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Careful with all that dirt Elkhunter, don't want you back in the VA anytime soon. Use one of those wonderful new inventions to move dirt like that, I think it is called a "tractor"
Hot here today again, it was 71 when I was coming in to work at a little after 7:00 this morning.
Could be a lOOOOOOOOOng smokey summer if we don't get some more rain soon
Haying has already started in some places, but from what I hear the crops got stunted by the dry spring. I am just worried about another situation like happened in 2000 when hot tractors started fires like at Toston-Maudlow while just trying to cut the crops.
Haying has been going on around here for a while. A neighbor has 600 acres that he put up in large round bales. It was sold before he finished at $120 a ton. Every ounce is headed out on semi's, destination, Texas.
I talked to one rancher that normally runs his cattle up on the National Forest during the summer. They cut it back this year to 2 months of graze, down from 4 months of graze just a couple years ago, which makes it almost not worth it to turn them loose up there. He has never had to buy hay before, always able to put up enough of his own. He said he would be buying hay by early August.
Usually, second cutting is better hay and that's what we are waiting for. We might have to get a little bit before that happens. I checked this morning and we've got 32 small squares left in the barn. Last year, we paid $60 a ton for small square bales. Worked out to 33 bales a ton. I hate to see what the cost is going to be this year.
Pretty good sized fire in the Scratchgravel hills just north of Helena started about 4:20 this afternoon.
Lots of smoke, haze is moving in.
My house smells like someone has been smoking grass in it. (real grass not mary jane ) There was a severe thunderstorm watch posted for Lewis and Clark County this afternoon with a high wind warning, that could have really been a mess!!
I can see the smoke plume from my house, but not the base of the fire so I can't tell how they are doing, but I really hope they get a handle on it before it crosses the valley.
Well, on the drive to work this morning, the smoke wasn't billowing up from the Scratchgravel, in fact it looked pretty quiet.
From the radio reports there was a huge attack force that hit that fire last night, and it seems to have done some good.
Hope so anyway.
Sorry Walter, Don't know anything about that saddle maker you are talking about. The best Saddle Maker I ever knew was Gale Jerome, but he is retired now.
One thought, they will be putting the new Cowboy Museum in Big Timber soon, that may be a place you could find out something when it is put together anyway if you are still interested.
The Historical Society in Helena may have some information as well.
Third day in a row for 100+. Well, it's not 100 yet, however, it's 99 and only noon. It'll get there.
The 4th of July is coming up. Let's all remember that it is Independence Day and a day for celebration. Fireworks, pic-nics in the park, a hike in the mountain, some fishing at the lake with your grandson, however you want to celebrate.
I'm looking forward too how Timber handles it. The year before last we had a fireworks display that put the city's firework display to shame. Remember, I am on 3 acres of which half is in the county. The law says, not fireworks in town, so we have a lot of folks coming here to shoot off their fireworks. The year before last, there were several thousand dollars of fireworks shot off here. It was Timber's first fireworks display. She stood next to me in the yard and watch kids shooting roman candles and such and she looked on real curios like. There were approximately 100+ rockets that were about 5 inches across and 3 feet tall all lined up by the garage, but they hadn't started them yet. Everybody was allowing the kids to shoot their stuff up and have fun.
I needed to use the bathroom (You know you only rent beer) so I came inside, leaving Timber to watch the fun. While in the Cabin, I hear "KA BOOOOOM" and then the sparks raining down on my steel roof. I thought, great, they've started on the big stuff. So I grabbed another cold one and headed back outside. They are shooting these, not 75 feet from my cabin. By the way, we had the 2 inch pump in the creek and 4 hoses run to varios parts of the place so if a fire started, we were ready. But I go outside and there's no Timber. I looked and looked, as she's usually going from person to person being petted. Nope, no dog. I finally found her, huddled under my 4 wheeler, trembling like she's trying to pass a peach pit. I called her out and very hesitantly came out but immediately run up the steps and into the cabin. I went in to calm her down. I petted her a bit, while outside we're hearing "KA BOOOOOOM" and the the hiss and tink of the sparks raining down. About 2 minutes of calming her, she walks over to the window and pushes the window shade up and looks outside. "KA BOOOOOM" and she almost breaks her neck as she watches the fireworks shoot into the air and explode up high and then everything rains down. About 4 or 5 of these and she's wanting outside. So we go out on the porch and watch for a few more. Then she heads off the porch and starts her rouns of the groups of people standing around. She eventually went up and sniffed the unfired rockets and then stood not 20 feet from where they were being launched at. The guy would take a rocket over there, set it up just right, light the fuse and when he ran, Timber would run with him back about 25 feet and then watch it go off. The rest of the evening she was fine.
Last year, we did it over at a friends house and Timber and I didn't go. We watched from here. But this year, I think everybody is going to gather here again. It depends. Right now, we are dryer then a popcorn fart. Even the teen's that always show up are saying, "We'd better not launch any this year, it's too dry." I'll tell you, these ranch kids are pretty responsible. They might kick up their heels and have a snort on Saturday night, but the rest of the week is all work.
So what do you folks have planned? Relatives, friends coming over? Are you going over to other's place? Picnic in the park planned? Some sack races, volleyball, softball, swimming in the river planned? I have the feeling and sneaky suspicion, that what ever the Griz has planned includes some gun powder, shell casings, lead, a 1 ft square of paper about 100 or 200 yards from the porch.
Speaking of which, I got my letter and once again I've been invited to the LRSO. (Long range Shoot off). Each year we have it someplace different. Last year it was South of Gillette in a reclamation site. It's a bunch of ex military pea shooters that get out and make fools of ourselves in front of the other shooters. We shoot 1000, 1250 and 1500 yards. We have to shoot ex military hardware. I break out my old M1 Garand for that one. Last year I took top honors at 1500. Didn't even place at 1000, but hey, I was rusty. hahaha I shot a 176 out of a 300. We had wind the first day and that didn't help. It's an invitation only shoot and it's not publicized as we don't need people with camera's recording old pea shooters. There are NO cell phones allowed amongst the shooters. No pictures. And we win, NOTHING other than bragging rights for the next shoot. I look forward to it every year. Let me tell you, some of those guys (Younger, niaeve crowd) that belive the M16/AR-15's are the bomb, or the guys that want to shoot the old springfields learn every year and come the next year, we find out they are concerts to the Garand crowd. hahaha Those M16 shooters have to kind of fling the rifle barrel when they pull the trigger. About 62 clicks and you should be on paper. From then on it's all mirage, temperature, and watching your flags because you'll have 4 of 5 wind directions that are different at 1500 yards. Remember, "Gun Control" is easy breathing, drop your heart rate to about 40, and squeeze til she leaps.
Edit - Forgot to mention. The guns used have to be ex military hardware. The guns can be accurized, however, they have to have factory iron sights. Safety's, stock, and sightss have to be unmodified. NO Scopes. Wood stocks can be replaced, but will conform to stock shape and weight. When they inspect your hardware, they do not touch them. You hold them, they ask you questions and have you demonstrate, but you hold them. They know that a pea shooter never, ever, takes the chance of another person touching and possibly dropping your hardware.
We've had shooters come all the way from California, Mississippi, Ohio and points in between.
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