Thursday, February 07, 2008

Twig Dig

The 20 acre triangular planted pine plantation (Twig Forest)we own in partnership with my brother has been sorely neglected this winter. I thought I would have been out there more during this wonderful wintery time of coolness, low humidity, and no mosquitoes,

Alas, a combination of early winter sunsets and a very busy basketball schedule have combined to reduce my visits.
My last visit was on an overcast day over a month ago.

This old logging track through the planted pines had been hit pretty hard by feral hogs. Hogs are pretty efficient plows, even domestic ones like Chewie, but these wild ones are more highly motivated since no one is bringing them $14.00 bags of show pig feed.

I watched a show on pigs on one of the IQ channels a few weeks ago and they showed how a pig will reshape it's skull within months of escaping from domesticity. They make this adaptation to become better shovelers of soil.
They do this as individuals ... not as parents sending a trait to their offspring.

Here's a Homo crackersapiens dig site.

I've slowly acquired the parts for a simple shallow well on Twig Forest and this hole was a little test dig to see where the water was during a drought. Even in a drought I hit water bearing sand at 5 feet, so this well won't need to go very far.
I have the pitcher pump, the pipe, the well point/sand screen, fittings, etc. so I'm about ready to go.
I just need to set aside the time.

My basic plan is to first dig a hole with a Minorcan backhoe (a shovel). I'll need a hole about twice this size and deeper to stand in and work the post hole diggers to dig even deeper.

I will be doing all this digging with my fingers crossed around the shovel handle, hoping to avoid the limerock which may lie just beneath that yellowish layer of marine clays.

I do love to dig.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like more plumbing to me. But it's a nice hole.

That's very interesting about those highly adaptive pigs. Maybe you could use Chewie as a sort of trail blazer/park ranger at Twig Forest. Build her a little station and set up a remote critter cam to keep an eye on her.
There just HAS to be more than one way a grown pig can be useful...

Mark said...

Digging a well with a shovel ... imagine that. I often watch with envy at the home improvement shows on TV, where a landscaper digs a nice hole for a big plant using nothing but a shovel. We can't do that around here. Any hole requires a pick. In some cases it's like digging a hole in a pile of bricks. And that's even when you don't hit rock.

pablo said...

And the well will be for . . . watering the twig seedlings?

Can you do anything about the feral hogs? (Are they considered a problem?) Seems like a marksman could make a dent and maybe show a certain rooting area was dangerous. Is that legal?

roger said...

too bad you can't get the pigs to dig deeper.

threecollie said...

Ah Pablo beat me to it...same question, same surmise.... Interesting looking dirt. You don't see white too often up here unless it is piled on top of the ground. We shovel that too, but I can't say as I relish it.

The Troll said...

Pretty sure it's legal to shoot tasty feral pigs on private land whenever you want. Otherwise, I might be in trouble.

Simply amazing how fast they change when going from domestic to wild. And the total eventual change in appearance, traits, and taste.

David said...

Nice looking spodosol you've got there. (Typical flatwoods site soil.) Shouldn't be too deep to find water!

Hurricane Teen said...

"Minorcan backhoe" ha ha
Wow, your soil there is a heck of a lot worse than we have here on the east coast. More sugar sand=more limestone?

Floridacracker said...

She might like that idea, but the show must go on.

Just like digging at the beach ... only with roots.

Campsite water.
Yes, it's legal to hunt feral hogs on your own property year round. They are tasty pests and a popular game animal.

true, maybe if i throw corn in a hole they will deepen it.

Barely out of the sea that sand is.
Nice layer of peaty humus though.
The hogs (if on your property) can be taken year round. Some folks make a living trapping them alive and then selling them to hunting resorts for "canned hunts".

You are correct.
They are tasty.
I can't think of any other animal that changes it's bone structure in response to the environment.

Thanks David for the soil ID.
It's very typical flatwoods ... gallberry, deer tongue, palmetto.

Floridacracker said...

I knew you'd get that!
Yeah, very sandy ... like being on Anastasia.

Cathy S. said...

Oh, my youngest also loves to dig holes. When he was little, he used it as stress management. When we fenced the pasture, he lost his passion because we made him dig so many, but I think he still ikes to dig when we are not looking.

Floridacracker said...

Cathy S,
I guess it's the fact that you never know what will turn up ...

Linda said...

The USDA with help from local landowners have "harvested" nearly 80 feral hogs out of our Kansas valley this winter. If someone doesn't use aggressive measures (trapping) they will multiply at an unbelievable rate.

Floridacracker said...

You are exactly right, they are very prolific and really damaging to delicate ecosystems.

I haven't taken any off our bit of forest yet, but I'm not past sitting out there some early morning with my Grandfathers double barrel shotgun.