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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘preparedness

Second Cut

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It’s done now. Yesterday the neighbors rolled up some round bales out of the last cutting of our fields. After a long, wet summer, the harvest was finally completed over the opening weekend of November.

I’ll admit I had my doubts it would ever happen. The weather hasn’t offered much of a break for hay growers this year, so we are pleased to have our renters finally enjoying some last-minute success.

While they were doing that, we were preparing the diesel tractor for winter duty by reattaching weights to the rear wheels. That is not an easy task, as there are two weights for each wheel and each single weight is almost more than I can lift.

That’s probably part of what made it difficult. Since I am able to lift them, even though just barely, I decided to try doing as much of it as possible by hand. When I reached my limit, I coerced Cyndie to help me do battle. After a lot of grunting, huffing, and puffing, we got the weights secured in place with bolts.

It was a heroic effort that we had neglected to take before winter last year, which left the diesel tractor mostly useless during some of the late-season heavy snows. This year we intend to be better prepared.

Just maybe, it will result in us ultimately not needing to use the big tractor. Better safe than sorry.

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Written by johnwhays

November 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

Theory Proved

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Once again, we have added proof toward the theory that being prepared means you won’t find your preparations necessary. Our readiness obviously contributed to shifting the first major winter storm this year just far enough north that we didn’t end up receiving a plow-able amount of snow. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we didn’t face hazardous travel conditions. We received just enough sleet and freezing rain to make the road conditions downright dangerous. Heck, I almost suffered an adrenaline overdose just walking down to the barn, given how many times I slipped, causing my body to involuntarily panic in reaction.

I took Delilah for a walk around the property and spied plenty of tracks in the snow. Finally I can see what the heck she is reacting to when her nose picks up a scent and pulls her off course from the trail. We came across the foot prints of deer, squirrel, rabbit, cat, and probably raccoon, too. There were obvious soil disturbances from moles and a couple of well worn trails where mice left a snow-less path.

At one point on our walk, the woods burst to life with movement as we disrupted the largest flock of wild turkeys I have ever happened upon. Many took to the air, but plenty stayed on foot and made their way ahead of us to maintain a safe distance. I’m happy to report that Delilah didn’t over-react and pull my arm out of the socket in chase. She seemed a little perplexed with the sheer number of options, and after taking in the spectacle, I guess just decided it was too many from which to pick. Her nose went back to the ground and she carried on with her trail surveillance.

We walked up to the neighbor’s house to deliver a fresh-baked apple pie as a token of appreciation for the incredible effort of splitting firewood for me. I worked again this afternoon on moving more wood from the pile of recently split logs over to stacks in the woodshed, and still haven’t finished. My neighbor helped me split a lot of wood.

DSCN2585eDelilah gladly accepted my offer to let her nap in the freshly tidied kennel while I worked. I think she adored the opportunity to be out in the fresh winter air. The horses weren’t so keen about staying out in the freezing rain. It is always fun to see how much they like coming inside the barn to get out of cold and wet weather.

What little snow we did receive created a good visual of the newly defined drainage swale through the pasture. Maybe the fact that we now have that feature in place will end up limiting the winter precipitation to an amount that the swale won’t be needed. Just a theory.

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Written by johnwhays

November 11, 2014 at 7:00 am