Mike Turner

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since Sep 23, 2009
Upstate SC
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Recent posts by Mike Turner

One of my mobile cattle panel-tarp shelters uses a 8'x10'  base of 2x4's and 2 cattle panels.  At one end are mounted two 8" lawnmower wheels. When I want to move it, I lift up the other end with a hand truck and pull or push it to the new location.
Just Fruits and Exotics, a mail order nursery in Florida, sells several cultivars of che under the name "melonberry".
2 weeks ago
I've built a number of cattle panel-tarp shelters, both mobile and those fixed to field fences, the largest being a 11 foot wide,  22 foot long, 12 foot high structure I can store 15 round hay bales in.  Around here, a blue tarp lasts less than 6 months  and a silver tarp less that a year.  A way to greatly increase the longevity of your tarps is to wait until the tarp is approaching the end of its life when it is covered with the little square cracks in its surface, then coat it with the elastomeric 7 or 10 year white roof coating they sell at Lowes.  I have a grey tarp covering my chicken coop that has been in place for 10 years now that I just now recoated when the original coating was starting to wear off.
I had a somewhat similar problem when bought my property 20 years ago.  There wasa big 10 foot wide and deep erosion hole at the end of the spillway to my pond, with the additional problem that when they subdivided the  property, the end of the spillway was on the neighboring property that I didn't have access to.  I planted a row of a deep rooted running bamboo (Semiarundinaria fastuosa) along the property line where the spillway left my property. The dense rhizome network  that this bamboo has formed has stabilized the soil and stopped the progression of the erosion.   I also planted a 10 foot high running bamboo on my earthen dam that has since spread to totally cover the dam, covering the dam with a 2 foot deep dense rhizome network.  This network has stabilized the dam, keeps tree seedlings from establishing themselves on the dam, and makes it difficult for muskrats to dig holes in the dam.  The bamboo is small enough that I can easily clear cut it from parts of the dam if I ever needed to to maintainance on in.  Unlike tree roots, bamboo rhizomes don't get thicker with age, remaining at their 1 inch thickness for their entire 15 year lifespan and are continually being replaced with new rhizomes to form an impenetrable mesh of rhizomes in the topsoil.  The one time a freak rainstorm dumped 14"of water on my property in a couple of hours, the resulting flood overwhelmed my spillway and overtopped the dam.  The myriad of bamboo stems on the dam caught and trapped debris being carried down by the floodwaters, and actually increased the mass of the dam.  This flood washed out the next dam below mine that was covered with grass.
2 weeks ago
I've used a bicycle as a centrifuge to restart ball point pens that stopped working although they still had a reservoir full of ink.  Turn the bicycle upside down, tape the pen to a spoke with the tip pointed towards the tire, crank for 30 seconds at speed, and the pen will start working again.

Also used the bike as a makeshift butter churn.  Strap a container half full of milk to the frame and riding on a bumpy road for a half hour.
1 month ago
First question, are those round things developing fruit or unopened flower buds? Can't tell from the photo resolution. This plant is opposite leaved.  Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is alternate leaved.  Also the flower cluster on this plant is a panicle, whereas pokeweed has its flowers/fruit in a tight raceme.  Could be a Lysimachia whose flowers haven't opened yet, but definitely doesn't look like Lysimachia fruit.
2 months ago
Looks like a milkweed (Asclepias species), check for milky sap.
3 months ago

Gail Gardner wrote:

Mike Turner wrote:

Gail Gardner wrote:

Mike Turner wrote:Rouans and khaki cambells, which can fly short distances.  They spend the night either out on the lake or up next to the house. I've lost a few hens, but only one khaki cambell drake.



Interesting. I never heard of that kind. I'll look them up. The Welsh Harlequins at the last place I lived were sitting ducks. Only the young ones were light enough to fly a little. The older ones get too heavy and can only flap their wings to move faster on land. They had to be protected from coyotes. Aren't the drakes supposed to protect the hens?

Do you live wild or do you feed them? If you feed them, what do you feed them? Do you get eggs? Research says the Khaki Campbell ducks are the most prolific egg layers, but not broody so if you want more of them you have to buy them or put their eggs in with a broody chicken. The best broody chicken I ever had was a bantam. She wasn't even a year old and hatched 19 eggs at once - most of them from full-sized chickens.



The rouans can fly about 50 ft at a height of 3 ft, farther when flying downhill.  The khakis can fly 150ft and clear a 4ft high fence. Drakes don't protect the hens, only harass them trying to mate. My ducks can access the feed I put out for the chickens, but get most of their food from the lake and pastures.  06562920 lay eggs, the problem is finding them, the rouans will nest and brood, the khakis drop their eggs wherever they happen to be when they feel the urge.

3 months ago

Gail Gardner wrote:

Mike Turner wrote:I've been able to reduce my local deer fly and horse fly populations by stocking the lake on my property with ducks.  The fly larvae live in mud and shallow water, precisely the areas where ducks like to feed.  We went from having 2 to 4 deer flies going you when venturing outside during fly season (May-June) to having one show up occasionally when venturing outside (I've only seen 3 so far this season). Horse flies, which show up later in the summer,  also declined to where I rarely see one now.



What kind of ducks? I assume you stocked it with ducks that can fly? Otherwise, I would think coyotes and other predators would wipe them out pretty quickly. But if they can fly, don't they just fly away?



Rouans and khaki cambells, which can fly short distances.  They spend the night either out on the lake or up next to the house. I've lost a few hens, but only one khaki cambell drake.
3 months ago
Another way that clothing can pollute the environment is with clothing that offer "odor control/duel defense/etc." that release silver ions (nanosilver) that act as an antibacterial to control odor.  Ignoring any possible effects that a continual presence of antibacterial silver ions on your skin would have on your skin's natural bacterial flora and disturbing their population dynamics, if the silver ions released into the wash water get into the local waterways they can have an adverse effect on aquatic life.  I also wonder what effect they would have on the anaerobic aquatic ecosystem existing in your septic tank.
3 months ago