Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Living in the Old Farmer's Almanac in December 2013

Wow. The end of 2013, beginning of the new year, 2014. Happy Yule! Good luck for the coming year.


Farmer's Calendar

If you are like most gardeners, you probably put your tools away at the end of the growing season and don't think very much about them until they are needed in the spring. But if you take a bit of time during the offseason to maintain and repair your tools, they will be safer and easier to use.

Wooden handles on tools such as shovels and iron rakes may become rough and splintery with weather, use, and age. Often, you can restore them by sanding the surface until it becomes smooth again and then applying linseed oil to protect the wood. Handles with deep are a hazard and should be replaced.

Repair rusted metal tools by cleaning them with steel wool or a wire brush and then wiping on 30-weight motor oil to prevent further rusting.

Chances are, the blades on your prunes, loppers, and hedge shears could use sharpening. USe a fine, flat file to touch them up. Be careful to keep the original angle of the blade's casting edge. While you're at it, sharpen the metal edges of shovels and hoes to make digging easier.

Well-maintained, quality garden tools will last for years and can even be passed down from one generation to the next. Perhaps you can pass down the wisdom of how to take care of them, too.

SKY WATCH ☆ Venus continues to climb higher in the west after sunset as it brightens to magnitude -4.9, its most dazzling display of the year. An easy 25 degrees high, it dangles beneath the crescent Moon on the 5th. The Moon floats above Green Uranus on the 10th is to the left of Taurus' orange star Aldebaran on the 15th. In its fat gibbous phase, the Moon diminishes the normally reliable Geminid meteors on the 13th and stands to the right of Jupiter on the 18th. Jupiter, in Gemini, conveniently rises by 7:00 P.M. and shines at a brilliant magnitude -2.7. The Giant Planet is now a telescopic showpiece in advance of its imminent opposition on January 5. Winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on the 21st.

Weather

Spell
it
Decembrrrr!
Mild
plus a
shower,
then a
power
of
powder!
Mercury
and
snow
both
falling;
malls
a-calling!
Frozen
tundra--
no
wonder
we're
snowed
under!
Will
winds
be
this
keen
in
2014?

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