Posts

Stacked and Ready to be Processed - Ash Firewood Rounds - November 2020

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 Last month - right at the end of October - I posted a couple of photos and talked about how I had sourced some Ash firewood from one of my neighbors .  They had a crew there to take down a dead Ash tree and I was able to get some of the wood dropped near by so I could get to it.  I left it just laying there for a couple of weeks, but recently, I decided to tidy the place up and get it stacked to it can begin to season and put it in a spot where I can start to process it.  I ended up laying down a couple of 16' 2x4's and rolled the large rounds on top.  Everything (well...almost everything) needs to be cut down to size, so I'll need a chainsaw.  Then, from there, I'll need to split the rounds.  This is one tree, but here's how it is looking all stacked up with some longer limbs that I've sourced from around the yard laying on top.   I have one rack in the back of our lot that is 3/4 of the way full, but I also have the lumber to make a companion rack that I'

Hormel Cup N Crisp Pepperoni - Nice Cups - November 2020

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Just about two years ago, I posted some photos of the new (to me) Ezzo pepperoni that I bought online that was billed as 'cup and char' pepperoni .  I was a little bit late to trying the Prince Street Pizza square that seemed to have kicked off the cupping pepperoni trend, but I was able to get to it in April of 2019 and found it to live up to the hype .  For me, the Ezzo stuff was hard to get (had to order online), so it wasn't something that I was getting all the time.  I had a really nice, thick-cut replacement that Mariano's carried, but they stopped carrying it for some reason during the pandemic. That's when I put my antenna up about new pepperoni.  Over the past year or so, I've been hearing/reading about Hormel introducing something called Rosa Grande .  It is, however, foodservice only.   After reading up on the PizzaMaking.com forums , it turns out that most people there believe that this latest market entrant:  Cup N Crisp from Hormel is really the sa

Seeing It Is Thanksgiving... 2020

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 Nope, not The Last Waltz.  I suppose that's ok.  With the pandemic and all, right?   Instead, here's a little Elton John and John Lennon singing my COVID mantra:  Whatever gets you through the night.  Elton was on Howard Stern recently and talked about playing with John.  The video below has *real* audio, but there doesn't seem to be video from the night.   Whatever gets you through your life It's all right, it's all right Do it wrong, or do it right It's all right, it's all right  Oh, I'll still watch The Last Waltz today.  But, 2020 being what it is, felt like I could snap the line of annual posts here on the blog .  

Sandhill Crane Migration - November 2020 - Northern Illinois

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I was out for a walk over the weekend when I heard a bugle-like noise and looked up to see a row of Sandhill cranes flying south high above the Western Suburbs of Chicago. Here's a video that I took of them - that if you turn your volume WAAAAY up - you can hear what they sound like: The DuPage County Forest Preserve District has this post up from one year ago that talks about these birds and their migration patterns .  They mention that there's a place in Indiana that sees thousands of these guys every year.  On the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area DNR site , they have a count.  As of this past week, they had more than more than 16K Sandhill Cranes there on site.  Woah. 

Frans Fontaine Hornbeams - Lost Leaves in Fall - November 2020

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Just yesterday, I posted a photo of our barren Oak trees in our backyard .  These two mature Oaks have historically kept many of their leaves well into Winter thanks to the phenomenon called foliar marcescence.  In that post , I mentioned that we were seeing something similar on other trees that normally behaved the same was as the Oaks.   Today, you can see the photo at the top of this post showing all eight Frans Fontaine Columnar Fastigiate Hornbeam trees that have lost all of their leaves by mid-November.   Just two weeks ago, I posted about how one of these trees shed its leaves , but the rest were keeping them.  This tree (#4 from the left) has done this same thing before in 2018 .   But now, ALL OF THEM have dropped their leaves.   And that is, umm, alarming. Here's what these same trees looked like one year ago - on November 19th, of 2019 .  FULL OF LEAVES.  Dry leaves.  BUT FULL.  Have a look at this post showing these columnar Hornbeam trees in January of this year .  The

Mid-November 2020: Mature Oak Trees Have Shed Their Leaves - Northern Illinois

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Yesterday, I posted a photo in the garden diary of the recently set buds on our very small caliper Northern Red Oak tree that was planted just this year.  In that post, I mentioned that both *that* young Oak tree AS WELL AS our two larger, more mature Oaks have lost all of their leaves.   Notable, I think - as we're seeing a very different timeline than last Fall/Winter.   I posted this photo of both of the mature Oak trees in our backyard on December 16th 2019 - a little bit under a year ago - showing that both of the trees had A LOT of their leaves clinging to the limbs.  At the time, I poked around a little bit into the concept of foliar marcescence and how it might be a behavior that is aimed at assisting the tree by retaining some of the leaves until Spring to be used as an organic material delivery system when the tree needs it.  Here's what those two same trees look like right now:  barren. Wonder what caused this change year-over-year.  It happened with another set o

Northern Red Oak Tree Buds - Fall - November 2020

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The leaves have come off of our Oak trees.  The large ones have just a few clinging on, but this tiny one that I planted this year is naked.  This was planted back in May of 2020 and seemed to do just fine back in this location.   The larger trees looked like this all the way into December - thanks to foliar marcescence.  That now has me thinking that I should get a post up in the [garden diary] showing the leaves being off the Oaks by late November this year.  But, back to this small Northern Red Oak tree - and the buds in has set in particular.  Like the other trees in this [tree buds] series, these ones are unique ( thanks Rutherford Platt !) and have some unique characteristics.  First, the color - is what I'd call caramel.  Reminds me of the newish high-end vehicle interiors that you are seeing.  Kind of like a brand new, unused football.  They're also pointy.  In the image below, you can see how there are three of them at the tip of one of the branches with some other o