Posted by: kathandroger | January 16, 2017

The Fire, Rats and a strange Tool

What a busy week! All the jobs to do for the beginning of our next season. We await the big freeze promised for tomorrow, and loads of logs have been cut for our two wood burning stoves. The weather is clear and cold, just right for messing about in the garden and cutting down trees. One of our old cherries in the orchard had come to the end of its’ days, and we cut the old girl down a couple of days ago. The logs will weather a bit outside, and then I will take them up to the wood store to use next year. Big boys games, but the wife did help this time, pretending she knew how to get a good fire going for burning all the too small to use twigs. After a good dose of diesel oil it did get going and all the bits and pieces were consumed in the fiery furnace. I love a good fire in winter, but have to admit it makes me stink a bit at the end of the day. How do females not smell when they have been doing the same thing as me? She was still like a fresh lily when work was done.img_3646The tall stump has been left deliberately at 10 foot high, so that we can fix a basketball net for the guests to use. The old oil drum is a good way to keep the fire under control, and we raised it on some bricks to keep it away from the big plywood sheet to protect the lawn. All went well until the burning embers fell out, set fire to the plywood, and scorched a great big area of grass! The intention was good though.

A  big brown rat has decided that he wants to live under our little chicken house. I built it on wheels deliberately to avoid this problem, moving the thing every few days, and the ploy has worked well for seven years. I saw the soil mound a few days ago, pulled the house away from it, and Mr Rat took one look at me an scarpered to a hole in our wall. The next day I went down with a spade in hand, intent on some mortal rat bashing, but my usual helper refused to pull the house because she is scared of rats. It really didn’t matter though as ratty had done a runner. So what to do? He obviously only comes at night, nicks a bit of the chicken food, noshes it in his newly dug hollow, and then goes somewhere else for the day.img_3645-2The pipe contains rat poison-which has been left completely untouched, and the inverted bucket covers a spring trap, baited with both smelly cheese and peanut butter, which has equally been totally ignored. Brock the Badger has not come back since the urine trap was set, so I have relieved myself a couple of times around the chicken house to see if that works. I hope the neighbours were not watching! The house will be moved around each day, and the red grain feeder removed at night and maybe he will give up.

I found this strange garden tool today. The handle is set at 90 degrees to the fork and I have no idea what it was used for.img_3648It is very robust, and maybe it was used for uprooting stumps. Perhaps a clever reader will educate me.


Responses

  1. We found the metal part of one of those tools in our barn and assumed it was some kind of hoe for uprooting big weeds.
    You would use it by dragging it towards you as opposed to gently pushing the hoe away from you as with an English style of hoe designed for much more delicate weeds!
    We used something similar but with more prongs on a vineyard tour where the owners had obviously worked out that you could get the punters to weed between the vines not only for free but they would actually pay to do it and think it was fun!
    (Only joking, it was fun – especially after a couple of glasses…..)

    • Thanks Jean, but the strange angle of the handle still has me confused. The prongs of the tool would have to be inserted at right angles to the pulling direction. Perhaps that was for levering the weed, or old vine root, up and out of the ground.


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