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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Cold Week In October

Actually more than a week of cloudy, windy miserable weather with a few snow flurries thrown in. Seems like our sunshine total for the week could be measured in minutes. A far cry from 60 years ago today, October 29 1952 when this picture was taken.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An Afternoon With The Cockshutt 40


As winter is approaching, one of the things I like to (need to) do before the snow flies is cut the grass and willows that grow along my half mile driveway. It helps to keep the snow blowing across rather than settling in drifts on the driveway.
The old Cockshutt 40 was the most likely tractor for the job as it is the smallest and allows the mower to cut right up against the fence pickets.
Old tractors need regular exercise to prevent the problems that arise from storage too long.
It performed well although I stalled it once hitting a piece of steel culvert that some careless person (could that be me?) left in the long grass.
As I turned back into the yard some new clunks and rattles caught my attention. Looking back at the mower for the source I was even more surprised when I felt the front end of the tractor drop and watched the wheel fall over on it's side. Figured it was a wheel bearing but turned out that the same careless person that left that culvert in the grass must have forgotten to tighten the wheel studs when he put that nicely painted front wheel back on the tractor last spring. All the studs had fallen  out and I could not find even one. Lucky I had a few spares in the shed, borrowed a couple more off a parts tractor in the bush and was rolling again in no time.
As breakdowns go it was not too serious. Wish they were all that easy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Stove Is Gone

Strange disappearance recently. I had gone to the other farm to check out the old homesteader cabin, found raccoons or something had pried a window open. While closing up the window and nailing it shut I glanced in through the window to see if all was well. It was getting a little dark in there but I could tell something was missing. I could not see the big old wood burning kitchen stove. Surely my eyes were not that bad! Then I started to question my memory. Had we moved the stove? Sold it to someone? Was it ever really there?
I even considered the possibility that someone had broken in and stolen it. As my eyes adjusted to the low light I realized there was a dark cavern in the middle of the kitchen floor where the stove used to be.
Yes, the joists under the floor had apparently rotted away over time and allowed the stove to collapse into the cellar.
It could be a difficult task hauling the stove up out of the cellar. Anybody looking for a cheap wood stove?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smoke and dust

Thats what I have been raising the past couple of days. Excellent weather, warm and sunny and no wind made it ideal to pile and burn the flax straw. The harrows worked better than I have ever seen (is it the dry ground?) at piling the straw and I got most of it burned as well. One less job to do next spring.
Half a load of hay bales still to haul home. A load of canola to move out of an old bin with a bad floor. (Don't want to feed those raccoons too well) Rocks to pick now that I have welded the broken hitch on the picker. Final clean up on the combines and get them parked in their winter quarters. That is a partial list and all I can think of this late at night.
Been listening to this sad story from B.C. on the radio while working and wondering if there really is much hope for the human race.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lazy Farmer In The Fall

Seems like its time for another verse from "The Lazy Farmer". Since we are into mid October here is an appropriate one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting It Together


This picture from almost two weeks ago shows my pull type combine "headerless" as it was in the process of being put back together. The neighbour had the field finished by the time this combine was back in working condition so it will sit in the shed all winter with untested new parts. I haven't got the parts bill yet but the number $1300 sticks in my mind from talking to the partsman. Guess it could have been worse and burned the whole combine to the ground.
It was just by chance that I was checking some of the shafts when I shut down for that night and this top feeder shaft felt uncomfortably warm. With zero wind the fine flax dust had settled all over the machine so there was plenty of combustibles just waiting to ignite if hot bearing parts had landed in them. As it turned out, the bearing was gone and the shaft was just rubbing metal to metal. Hence the need for a new shaft. Then we found another shaft down under the feeder house that was also turning in the bearing and worn beyond hope. About that time I decided to call for help and get the field custom harvested before the weather turned bad.
I have to give credit to the New agtalk forums where I first read about this tendency to hot bearings on that series of JD combine feeder houses.
Now I have to decide,, sell the flax for $14.25 per bushel today or wait for the price to rise (or fall) through the winter and spring. Getting the grain sold before the farm yards fill in with snow and necessitates hours of snow plowing to get the semi in (and out of) the yard is a good reason to sell now.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Trailcam animals.


Nothing too exciting to report. Some of the night life in my yard that occurs while I am asleep or watching tv. Mostly deer and raccoons, the occasional coyote. They like this location as there is grain on the ground from when I cleaned off the combine numerous times this harvest.
Back when I had free range chickens they would spend a lot of time cleaning up the grain in this spot. Unfortunately coyotes and my own cats were gradually killing the chickens so they have been confined to barracks for almost a year now.
Cold cold nights and early mornings lately with 20 degrees (F) and white frost on everything. Not the greatest conditions for hauling hay bales home 5 miles on the open tractor but I can't take a chance on the weather getting any better because it might not. 2 more trips should just about do it. Got to feed those cattle. They might be the only safe beef I can find to eat if this news story on beef recalls is any indication.