RicelandMeadows


Horse Progress Days 2018

wirehorse

July 1, 2018

I spent the last few days in Clare Michigan, attending an annual draft horse event called Horse Progress Days. It is an event that showcases draft horses and draft animal power paired up with modern farm equipment. But wait…there is more! Vendors galore, a whole program for the lady homesteader, pony equipment, saddle horse stuff, blacksmithing and farrier tools, oxen, and great food.

The wire horse in the picture is a creation of an artist named Jeff Best. It was made mostly from barbed wire. Jeff lives in Clare Michigan. This work of art is just one interesting thing to see. Equipment manufactures were on hand demonstrating their equipment and answering all sorts of questions. Many breeds of horses were represented at this amazing event.

Seminars were given on many subjects for the farmer, grower, horse lover and even aspiring beekeepers! Produce, even ripened tomatoes in a hoop house, were to be marveled by this attendee. I do these types of things daily, yet I was amazed at the innovation, simplicity and complexity of many items demonstrated.

24mower

In this photo, a hay mower capable of mowing 24 feet in one pass, was a big hit with us farmers. A 20 horsepower motor ran a hydraulic pump that powered the machine. The horses only supplied the traction power to make the mower go forward or backward. This machine is much too big for me, but man can it lay hay down!

This was the twenty-fifth year for Horse Progress Days. I hope it will still be growing strong in another twenty -five years. Judging from what I saw and the young people in attendance, I’d say the future is very bright.

Next year HPD will be held in Arcola, Illinois…. then here in Mount Hope, Ohio in 2020



A Tale of Two Kitties
Milo and Otis

Milo and Otis

July 7, 2015

My granddaughter got to pick out two kittens from our recent litters. I suggested in jest that she should have a kitty and to my amazement, her dad thought so too. These kittens are cute, like all kittens, but they are borderline wildcats. I pick them up from time to time when they are small, but as they grow and crawl out of the box, I pet them much less. Kittens need little boys and girls to tame them, keep them calm and love them.

These two baby “tigers” were hiding in my workshop. It took three adults and two children a half an hour to catch and contain the little darlings. The kittensĀ were delighted. I could tell from their squalling and hissing that there was nothing they’d rather do, than to be held in the arms of a child. The children paid no attention to the jaw snapping sweeties, but they did wrap the one with the biggest claws in a baby doll blanket for a while šŸ˜®

In no time at all, much to my surprise, the kittens were purring and enjoying being held. “We must name them.”, my granddaughter said. So all of us started to come up with names for the two male kittens. I used traditional oxen names like Bright and Lion, Star and Tiger, Cuff and Link, Boone and Crocket, but my granddaughter was not having it. Finally I said, “What about Milo and Otis?” She loved the idea.

After a few minutes, she asked me, “How will I tell them apart?” I looked them over and in my best grandfatherly advice I told her, “Milo has an “M” on his head….and if you lift the tail on the other one…there is an “O” for Otis!”Ā  She was not amused…..