Category Archives: Silviculture

House burn 2022-03-28

If you want a southern pine forest, you have to burn every few years to keep the other trees back, and to keep the vines from climbing to the top as ladder fuels.

[Start, spread, finish]
Start, spread, finish

This was a burn around the house, also to reduce the likelihood of wildfires or our other burns getting to the house.

Might be prudent to do it in less than five years, since there was a lot of raking to be done this time. That’s why we took two days to do this five acres.

But we did it with one match. No gasoline or diesel to spread the fire. Just flaming pine straw on rakes. Continue reading

McCoy turpentine cup 2022-03-20

This is a McCoy turpentine cup collected some time back from my property.

[Top and side]
Top and side

As you can see, it is folded metal, so far as I know galvanized steel, although quite rusted.

Another of those is what you see the remains of on the fallen catface. Continue reading

Turpentine cup on fallen cat face 2022-01-06

Update 2022-03-20: McCoy turpentine cup 2022-03-20.

It’s been 80 or 90 years since turpentining paid off the farm during the Great Depression. Yet we still find turpentine cups, and sometimes cat faces.

[Downed catface with Carolina dog, closeup of turpentine cup]
Downed catface with Carolina dog, closeup of turpentine cup

Blondie is a Carolina Dog, which is a native landrace breed, as in they bred themselves. Carolina Dogs were discovered in South Carolina in the 1970s, thus the name. They were living in longleaf pine forests and cypress swamps, just like where Blondie and Arrow (and Honeybun) live now in Georgia. Continue reading

Planting fruit trees 2021-03-30

Citrus: lemon, satsuma, blood orange, and grapefruit, two of each.

[Gretchen planting fruit trees]
Gretchen planting fruit trees

Better than the invasive chinaberry trees that used to be there. Getting rid of those took a bulldozer and years of mowing and harrowing. Continue reading

Fire in wood stove 2020-11-17

It’s that time of year.

[Heat and light]
Heat and light

Plenty of dead oaks to cut up for firewood.

That’s good, but also troubling: too many dead trees due to spells of drought and heat.

Here’s a brief video: Continue reading

Beautyberry, boats, bananas, fire 2020-10-04

Around Okra Paradise Farms this morning.

[Beautyberry with boats, bananas, and wood fire]
Beautyberry with boats, bananas, and wood fire

Also grapevine. And I keep pulling up Continue reading

Cat face, beaver pond 2020-06-16

Back in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, my father and grandfather paid off the mortgage on the farm through income from turpentine. This is a catface, where the bark was scraped off a pine tree so its sap would ooze out, to be caught in a metal cup nailed below on the tree.

[Catface and beaver pond]
Catface and beaver pond

The rest of the tree long ago was logged.

Behind the pine tree stump and the adjoining oak tree, you can see a beaver pond. Continue reading

Phoenix bird 2020-05-10

The firebird appears to be a Carolina wren.

[Carolina wren]
Carolina wren

This Thryothorus ludovicianus didn’t seem to mind that I was three feet from it. Continue reading