As I was setting up the tires for as the framework for the row of potatoes, my feline supervisor tested each tire in the row. Momma Cat is the oldest and I believe wisest of the barn cats, she is also the friendliest (when she is not in a swiping kind of mood) and definitely the most curious of the gaggle.
I haven’t quite figured out her motives but suspect that she may be testing for balance to make sure each tire is firmly level on the ground, or if she is determining the sun intensity on each tire plot, or if she was just wanting to get her behind warmed as I plodded and placed tires along the string row marker.
While enjoying a steaming hot cup of coffee before heading out to do the morning chores, I felt an uneasiness. It was like someone was watching me. I turned to look out my nook window and sure enough, one of the barn cats had been monitoring the inside activity in an effort to ascertain when breakfast would be served out in the barn.
It was quite the show as the cat would stop, lemur-up on his hind legs to get a peek, get back onto all fours for a step then back up for another peek before starting the process all over again.
PS This cat was the first out to the barn for breakfast. Apparently his super slueth-y sneakiness proved to be well worth his effort.
Cat/Catapillar, Dozer/Bulldozer, Logging Skidder, the list of names can go on, but our loggers needed a larger dozer than the one we use here on the farm. This one arrived on the trailer attached to the self-loading log truck and is about 1/3rd heavier than our Cat.
The purpose for this one is not to do the actual logging. It is going to be the safety anchor for the log truck as it makes it’s way into and out of the forest.
I had said that the logging road we were building was now ready for travel and much of the equipment, along with 4-wheel drive pickups for the loggers, have been traveling the road. But the loaded log truck needs an extra advantage at it brings heavy loads out of the woods.
Once loaded, the winch on the back of the dozer that is spooled with logging cable will tether to the log truck. The cable is pulled from the back of the dozer, snaking under and between the tracks to be attached to the log load. Going down the hill, the heavy dozer will act as a weight to keep the log truck from gaining too much speed where it could miss the turns.
Frick the cat is not always hanging around, but when he is home he is very, very clingy and wants attention all the time.
As I was trying to pick enough raspberries for breakfast with enough left over to freeze a cookie sheet full of the fruit, Frick kept getting in the way.
I would stop picking, pull him out of the bushes and set him down. Then I started setting him farther and farther from the bushes.
Before long, I was carrying the black cat out of the garden, across the driveway and to the other side of the woodshed. All the while he would snuggle in my arms, purring away and rubbing his chin on me. He would stay a little while, then come right back to once again climb into the bushes to appear where I was trying to harvest.
I finally had to give up picking and go into the house in order for the cat to finally leave me and my raspberry bushes alone..
I had been attempting to get the hoe in and around some of the strawberry plants. The buttercups are really a nuisance and the strawberry plants are getting too big to get around them well but I wanted to chop enough of the interloping ground cover so I would still get a good crop of fruit.
And to make matters just a little more difficult, the barn cat Boaz decided that he needed to keep a close eye on me and the long stick I was using around HIS strawberry plants.
Boaz would snuggle in and around the bushes as close as he could. Most of the time he was right where I wanted to hoe. This task was short-lived. It wasn’t long before I set the hoe by the garden bench and spent some quality time snuggling the mangy barn cat.
He acted surprised that I chose him over messing around the berries, the purring proved that he was appreciative.
It has been a long, dark, cold, wet winter season. We are finally pulling the cat out of the barn where it was stowed during the dreary days.
First job was to back-blade the rock road. Back-blade-ing is simply driving the bulldozer backward with the blade scraping along the surface to smooth areas. Driving backward is a task that is designated strictly to Mike. If the blade is too high, it is ineffective, if it is too low it gouges the surface leaving washboard ruts that are worse than all the cattle muddy footy-prints.
It is a slow process to travel backwards from the barn, around to the outdoor feeders and then along the hillside all the way to the far end of the property where the spring breaks out of the hillside. This one road took nearly 2 hours.
The smoothed road will make it easier for the herd to walk back and forth and for the Gator to make it to the back of the field without driving through the pastures that are fenced off from the herd and driving so the grass to grow into hay.
It will still be a while before it is dry enough to start logging for this year.
The Bulldozer is fixed! Almost.
The hard part is fixed, the underbelly pan, the engine and the dash have all been replaced after the steering clutch was replaced along with several small nagging issues. The Cat has been started up several times and is running well. The Mobile Repair truck that has spent many hours of many days working on the process has deemed the job a success and has moved on to other logging sites.
Mike and I still have to replace the small shields, foot platforms, the hood, the rest of the roll cage, the seat and a few other guards and shields. There are still a lot of pieces laying about the barn where the work was taking place, but at least now we can begin to see the end of the project. And we still have a couple of months of winter left to work on it!