three sides – they ran out of time before getting to the west side. The barn is so bright now that it hurts your eyes to look at it :) The crew will be back next Monday and Tuesday to finish it all up, including the trim in my office.
I used just under two gallons of 2,4-D concentrate today, spraying about five acres in total. That's our entire yard, the canal sides, field edges, and highway median strip. The whole job took about seven hours, three tank fillings (for 110 gallons of spray in total), and really very little physical labor. Nice! Most of the spraying I did with the three-nozzle bar sprayer on the back of my rig, which sprays an 8' wide swath. The bits that were so full of trees and shrubs that I couldn't drive the ATV on them, I sprayed with the wand. It's got a 12' hose that I'll probably replace with something longer. Most of the wand spraying I did from the ATV's seat, which felt like the height of spraying laziness. When I was a kid I helped my dad spray in customer's yards. He had a hand-pushed sprayer, heavy as hell, with a gas-powered pump (also heavy!). His sprayer was more powerful than mine, but oh man was it a lot of work. That memory is why my current rig feels lazy :)
The first photo below shows the bottom of the black willow that I cleaned out yesterday. I really need a before-and-after photo set here, but where you can see the trunks of the willow now was completely obscured by deadwood yesterday. Now the only thing blocking view of them are the roses. The middle photo was taken from the same spot, looking toward our house (just west of north). It's a beautiful spring day! The last photo is of a couple of bad dogs that followed me out on our morning walk. I had Mo'i on a leash as well (have to, because he can't hear our commands to come back!), but he wouldn't sit still for the photo...
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