The forecast called for rain and the morning looked like a front was definitely moving in. We decided it would be a good day to work in the barn putting the parts on the bale wagon that we had ordered last week.
Looking out through the bars of the barn gate the rain had started to mud up the dirt road leading to the bridge.
About then a storm cell above us let loose with what looked like a fire-hose amount of water. The drops hitting the metal roof was so loud we could not hear each other talk or shout.
Within minutes the dirt road was filled with puddles, the grass growing in the hay field was flattened and we had recorded over a half inch of rain in less than an hour.
This amount of rain will push back the start time for mowing the hay fields, it will take more than a week for the ground to dry out under the grass. The rain also temporarily stopped our logging operation because the road is too muddy to even get to the bulldozer or the landing, and the bulldozer would not be able to go up the skid roads with it being this wet and slippery.
Concentrating on the hay equipment in the meantime will keep us busy in the meantime.
I distinctly remember the end of hay season last July. We were cleaning the hay equipment and moving it into the barn for storage until the 2017 hay season that will be here in about a month.
It is a work of art to get all the equipment into storage and out of the weather. The Henry Loader has to be scooted inside in the flat position then raised tenderly so the top snuggles into the rafters without damage to the structure. The rake has to slip in at an angle to fit between the tire of the Henry and the middle posts of the barn. Next is the baler with its long snout where the bales eject, the snout has to nose in between the other end of the rake and the cement wall. The mower goes in last and has to be inside far enough so we can still close the gates.
With the main equipment stowed, the bale wagon, which is as large as the old farm truck was backed into the middle space in the barn. We had been having minor issues with the old bale wagon at the end of the season and had limped by with minor repairs. By putting the beast in the middle of the barn it would be easily accessible for maintenance during the wet, cold winter. Or at least that is what we said.
That was before the bulldozer needed a major overhaul, and the winter was very dark and cold, and procrastination got the better of us.
We are currently in the midst of pieces, lots of pieces. Replacement parts have been ordered. Hopefully we will have everything back to working order before hay season starts.
I am not a very good at many things.
I am not stealthy. I can trip, stumble and fall for no reason at all, and it’s not usually just a small landing. I am able to make a lot of noise along with gymnastics that rival Gold Medal contenders as I move from upright to prone.
I can not keep a secret. (You may have already figured this out from my daily rantings on this site) Phrases just pop out of me at random, this has happened all my life.
I get surprised easily. Once startled, I get flustered and it causes more trouble than if I could have just kept a cool head. I believe this comes from having four older brothers and the constant need to defend myself against boys that had to be reminded that I was their sister and not just the new dishwasher.
Anyway, even though I should be ready for surprises, I seem to be oblivious until BAM! Then I don’t always respond well, i.e. over-respond, which may leave bystanders in awe that such loud noises and movements can come out of me. Continue reading
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!
The gate we drive through with the Gator at least two times a day has been in need of repair for a while now, we just did not seem to get around to the task.
This gate is right near the county road and nearly a football field away from the river, but it and the road were both under water during the big flood we had around here in 2007. Continue reading
The end of the logging for this year ended with the bulldozer (Cat) breaking down and Mike had to finish the last couple of loads using the farm tractor to winch logs to the landing.
Since then, we had towed the Cat to the barn where it has waited for us to finish our other fall tasks before we could begin to assess the problem with the machine. Continue reading
Mike was able to get the baler part fixed and the whole contraption put back together. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after having all the parts strewn about the driveway along with many tools, c-clamps, and power cords, all the pieces fit back together and there were no leftovers as sometimes is the case!
I joke about repairs around here. It is an on-going, necessary, time-consuming fact of farming, repairs happen. It’s the figuring out and unique solutions that can be downright funny. And it’s not just Mike, we all do some unusual stunts to make repairs or quick fix something that eventually becomes permanent.
I find these quick fixes all the time when I am tearing out old fences. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have come across a bit of fence line or broken fence post that has baling twine, barb wire and even duck tape wound through a hole in the fence, up to a tree branch, back down to the fence and up to the tree again.
Pondering the mastery of incorporating any and all things found in the old tool box, pockets and weaving items found in nature is rather awe-inspiring. But it really makes it difficult for any future repairs or removal of those fixes since the whole thing has to be dismantled in order to do anything more.
I’m just happy that the repair done on the baler was not so much a masterpiece artwork but a more contemporary, permanent fix that should last as long as the whole, I hope.