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Posts Tagged ‘farmer’

A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off

Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

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This past week I watched as a farmer harvest his soybean crop in the neighboring field. I grabbed my camera and took a video as he roared past me, kicking up the usual intense dust storm, which always comes out of a soybean harvest.

 

The grey heavy dust had me coughing and teary eyed, I made a fruitless attempt to blink away the haze and itch behind my eyelids.

As I watched, twigs and rocks spray back onto the shaved off field.  The harvester moved slowly, roaring past me. 

Holding the camera in my right hand I waved with my left and the farmer waved back. I could barely see him between the dust and the darkness inside the cab.

 

Vibrations from the massive John Deere Harvester rippled under my feet. The tractor’s size and close proximity, passing a few feet/meters in front of me- reminded me of a charging elephant in a Tarzan movie.   

 

Add in a sunset and lengthening shadows.  Then toss in a thick, grey swirling dust cloud that quickly encompassed the world. 

 I could feel the hair rise on my neck. This scene had an eerie feel…  

I kept thinking something bad was about to happen.

 

Guess I’ve been watching too many horror movies…? Too close to Halloween..?

 

Uriah kept rolling his eyes and pacing. Finally, he gave up trying to get me to move away from the fence and walked back to the house.  Smart dog!

 

From across the field, on the end of ‘Bob’s’ property, I saw a flicker of light.

 

I headed up on the deck to get a better view.  I saw flames shooting up illuminating an old Oak tree that sat at the backend of his property. Not quite on ‘Bob’s’  land. It belongs to the farmer. 

 

 I haven’t lit a fire for a couple of months.

This summer’s air may have water soaked, but the ground and foliage has been very, very dry.  Dangerously dry!

 

I watched the flames licking at the lower tree branches and then blazed higher. Orange, red and yellow flames reached up into the branches, so bright I could make out each limb.  I was positive that tree was toast! 

 

About fifty feet, to the north, is a cornfield.  A very dry, not yet harvested- cornfield.

 

The farmer’s tractor’s lights glowed white; I noticed a second tractor in that field. I have never seen a soybean field stripped that fast. I wondered, if they were worried that fire?

 

When I couldn’t stand on the deck and breathe, I headed inside.

 

By midnight the air had cleared.

 

The fire was out, it hadn’t spread. (Add sigh of relief here)

Still today I am wondering, “What was that guy thinking- lighting a fire when a field was being harvested?”

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

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I am tired, sore and jiggle eyed. Last month I spent my spare time working on the examiner articles, then, my completive streak snuck in and I tried to write some articles for their sponsor, HomeDepot.   I wrote some really bad articles… I have to write about cats, but that will be done slowly.

 I know what I enjoy, and this Blog is what I love to write.

 I still have my change jar in the back of my closet, slowly filling with dollars, for that elusive laptop which will help me write anywhere in the house, or on a jaunt outside. I see that happening by spring.  

I plan on finishing a novel, and submitting some of my writing.-I should get competitive about this.-

I am well, happy and back.

 This evening I was sitting on the couch watching, Julia & Julia, and lost track of time. I had left Uriah outside, in his kennel, and forgot to bring him in when it got dark.  

 I had to turn on the outside lights and then the bathroom light downstairs, the one closest to the dog kennel and the office where this computer is located.  

 I turned on the driveway overhead light as I opened the garage door.  

 It was a clear dark night. The air was cold enough that I saw my breath. Lights were shining out in the cornfields behind the house, near the back path. Farmers were out harvesting crops, trying to outrun the rains.

 Uriah started whining when he heard the door open. He hasn’t been very brave the past few months. When he hears a noise in the dark he would rather stand next to me and growl, than run off barking.

 This past Friday, Michael and I made a pretty good attempt at waterproofing the deck for winter. We never got around to cleaning up, that will be done maybe tomorrow- or not.  Everything is lying around and will need to be stored away for the winter anyway, so I’m in no hurry to straighten up the outside when I can barely stand straight today.

 I stumbled over a board and the hose I had left out.  

 When I got to Uriah, his kennel was lit up due to the glow from the bathroom light. I was very glad I remembered to turn that light on.

 Uriah stuck his nose in his large empty water bowl.  I had moved it to work on the deck and now it was empty.  I pulled it back under the deck where it belonged and felt around in the dark, in the cold damp grass for the end of the hose.

 Uriah stood patiently waiting. As I finished filling up the big water bowl, I spotted in the shadows his small water bowl, still filled to the brim. While Uriah was slurping up water, I looked inside the kennel.  His water bowl in the kennel was still filled.  I laughed and shook my head. Silly dog!

 As I waited for Uriah to relax and roll in the grass; I stared up into the dark night sky, a string of clouds drifted near the eastern horizon. The rest of the sky was clear. Pinpoints of white lights glittered overhead. 

 Have you ever stared upward, with out blinking, so you could see stars beyond the ones that caught your attention? I could do that tonight.   I could see clusters of stars out of the corner of my eye, if I looked straight at them they would blend into the blackness.

 Supposedly, tonight has a waning crescent moon tonight, 29% full. I didn’t see the moon.

 Star gazing has been getting harder to do with the naked eye. With all the lights and pollution our children and grandchildren are loosing out on this simple pleasure.

 Rumbling of farm equipment and the occasional rustling in the garden were the only sounds.  Uriah nosed around in the Blue Spruce next to the garage I let him, I didn’t want to go backing into the brightly lit house, not just yet.

I didn’t get a picture tonight, but here is a video I took last week of a sunrise.

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The sky was a bright baby blue, with dollops of white and grey whipped crème floating over head.

The humidity had abated for the past two days, slightly. The temperatures were in the eighties, with a cooling breeze that edged its ways over cow pastures and corn fields, filling the air with the pungent scent of wet hay, cows and manure.

Uriah was covered in a layer of powdery dirt. He had spent most of this hot, hot summer hiding under the deck, where he had dug himself a hole to keep cool, Uriah’s favorite place to sleep away the summer. He hated coming into the garage.  I assumed he didn’t want to miss the chance to chase a bird, or run in circles after a rabbit, rat, or skunk.

I pulled out the hose, set a bottle of watered down shampoo on the grill and picked up Uriah’s’ leash and harness.  Then, I looked around for the dusty dog.  He had slipped past me and was heading at a trot towards the apple trees.  Head down he never looked up as I tried to call him back.  Trying to drag him back would be a waste of time.  He always won.

I gave up! I turned off the hose and sat down on the steps, and decided to enjoy the day.

The warm breeze rustled the trees sending a spray of dried leaves floating to the ground.

It is still August and Mother Nature is yelling fall.

I already picked one soccer ball size pumpkin and set it inside on the kitchen table, there was another one slowly ripening, it was slightly bigger. A third had grown entangled in the tomato patch that one has been gnawed on for the past month by the rat family. I tried covering it when I first spotted the dark green fruit; I was excited it was actually growing. Then I was surprised by how much of the unripe pumpkin was eaten and it still grew. Now it is a bright orange buffet table, along with half a dozen zucchinis, whose insides were eaten first. They sat elongated and hollow. Mini rodent condos!

Mice and rats must be drawing straws to see who would be the one to forage for food. I wonder if they realize they are on a suicide mission.

The more they poke around the more they are noticed. The last rat, would yell at me when I came outside. She chattered a safe distance away, like a nagging wife/husband.. I haven’t seen her in a week or more.

With that thought, I saw a flash of dark gray fur scurry from the trees to the garden.

 I stood up to check it out, when this little creature hurried over to watch me!

 It poked its head up between the leaves and blinked. It had big cartoon eyes, a tiny body and the biggest roundest ears I ever saw on a rodent.

Uriah ambled over to find out who I was talking to, and then decided to save me and raced into the zucchini plants. The rat ran in the opposite direction and Uriah was left searching for something that was no longer there.

I stood and watched. I took notice that the grass needs to be cut. The door frames should be painted. The deck should have a coat of stain. And there is a nest of hornets or paper wasps that really shouldn’t be hanging near the door. 

All this and more should be added to my, ‘To Do’ list.

Things that I have to do before winter!  Stuff I can only do in the summertime.

Hmmm!  Like eating ice cream!  Once that thought flashed into my head, I put away the shampoo and dug in the freezer for the last ice cream bar. I un-wrapped it, then sat outside, on the steps, mentally adding to my list, ‘Get more ice cream!’

Uriah’s nose immediately zeroed in on the treat.

We shared…

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The air is still hot and heavy with moisture. Add to that a mixture of bug sprays, chemicals and manure, spread across the fields by plane or tractor. At that point, breathing becomes an inflexible process.

The skies this morning were blue, then deep, dark angry grey that rumbled and barked, spitting out streaks of light, then changing back to blue.

I took Uriah out for his morning walk by sitting on the front step and waving him off. With a happy wag of his tail he headed to the pond where he startled some ducks and blackbirds.  As I waited for him to return I was bombarded by annoying mosquitoes. 

Uriah took his time. So I just stared out over the field grass and watched it grow.

I had the tractor running a couple of weeks ago. It had roared to life, with as much exuberance as Uriah running to the pond.

*If you didn’t get that reference, well, Uriah walks slowly sticking his head in every hole sneezing and rolling in everything that smells bad… The tractor coughed, wheezed, chugged and rolled, jerked and smelled bad…

I checked and filled the tires, added water and oil. Brushed off the cutting deck and oiled anything that moved. Once I pulled her out of the barn I decided to move that downed tree.

I was very careful..

Before I took her on the path, I stopped the engine and walked the area, poking at the ground.  I didn’t want to get stuck in heavy mud, or caught up on a stump.     I backed into the path and tried to get as close as I could to that tree.   Driving backwards is not within my tractor maneuvering ability, so it took me a while.

Satisfied I wasn’t going to be stuck in the mud; I turned off the engine and gracefully slipped off the seat unto a wild rose bush.  Ouch!

Finally I was able to wrap the chain around the back hitch and around the middle of the tree.

Once back in the driver’s seat I slowly moved forward, dragging the tree not forward but sideways, just as I planned. The trees roots were facing south and its upper branches to the north. I could only move it a few feet, or it would get caught up on the Bog Willows.  

Slowly I inched forward.

Uriah was watching me from the edge of the path. As soon as I made my first lurching movement his tail disappeared between his legs and he ran towards the house. Smart dog! He remembered when that same chain broke free from the last tree I moved and went flying, taking out some branches. I had found it hanging in a tree some fifty feet away.

I hesitated for a moment and watched Uriah run. For a second, I debated what I was doing and thought that maybe this wasn’t a good idea…

That lasted for a minute.

Then I set the tractor in forward motion, slowly the chain went taut. I was very surprised when the tree moved off the path and ended up right where I wanted it to be, top facing west and roots to the East.

Nothing tried to bite me. I didn’t get the tractor stuck in the mud. The best part, I didn’t see one tick! 

I removed the chain from the hitch. Then I put Uriah in his outside kennel. And came back to cut the path, I was tempting fate by not walking the path first.. But even that turned out well,   so well in fact I took Uriah out for a walk..

A walk that ended with us being chased by a few angry Bumble Bees, luckily they only sting if cornered…

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 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

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Dis mornin’ I decidid it wuz time ta git du tracter grass cuttin’ reddy. First I had ta git disel fule.

The above sentence was fixed by Michael when I walked away from the computer, serves me right for leaving it up on the screen:-)

To open the over head barn door I have to flatten my hands against the door and push upwards. In theory that door should slide easily upward. Reality, the door sticks on the inside track and fights back. With a grunt I push upwards sending the door on its shaky flight up. I hesitate just in case it slipped back down on my head. It didn’t and I walked carefully into the barn.

 Hey, it’s not as if that’d be a first time it slipped back down without me noticing.  

The diesel five gallon plastic tank was sitting next to the still covered tractor. Last fall I had set the air tank behind the tractor after I filled the tires with air. Every year I say a prayer of thanks over those big tires that they are still connected and haven’t shredded. Every winter all four tires lose all their air and I have to refill them. They also need to be checked check constantly during the summer.

The empty plastic water jug was tipped over on the cutting platform. I didn’t see any oil or radiator fluid pooled anywhere under or around the tractor. There was a pile of dried grass along the right, along with a number of boxes I had tossed in that need to be burned. I looked up into the rafters; I couldn’t see the paper wasps, yet.

 Just getting the tractor uncovered, oil checked and changed-Oops! Note to self, need to buy oil- The cutting bed will need oil along with the wheels and around the motor. All that will take me half a day to accomplish. First, I have to move all the stuff out of the way and sweep the floor, before I can even move the tractor an inch from where she has been sleeping all winter.
Crippled husbands suck… note to self, trade ‘im in for a younger, healthy model. (Michael added this part I left it in He’s feeling sorry for himself today.)

Uriah ran up to me when I was taking a couple of pictures. I thought he was being very friendly. But when I looked down he gave me a big doggy grin and bumped me again wiping his wet fur against my jeans.  With the warmer air and the heavy winds, Uriah had gotten thirsty and warm, without asking he wandered off and took a dip in the pond. Nothing like the smell of toad water in a dusty barn! 

I shooed Uriah outside and grabbed the diesel container. I left the door open. I hoped to at least clean around tractor today.

I buy the diesel at the truck stop with all the truckers.  I use the first lane for smaller vehicles, but first I need to prepay inside, so I walk back and forth between the huge trucks.  After  having pumped the diesel I went back inside to get my change and receipt.   I took my place at the end of the line. Truckers are very friendly people and soon everyone was laughing and talking about the tornados heading our way.

When it was my turn I asked about the price difference from their sign by the road, which read $3.21 to the price on the pump, $3.28. The lady behind the counter told me, that they took off seven cents per gallon if you pay cash. I pointed out that wasn’t posted on their sign. She just shrugged and handed me my change. What am I missing here?..

When I got back, I parked in front of the Barn and dragged out the diesel can.   I had bought myself a candy bar at the truck stop and tossed it on the front seat.  I grabbed it and tried to hide it from Uriah. That didn’t work ‘cause he’s a dog and all he does is sniff out things to eat -try not to think about it- and then eat those things, regardless of what said things are or where they’ve been.   (Michael added this last sentence. He caught Uriah grazing in the cats litter boxes earlier today.)

 

I shared a small piece of the candy bar with Uriah. It made him happy.

I wasn’t able to clean up the tractor or the barn, because the winds shifted and the storm rolled in.  And I mean rolled in! The clouds rolled out over head, low enough I thought I could touch them. The sky turned dark grey and rumbled, and flashed, as the winds tossed branches and leaves at us.   

Uriah hates lighting and thunder! He can sense when a bad storm is coming and he would rather stand in the middle of the yard than come in the house. I don’t understand it, but catching him can be frustrating, especially when lightning is flashing overhead

This morning, the sun was shining bright in the blue, blue sky. White wispy clouds gently floated over head.  I stood out near the barn and listened to the frogs singing. They sounded similar to a person whistling with a warble. Their pitch rose and fell as if they were singing a song and only they knew the words.

I contemplated opening the barn and trying again to clean up the tractor.  Then I looked out over the sea of dandelions and tuffs of grass and decided this was just too pretty to cut:-)

At that moment a gentle breeze swirled over my head and Uriah spotted a rabbit and took off ..

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