Tag Archives: sand

Land Considerations

As i get older, i’m more aware of how much time and hard work a piece of property can be.  Many years ago, my grandpa gave me a 160 acre piece of his land and i now realize that he was about my age now when he gave it.  I was much younger and was thrilled, but now i can see that he was probably tired of managing and fixing all its problems.  In fact, it is only about the east 80 acres of the farm i now have that incurs 80% of the work i do on the 520 acres i now own/manage.  (it is a sad reflection of our time that in north Missouri that is no where near enough property to make a living on).  At the same time, it’s the corner of that piece that is the best for working and loading out livestock.  (interestingly, my daughter, at about age 11 made the comment, ‘i don’t like this farm, it is too much work!”)

Truth be told, if it was possible for me to control the land to the north of me and to the south, i could all but eliminate the massive erosion and washing problems which cause my little piece to be so much work.  But i don’t, so difficult repairs are recurring.  Controlling the ‘heads’ of the water by building ponds or dams would practically stop all but the worst rain events which cause such destruction.  The biggest help would be to seed down the hills that are being farmed every year.  There are no roots to hold any soil in place and increase water infiltration on acres and acres of slope.

So, a point i’m trying to make is – look to your future self when purchasing a property – is this property you are considering fixable?  or will it be constant work?  We actually looked at a property last year that was adjoining and for sale, but with all it’s deep ditches and no control of the head, it would be more work than what we wanted to take on now at retirement age.  It is FAR too much asking price anyway.  (It’s still for sale)

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The water rushes through this gap so high and fast that there is brush and sometimes huge logs on top of the sealed road you see in this photo.  This time, there are only a few small pieces on the road, my fence caught most of the trash.  The fence is laid over so much, that i’ll actually take the wires off the two posts you see, pull the posts and reset them on the inside of the trash and it will still be in line with the existing fence.
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using my post puller  (from Hometown Hardware, Brookfield, MO) at a funny angle, but it worked!  i put a small log underneath the ‘foot’ of the contraption so it wouldn’t sink into the mud when i put pressure on the handle.
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All set to cut this piece of tin off because it’s so buried in the sand and mud, i couldn’t pull it out.  Took the photo, picked up the DeWalt reciprocating saw, clicked it off safety, and pulled the trigger.  Nothing, no power, what?!  Well, clearly you can see what i couldn’t – i forgot to bring a battery with me.  So, i will do this part of the repair on Friday when i come back to my farm.  UGGGHH!
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This one was a bit of a pickle, but after scratching my head a bit, i figured out a plan.  thank goodness i got a ‘B’ in geometry.  Farming and ranching is a LOT of problem solving with the tools you have on hand and putting them in the right order and angle.
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For fun, i found this map which shows the watershed area through which this one watergap i’m repairing all the runoff water passes through.  I measured the area and it encompasses 560 acres of surface land area.  When we get gully washers, which do come at least 3 times a year, that’s a lot of water rushing down Lick Branch – no wonder my fence gets washed out every time.

Church on Friday? and the desert.

Another action packed day starting with praise and worship at a local assembly – Fellowship of the Emirates.  Great band, contemporary songs, good message.  I don’t agree with the whole ‘easter’ thing, but there is little doubt these people love the Father.  One thing these awesome outreach ministries really need to be mindful of is remembering to teach ‘repentence.’  Too many times, ministries leave that critical component out of the Good News.  With over 500 people attending this 9am service and more expected at the 11am service, there is quite a movement of diverse cultures and people all worshiping together, bringing together all age groups and backgrounds.  I would not be surprised if nearly every country in the world was represented in this one serivce.

Safa Park was our next stop after church and dropping off Jessica’s friend Deseret at her apartment.  Although touted as a complete escape from Dubai, it is right down town and surrounded by traffic noise, but it is large and lots of greenery, handcraft vendors, and of course delicious food!

Resting up for our big afternoon and evening adventure with Platinum Heritage Desert Tours.  Don’t even hesitate to book the tour of your choice – totally impressed with this outfit!  Our driver/tour guide/waiter Ericson is a perfect host and our travel mates from Lisbon were fun!  There are several tours from which to choose, we experienced the Evening Desert Safari Dubai.  Definitely book in advance, they fill spots quickly.

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Jessica enjoying her sparkling apple juice in anticipation of the falconry exhibition.  Alcohol is illegal in public places.
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I’m having my hand decorated with henna.  This lady created beautiful work in a matter of seconds!
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Henna body painting.

 

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The Platinum Heritage Desert Safari takes place in this Conservation Reserve.
Off we go into the desert with Ericson at the wheel!
Smoking shisha. It’s a pleasant smoke, ours with a minty flavour. It can make one a bit dizzy. They say an hour of smoking shisha is equivalent to 200 cigarettes. Best not get addicted!
Me with my Ecco shoes lounging on pillows in traditional Bedouin fashion smoking shisha!

The evening ends in saying goodbye to our guide and new friends from Lisbon, Portugal.

 

First Day in Dubai, UAE

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Typically cloudless and sunny, we were greeted to cloudy and windy with air infused sand and dust!

Up early, but slow start.  Jessica is off to work at her kindergarten teaching job at Dubai American Academy literally a five minute walk from her apartment to her classroom!  Today, (Thursday and the last day of the week) was parent-teacher conferences, so Dallas and I were treated to a real tour of her classroom, school, and met a few of her teacher friends.

After spending some time wandering around the area, we were back to the apartment for a nap.

Jessica returned in the mid afternoon and she had plans to walk our feet off.

First to Dubai Miracle Garden – the wind was wicked with sand and dust absolutely a challenge for eyes and throats.  Some people were wearing face masks.  Yes, the garden is touristy, but judging from the number of families,  I suspect many were locals looking for a bit of color and escape from the concrete jungle of everyday.  The air quality inside the garden was aided by tall trees surrounding the park.

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Dubai Miracle GardenEmirates Airline has teamed up with Dubai Miracle Garden to construct the world’s largest floral installation through a life-size version of the Emirates A380, covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants. When in full bloom, the aircraft structure will have an unprecedented total stem count of 5 million flowers and will weigh over 100 tonnes (take-off weight of an actual A380 is 575 tonnes).
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Dubai Miracle Garden – small replica of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, surrounded by masses of beautiful flowers infusing the whole area with pleasant sights and smells.

Just before dusk, we drove then to Global Village – This park opens at 5pm, because truly it is best enjoyed after dark to appreciate the lights, sounds, action, and each country providing quality dance exhibitions all included in your ticket.  Mostly, this is a chance for countries to sell and promote their wares, but it was fun to peruse the stalls.  Bear in mind, we Westerners are not all that used to hawkers and they are in full force.  Just politely say no thank you (sometimes multiple times) and move on or jump in  for the thrill of snagging a great deal.

Big day tomorrow!

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A Tour of Dubai

I’m planning on a trip to UAE later this fall to visit Jessica. Have a look at some of the fantastic things we can line up to do. There are a lot of touristy and fun things to do and explore; she says she is waiting for someone to come visit before spending the money to do some of them. However, she has been exploring the area some – like an awesome all day yacht excursion with friends while we freeze in north Missouri. 😉

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Ultimate Tour (1)

Dubai is very large city with a lot of things to see and do. That being said, it was really hard for me to narrow down what I wanted to put on my itinerary. The most lucrative thing for those who want to move around and have viable transportation, is to get a Hop on Hop off ticket with Big Bus Tours. Having a 48 hour ticket was my saving grace in managing this bustling city.

The pass has 3 major line tours: City, beach and Marina. In addition, there is a Palm Island Drive that will take you around the Palm Jumeirah, A Flamingo Lagoon Discovery Tour, a Sharjah Tour, and a Desert Sunset Tour. These last 4 items are good for 14 days from the date of your ticket purchase. So even if you cannot get to them on the days your ticket is good for, you still…

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