Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Don't want to Jinx Myself....

....but it was exactly a year ago that I posted these pictures of the snow in the yard....

Today, one year later, the view is much different...

I know that by posting these pictures, I risk Mother Nature's revenge and face the potential for a huge dumping of snow. I'll take that risk.

In the past few weeks we've had some unseasonably warm temperatures. It's has cooled off the last few days, so much so that we're back to fires in the fireplace. This may not have been the snowiest winter, but it certainly has been a cold one.

The motorcycles are still sleeping in the garage but I've been hearing some grumbling from them. So it wont be long until they wake up and get out for their first spring ride.

I've started to work on a few garage projects. I added an elbow to the exhaust on my John Deere tractor. The factory exhaust aims forward, and blows onto the back of the snow blower. The warm exhaust warms the steel on the left side of the blower and a lot of the snow sticks to the inside. A short piece of 1.5" diameter chrome plated brass drain pipe will cure that problem.

I cut a few short slits in the new pipe and forced it over a 1 1/16" impact socket to expand it just enough to slip over the tip of the exhaust. I secured it with a hose clamp. I'll try it this way, but it might have to be modified slightly in case it catches in the weeds or comes to close to the loader frame.

This winter I added a SpeeCo Quick Hitch to the three point hitch of the tractor. This makes the job of attaching implements much easier.

I've been working on a ballast box for the tractor. I got a good deal on some 70 pound bags of sand (dirt cheap) and picked up some PVC pipe to put in the box so I can carry a chain saw, a few yard tools and some logging chains with me. I need some warmer weather so I can finish some painting and then add 500 pounds of sand. The ballast box is primarily used with the front end loader, but it will also add some extra traction in the rear when used with the snow blower.

I moved the tail light/flashers to the inside of the roll bar. The fixtures are plastic and I figured the first time I cut the grass I'd get too close to a tree branch and knock one of them off.

Over the winter, my buddy, John, has provided me with 3 large pallets and lots of extra lumber. The pallets are 110 inches long and will be perfect for stacking more firewood!

One project I managed to get done before winter came was making covers for the 2 huge basement window wells. A few treated 2x4s and some clear corrugated polycarbonate, and no more snow in the wells and plenty of light. The temps in the window well were often warm enough to open the windows and give the cats a treat of semi-outdoor warm sunshine.

No matter what the weather does in the next few weeks, spring is not far away. The sap is flowing in the maple trees. There was a "sap-sicle" hanging off this maple yesterday, but only a "sap-cube" remains today... Look close..