Letter to Dave

Dear Dave,

I would like to claim a quick win before it dissolves in defeat. I have been fighting a small battle with the local raccoons over bird food. I have no problem at all feeding the raccoons and have even gone so far as to leave them piles of chicken feed. I do, however, have a problem with the rowdy way in which these drunken frat boys treat our facilities. They have destroyed about $60 worth of bird feeders so far this season.

I started out by stretching 23 feet of vinyl-covered cable, corner to corner, across our pergola. One corner was a pulley so that I could let the cable down to ground level, attach a bird feeder, fill it and then pull the cable tight which placed the feeder about six feet above the ground. I watched the raccoons attempt to eat from the feeder but eventually their leader perched from one of the pergola cross-pieces and wished for better times. I won this battle however raccoons believe in winning wars so I am going to savor this tentative triumph.

The farmers are planting next fall’s harvest at a furious pace, Dave. It seems like the weather performs the same each spring- it is oddly, early warm and then kind of goes flat. Farmers look forward to early planting and then test their patience as it becomes an average planting and then the farm shows begin to talk about the last possible dates to plant for wheat and row crops. I remember how spring planting was once approached as a pitched battle-lasting weeks. Now it is more like a Special Forces deployment as a small, highly-capable force leaves as quickly as it arrives. There’s barely even time to establish a good spot for afternoon lunch.

Most of my fencing is complete, Dave. The water lines are ready and the barn was finished a month ago. People ask me when I will get cattle and my answer is always the same; they can come when the grass is ready. The grass will be ready when the soil is 50-55 degrees for about 3 weeks and we get a little rain-we’re getting there but the cold nights and cloudy days really slow the process.

I started this letter last week-end and am now finishing it on a Wednesday, Dave. Let’s review; in the past few days we received the precursors of rain but no rain, I am still winning the battle with the raccoons but I real don’t feel that great about it and the United States Department of Agriculture reports that farmers are back to the five year average for planting soybeans and wheat. I also found out the oil pump on my tractor is only a pump by name and not action so I am scouring the bushes for a replacement part as only 364 examples of my tractor were ever built. Scarce parts is the curse of being so special.

Tell everyone hello, you’re little bro’

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