Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Home : Main Forums : Duck Boat/Hunting Forum :

Catching up 2 - Birds and Wheat et cetera

Quote Reply
Catching up 2 - Birds and Wheat et cetera
All~


One of my thoroughly enjoyable Spring activities is leading local bird walks - often in support of not-for-profits. One smaller walk was with a couple - and we found a nesting Least Flycatcher - right near one of my favorite gunning spots.







Most impressive this year, though, was the prevalence of bird ID "apps" on smartphones among the attendees. I do not use one myself, but I have been amazed at how well they pick up and identify bird sounds. Happily, they they thus far only confirmed my Old School (unaided ears) IDs - but I think they are a wonderful learning tool. Most use the Merlin app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Another NDR activity was watching our farmers (friends and neighbors) harvest their small grains. They are using a circa 1942 McCormick combine - for which I sewed new canvas conveyor belts last year.






The mechanisms are fascinating to watch - in a Rube Goldberg sort of way.






The brothers work in perfect synchrony - and are "hitting their numbers" on the oats, wheat, rye and barley - all grown organically for human consumption.






Next Saturday I will be demonstrating carving at the American Museum of Flyfishing in Manchester, VT - about 45 minutes from here. I will be gathering up a bunch of finished birds and also showing in-progress work. I carved the Greenwings for my patents back in the '80s.






I've got lots of "customer gunners" around for repair and rehab.






I've re-painted the head and restored the keels on this nice corker (maker unknown). It is one of 7 or 8 - and all need the Wiley cork re-burned. The Mallard needs a new bill - but my job is to make the repair invisible with minimal new paint.






This nice Brant was carved by an old friend - Jim Marran. He passed away years ago - so I'll be finishing it for its new owner.






These Helmuth Rich (from Patchoguer, LI) Shelldrake have been mostly filled - then will be painted for my own rig (most likely).






Stay tuned,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Catching up 2 - Birds and Wheat et cetera In reply to
Hi Steve,
I enjoyed reading this article along with the pictures you posted. One thing I found interesting was when you were talking about the brothers who were using the old McCormick farm machinery. You talked about them "hitting their numbers". Since they are involved with selling to customers their organic whole grains, how good was their harvest and do you know what they gave credit to for all the success that they had?


When you think of the farming industry today where almost all fields planted must be sprayed to successfully reap a good a harvest, how did they circumvent this in their production of the four basic grains that they harvested? That involves so many different aspects to farming. I am assuming that anyone in the organic field like they are must use only grains that have not been genetically altered like most of the seeds are now. Where did they get all of their seeds for planting?


I wish them all of the success in the world just because it is so very difficult to try and raise something that hasn't been altered at all.
Al


Seeing your bird that you posted and what it meant to you, here is one picture I took this spring of a golden crowned sparrow who must have been given quite a ride in a wild couple of days we had this spring with westerly winds that were brutal. After the winds died down we had these birds at our feeders. Since I had never seen one I sent this picture to a former student of mine in Wisconsin just because he is such a knowledgeable guy when it comes to birding. Russ told me that the golden crowned sparrow is normally found along the Pacific shorelines of the western states and Canada. That is where the winds storms got started and here they were in my backyard in the southwest quadrant of New Mexico when the storm was over.





Quote Reply
Re: Catching up 2 - Birds and Wheat et cetera In reply to
Good morning, Al~


re the numbers: These sacks are just a few of what they've taken off. They are getting about a ton per acre - at least for the Wheat. I have not heard yields for the other grains - I just know the boys are satisfied.







They use several heirloom varieties. Their main strategy for avoiding weeds is rotating crops each year (or even season) and putting in nurse and cover crops as needed. This is only their second year of harvesting, but they have been lucky with the werather both years.


Neat find on that Golden-crowned! I enjoy all of the Sparrows - the plumage markings have the same sort of subtle beauty as many Shorebirds and hen ducks.


All the best,


SJS








Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com