Possible trigger?

While waiting for the RCMP to call me back, a thought occurred to me, so I went to the post office.

Sure enough, I found what may have been the trigger for this.

In the mail was a letter from the Court of Queen’s Bench. The judge’s decision on our vandal’s civil suit against me.

It was dismissed.

He now owes me $500 in court costs.

I expect him to appeal. He would have picked up his mail as usual on Friday, and had the decision festering in his head for a couple of days, so it could easily have triggered him to get drunk and do something stupid last night.

I don’t know that I’m happy with why the judge dismissed the case, though I suppose she had to respond to his claim, not my defense. She basically said that he did not provide a comprehensive list of items (noting that he’d said there was “too much to list”) with a market value, such as an appraisal, included. Basically, if he can come up with a list and attach dollar amounts to things, he can include that in his appeal.

In the papers he presented to the judge, he had photos of vehicles he claimed were his (one of which is already on his property, and at least one other was given to my dad by my brother, and is not his), and they were older photos. Photos taken while many of the vehicles still look like they’re worth something. They don’t look anywhere near that good anymore. Even as scrap value, the longer they sit there, rusting away, the less they’re worth. In his picture of the post pounder, you can’t even tell what it is, because it was covered in junk. I’m the one who cleaned it up and have been trying to protect it from the elements. That was built by my late brother, so there is no market equivalent.

Still, I can see our vandal sitting there, stewing, coming up with a list of everything he thinks is his, or believes is here, and how much he can say I need to pay him for it. He could have found a way to prove things were his, and I would have let him take it. Heck, I would have been good with claims being corroborated by my brother or my mother, but in trying to do so, I found that he was claiming some things are his that they say are not. But he doesn’t actually want the stuff. He wants the money – and to destroy me.

Ah, well. I guess I “won”, but I don’t think it’s over.

Whatever he ends up doing, I can easily see the decision being enough to put him out of control, getting drunk, and deciding to do something about the one camera he could actually reach. I honestly can’t think of any logical alternative to how the camera disappeared, and I’ve been trying. I would really prefer to believe that some animal dragged it off, but… no. That just doesn’t fit.

No matter.

I called the RCMP again. It’s a good thing I did, because the clerk isn’t in today, so no one saw my message. I’ve filed a report, but there’s really nothing they can do about it. There are no witnesses, and the only evidence would be in the missing camera’s memory card. It’s not like I have a camera on my camera!

But it’s reported and on file, so there is at least that. Who knows. When the clerk comes in and gets my message, I might still get a call from a constable later.

On top of that, I got a call from the tree guy. The chippers will not be coming today, as we are expected to get rain this afternoon. Possibly heavy thunderstorms. Which I don’t expect to actually hit us, but we’ll see. He will call me again, the next time they have a few hours available.

On the plus side, I got a wonderful surprise in the mail. A big, heavy box was waiting for me.

M, you are such a sweetie! Thank you so much. The cats will love the treats and, as soon as I’m done this, I’m going to start going through those old books! 🥰 You are awesome!

I have the best friends. 💟💟

The Re-Farmer

Morning harvest, and … that really sucks

When to do my morning rounds these days is a bit of a conundrum. I can wait until later in the morning, but find it gets too hot, too quickly. Plus, the kitties will be hungry. Or I can do it earlier when it’s cooler, but get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I went earlier this morning and not only were the mosquitoes out in full force (and I didn’t want to use bug spray when I wasn’t going to be outside for very long), but it was so humid out, my glasses fogged up while I was picking beans, and the dew got me completely soaked from the knees down!

Still, there were some decent pickings this morning. The purple beans are starting to really kick in.

Normally, I would have set it up all pretty before taking a picture, but things did not go as expected this morning.

I was planning to make jokes about feeling “chipper”, because I got a call from the tree guys yesterday. They will be coming in today to chip our branch piles. The problem is, I’m not feeling the least bit chipper this morning, and this is why.

There is supposed to be a trail cam there. The post the camera screws onto is snapped right off.

In the off chance something bigger, like a racoon, broke it, I checked the ground around the post, both on our side of the fence line, and the road side. Nothing. It’s gone.

Obviously it was there yesterday morning, since I switched out the memory cards. I was watering the garden quite late, but I didn’t check it, so I can’t say if it disappeared during the day, or at night.

Now, the most obvious assumption is that our vandal took it. While in court with his civil suit against me, one of the things he kept bringing up is that I have cameras all over the place because I’m trying to “catch” him and put him in jail. That camera is there because the sign with my late father’s name on it that was mounted on the post had disappeared. A reflector that had been mounted to overlap the top of the sign was broken in half. Half is still on the post, and I found the other half on the ground. So we made the new sign and put the camera on it as a deterrent. In fact, one of the pictures our vandal submitted to court as some sort of evidence against me (???) was of the sign, with the camera beside it circled.

I would have preferred to have the camera further back from the fence, but there was no way to mount it and still record the area in front of the sign. So it’s very been very visible from the road, and can be easily reached.

The irony of it is, this camera has been having problems. Unlike the other trail cam, where you can see that the batteries are slowly dying in the night shots (infrared flash is not as bright, flickering lines across the frame, etc), when the batteries go on this one, it tends to be very sudden. I’ll open it up and the LCD screen won’t turn on, and the camera will be dead. Usually, I just change the batteries, reset the time and date, and it’s done, but the LCD screen never came back. The camera was still recording, but the time and date was on default, and reset to default every time I changed the memory card. I was planning to replace it, but all our extra funds are going towards paying the tree guys to chip the branch piles today. Still, I was expecting to replace the camera fairly soon.

Now, there’s no camera to replace.

*sigh*

So once I was back inside from doing my rounds, the girls took care of the vegetables for me so I could look up and call the non-emergency RCMP number for our area.

There was no answer, so I left a message.

I could report the theft online, but after going over their options, I decided against it. Because of our vandal and the restraining order we have against him, this theft falls into several categories – and we can’t even say that he is the one who took it. Yes, he’s the most likely person to have done that, but would he really be THAT stupid? Yet, there is no one else who would do something like that. Even if one of his buddies decided to do it, they would know he would be the one immediately suspected and that it would get him in even worse trouble.

*sigh*

What a start to the day!

The Re-Farmer

Future wildflower area, and something’s missing

After breaking the lawn mower in the strip along the road, I finally got back to it, today.

Here is how it looked before I started, from each end.

I suppose one good thing about the drought conditions is that this area has never gotten overgrown. There were saplings starting, so I went over the area with the lopper first, cutting them as close to the ground as I could. The last time I had to do that, we didn’t have loppers, so a lot of these saplings were growing out of the ragged ends of smaller saplings before, that had been mowed over rather than cut with pruning shears. The larger ones had been cut with pruning shears, and there was enough of them that I had needed a wheelbarrow to clean up. This time, I could just pick up the larger ones by hand and didn’t even get an armful.

Here is how it looked when I was done.

The plan for this area is to convert it to native wildflowers for the pollinators. The mix we have has 16 annuals and perennials, chosen for Western Canadian climates. We intend to start at the far end (where the lawn mower can be seen in the one photo), as that end is near the garden. Over time, I intend to continually scatter more seeds down the line, with a goal of this entire strip being full of wildflowers. Once that is established, we won’t need to mow it regularly any more, and we will just need to keep on top of cutting away any saplings that try to establish themselves, and do a single mow, at the highest setting, at the end of the year.

What we can’t do is follow the instructions. This is the method we had intended to follow.

Method Three involves more planning but requires no chemicals. Till in the late summer or early fall the year before planting. You may allow the soil to lie fallow or plant a cover crop after tilling. A cover crop may be important if your site is on a slope. A green manure cover crop such as buckwheat or annual rye grass will hold the soil until spring, help add beneficial organic matter and help snuff out germinating weeds. In the spring, light cultivation will be needed to loosen the soil and turn under all existing growth just prior to planting. ‘

https://www.veseys.com/us/westernmixwildflowers.html

Well, we can’t till this area. Even if we had a working tiller. You can’t see them in the photos, but there are several large rocks peaking through the soil, and I have no doubt there are more that cannot be seen. I had hoped to at least go over the area with a harrow, but we still need to figure out a safe way to get under the riding mower, which has a tow hitch, to put the chain back on, so it will move. It hasn’t exactly been a priority.

Then there are these instructions:

Sowing: 

Once your ground is bare and loose, you are ready to sow. Following are a couple of tips that will make the whole process simple and successful. First, choose a nearly windless day and, second, separate the seed you’re planting, no matter the amount, in roughly two equal parts. Put the first half in a clean bucket or coffee can and add in roughly 10 parts of light sand or vermiculite. There are two reasons for the sand. It will dilute the seed and help you spread it more evenly. More important, since it is lighter-colored than the freshly-tilled soil, you’ll be able to see where you’ve been as you sow. You can simply hand-sow, keeping the seeding as even as possible. Or use a hand-crank seeder. The amount of seed you sow depends on the sort of flower display you want. Many people sow up to two or even three times the minimum seeding rates on seed packages to assure heavy bloom. Avoid planting higher densities since this will inhibit good growth. Sow the first half of your seed/sand mix over the entire area to be seeded. Then go back, mix the second half of your seed with sand and spread that seed over the whole area. This way, you’ll avoid bare spots. Once the seed is evenly sown, you can rake to barely cover the seed with soil. Or, simply compress the seed into the freshly-tilled ground. A lawn roller is perfect for the job, and for smaller areas, a piece of plywood laid down and walked on will do.

Okay, so we can broadcast the seed easily enough, but things like getting rid of all the roots of what’s already there, and having “bare and loose” soil first is out of the question. We’ll be lucky if we can loosen the soil at all. As for raking or tamping down to compress the seed into the soil? Ha! Nope. Not gonna happen. It’s just too large of an area. We will also not be able to do any watering here, at all. We have enough hose that we can reach the furthest corner of the furthest garden bed with the spray nozzle on the hose. I have no intention of buying yet another length of hose, to water outside the garden area.

Nope.

The instructions say to prepare the soil, then plant in the spring, after last frost. Since we can’t water the area, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and broadcast the seeds in the fall. I had expected to be doing that around now, but we are having relatively warm temperatures for the next while, and we’re also getting rain. I don’t want the seeds to germinate. I want them to go dormant before getting covered with snow. Then, when the snow melts in the spring, they will get their moisture.

This goes against all the instructions but… well, these are wildflowers. Wildflowers manage to propagate themselves without freshly turned soil, tamping down or clearing of other plant roots. I’m going to be trying to copy nature, here.

So we will do as much as we can first – which, unless we can get under the mower, is basically what I’ve done today. I’ll be using garden soil instead of sand to help broadcast the seed more evenly. Since I don’t want the seeds to germinate, I will probably wait until the end of the month, or even into October, to do it. Whatever survives, survives. If we keep broadcasting seeds, year after year, eventually the area will get filled. Hopefully with a good variety.

So that’s done as much as possible for today.

This is the first time I’ve been out this way, on foot, all year, which means today was the first time I was able to check out, and get a photo of, this.

This is the corner post of the property’s fence line.

It needs replacing, as does most of the fence, but that is not what I was taking a pictures of.

I was taking a picture of what isn’t there.

My father’s name.

Many years ago, my dad took a piece of red plastic and used gold coloured, metal, self adhesive, letters to put his initial and surname on it. The sign was mounted on this post. Back in the day, before any of these roads had names, and well before the driveway marker system was implemented, the sign was used as a landmark when giving people directions to our place.

We don’t go out often, and the sign can be easily seen only when we are on the return trip, but seeing that flash of red while turning the corner always made me feel good. It was a memory of my father.

Some time ago, however, I realized I wasn’t seeing that flash of red anymore. Today, I got to look around to see why.

There isn’t a trace of that sign. The reflector at the top got broken in half, though, and the rest of it is on the ground, but that’s all I could find.

The road that goes past our driveway has our family name, as well as a numerical name. When we first moved here, the road sign with our family name was at the top of the stop sign across the intersection. One day, the stop sign was lying broken on the ground, and the road sign with our family name on it was gone. I am 99% sure this was done by our vandal, and I’m just as sure that he is responsible for the sign on this fence post being gone. When it happened, I have no way to know.

What a childish, petty thing to do.

If we ever do get the road sign replaced (I’ll have to contact the municipal council again about that), or replace the sign on the fence, we’ll have to set up a trail cam on it, because I just know that our vandal will go after it again.

Switching out memory cards in this location would be much more inconvenient, that’s for sure!! But it would need to be done.

What a pain.

The Re-Farmer