RicelandMeadows


Passing Summer Days
August 11, 2019, 3:35 pm
Filed under: August 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

augustsky

August 11, 2019

What a summer it has been so far. The crazy wet June, the hot July with it’s flash floods and now the passing of August. Our county fair ends today. It is another one of the benchmarks of summer. Next is the buying of school clothes and the starting of school after the summer break. Geese are starting to gather in the fields and autumn is knocking on the door.

We had some wonderful weather in these last two weeks. Our first cutting hay was all made and stored for winter. I completed cleaning up a log landing area and even managed to attend a farm machinery consignment auction. We still have some summer left and I hope to use up those days with fun, family and farm stuff!

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The horses and I will begin spreading the summer compost next week. We will spread on ground that will be plowed and readied for our fall planted speltz crop. Rain is in the forecast for next week, so as always we will work around the weather. Nothing new for farmers, especially this year!

Last evening, I sat and watched the farm from the back porch. The animals were all grazing. The evening was cool, with a slight breeze. The flies and bugs were not biting. The barn swallows flitted about, diving after unseen insects and zipping at the surface of the pond drinking water. There was stillness in the air and a hush on the farm. It was as if everything had paused to enjoy the summer evening. I was glad to have been part of that scene, as the fleeting days of summer passed.



What a Rainstorm!
July 22, 2019, 1:31 pm
Filed under: July 2019 | Tags: , ,

pondflood2019

July 22, 2019

Wow! We got some rain last weekend. Our ground was saturated already, so the three inch downpour, mostly ran off. This is our back pond. The surface area almost twice its normal size. The overflow pipe has a diameter of two feet, but it was overwhelmed.

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It was a couple of tense hours that we watched the pond overflow the dam. In the end, all was well. Today, everything is back to normal, well except for the fields are still quite damp!

Our wet weather has caused issue, but the grass is green in the pastures. All the animals have plenty to eat. This is good news for mid-summer. The corn crop looks good, but the weeds in the rows are really thick, cultivating did not happen. The dirt was too wet, then the corn plants were too tall.

It will all be fine, like water over the dam.

Tomorrow is coming ready or not, no sense to fret about yesterday! I’ll just stay focused on today and make the most of it.



Planting A Seed
July 17, 2019, 10:36 am
Filed under: July 2019 | Tags: , , , , , ,

sissy1

July 17, 2019

In a an old cardboard box of photos that my mother had, there is a picture of me about a year old, sitting on the back of a cow. The photo is old (like me). It is water stained and faded. The picture was taken when technology was nothing like it is today. The best thing about the photo is the little smile on my face. That smile has never left me. It will stay, as long as, I can touch the soil and breath in the spirit of animals. If you don’t see the smile on my face, just know that it lives in my heart.

I was introduced to this farming life at an early age. I have been immersed in agriculture in all of its forms. I drink in all the knowledge that I can, especially when it comes to the “old ways”. I try to share this passion with everyone that I meet. I try to be a “light at the end of the tunnel”, for folks searching information. I also try to expose people to this lifestyle, even if they don’t want to live it. I want them to see just how wonderful it can be.

As much as I enjoy visiting with friends and strangers alike, I understand that it is the generations who will follow me that matter most. My lifestyle, my love for the old ways and my experiences in life and farming, will all be lost, unless I pass this love affair of mine on.

sissy2

I plant seeds, some take root, some are scattered where they don’t grow. The important part is to keep sharing of yourself, no matter where your passion lies. We don’t know who we will inspire or how far our passions will be shared. We are not supposed to hide our light under a bushel, so be the light!

sissy3

Love is strong. It will conquer all things. It will make you wear boots that don’t match, just to walk through horse poop with your grandpa! It will stand in the face of troubles big and small. It will hold you together when your world is coming apart…and long after you are gone, you will be remembered….still living, in the hearts of those with whom you shared yourself.

So plant seeds of your own. You never know who you will touch. Reach out, be the light. I am like that old photo, worn, faded and stained, but I am still smiling. I hope to be planting seeds of all kinds for many years yet, but my favorite crops grow in the hearts of the people that I have touched.

 



Change is Good
July 11, 2019, 9:09 am
Filed under: July 2019 | Tags: , , , , ,

raking2019

July 11, 2019

Everyone tells us that change is good. I continue to believe that change is bullsh*t! I do adapt, but I hate it. It takes me out of my comfort zone. I don’t want to “try something new”, I like the old stuff and the old ways…but change does help us grow in knowledge and experience. I grumble, but I do it.

This is Abby’s second time raking hay. She is learning many new things. Her world is full of change. The first day that I hooked her to the hay rake, she was a nervous wreck. It rattled and banged behind her. The dry hay made a swishing sound that she couldn’t see. I kept a firm hand on the lines reassuring her, that everything was okay. Knight, her teammate, walked along paying no attention to the “rattling, swishing monster” coming right behind them. This soon gave Abby confidence.

rakingabbysweat

This photo shows the horses making their first round. By the time we got to the other end of the field, Abby couldn’t have cared less about the hay rake or the job at hand. Her frothy sweat dried by the second round and she settled in for the day. The next day there was no fear in her eye. She exhibited nothing but confidence. She knew her job and seemed to enjoy doing it. I guess she trusted me not to put her in harm’s way. She did trust me, but I think she verified that trust, by keeping one eye on Knight.

In life, I too get concerned about new things. I think I have actually broken out in a frothy sweat a time or two! I wanted to resist, but settled in and made the best of it. Pretty soon, the new became the old and change became the norm. I don’t have to like it, but I can control how I react to it. I just think about God on the lines, my “teammates” walking beside me, adapting as we go…and the quiet, confident voice of my wife, telling me that everything will be okay…. And you know…it usually is.



WOW

tankwagonletterleft

July 2, 2019

Our local artist Bob DeJohn at AGS Graphics, finished lettering my recently restored tank wagon. I am very pleased with his efforts.

tankwagonletterright

His attention to detail is amazing. He captured the time period from the days of yore when wagons were the billboards of the day.

tankwagonletterfront

He used new materials from today, but followed designs from the past. He even thought ahead enough so that any lettering done below the sides of the wagon, were done with reflective tape. A safety feature, built right in to the design.

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So, a big shout out to Bob at AGS Graphics for a job well done!

 



Ewww…Bird Poo
June 29, 2019, 4:44 pm
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , ,

birding.jpg

June 29, 2019

I allow, actually encourage, nesting birds, especially barn swallows. They are great bug and fly eaters. I love to watch their acrobatic flights as they dive for water, skimming a drink at high speed. I leave doors open when necessary, supply a few strategic platforms and make it difficult for cats to reach the nests. The above photo shows how I am repaid!

It was no big deal. It cleaned right off. I just grabbed a big handful of grass and rubbed until the poop was mostly gone. The residual avian manure was easy to remove with my bib overalls as I drove the tractor…In other words, I got what I could, then sat on the seat and went about my business. At the end of the day, the seat was clean!

I will gladly put up with a little poo, in exchange for these winged mosquito eaters, keeping the farm population of the blood sucking insects under control. I like to watch them teach their babies to fly. It seems it happens almost over night!

Wildlife on a farm can be a problem, but I will take the bad with the good. There are a lot more good things. Watching the birds and small animals makes me smile. Listening to the birdsong while I work the horses, completes a perfect picture. So, I say its a fair trade to have the birds, even if they leave me a few “presents” once in awhile. I haven’t asked my dear wife, who does the laundry, but I think she too would approve!



Another Load
June 27, 2019, 8:42 am
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , ,

anotherload

June 27, 2019

I can’t seem to hit hay weather yet, so I have been working hard on firewood for the sugarhouse. This job really never ends. I work at the main part to fill the woodshed as soon as the maple season ends. I like to have that job completed by July 1st.

I will hit that goal again this year. Having well seasoned, dry wood makes the job of boiling maple sap go much better! I fill the woodshed, then work on getting ahead for the following year. I don’t usually work real hard at this job once the shed is full, but having some extra, is never a waste of time.

I have a little firewood to make for my shop stove. I enjoy the warm, constant heat from my little stove as I putter in my work shop on cold winter days. These hot, muggy summer days, makes wood work a little tough, but the reward comes in winter.

My haying tools and horses stand ready to make hay. The weather is a bit stingy. It is also easy to look back and say, “I should have cut two days ago!”. I am just going to be patient. The days have been dry for the last three, but my fields are wet. Water still stands in places, but I know that , “this too shall pass”. Hay season will soon be in full swing. In the meantime I will simply work on another load of firewood.