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Roosty6 @B110

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Snow Trip Jan 4

Stormy day to go to town but I had not had my mail in over two weeks. Getting low on cat food too. I can survive on freezer beef and home grown potatoes for months but those cats won't live on the few mice that might wander into the barn. 
The weather had been so below normal that I kept putting off the trip waiting for a better day. It never came so I took a chance on today. Visibility was poor in blowing snow and the ground was the same colour as the sky. 

So now I am well stocked up on groceries and cat food for however long it is before the weather improves. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sundogs and Blowing Snow

 The title describes the day. It was quite scenic and almost looked like 3 suns in the sky. Folks in the South country usually question, "what is a sundog". They are actually frost crystals and usually indicate cold and windy weather. They were right on today. It was around 0F which is normally not a bad day for us but with the strong NW wind there was high wind chill factor and it was downright miserable out in the open spaces. Not a day goes by that I don't appreciate the hedges around my yard and the surviving bushes out in the fields. 

It was pretty cool carrying a couple of hay bales out to the feeders with the open Massey tractor. One feeder is located on the South side of a bush and is well sheltered. Comfortable feeding spot for the cattle on a Northwest windy day. 

I think we are a day away from the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Hibernation is pretty attractive right now. 



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

What Is Killing Our Trees?

 Its a serious question. Most everywhere I look lately the trees are dead. Just bare sticks standing, or laying down. Like the bare bones of a long dead skeleton. Maybe the decade of extreme wet years we had killed some. Others I just don't know. A lot of my evergreens have dried out and dead lower branches that I have cut off. Needles all over the ground as the higher ones dry out and fall. Some are dead right to the top and only waiting to fall in the next big wind. 

Cutting dead poplars off where they have fallen on the fences is a yearly task. All summer and fall. The past few years have been very dry so maybe that killed some. 

Disease? Herbicide drift? I look back on photos I took ten years ago and marvel at the thick impenetrable walls of poplar bushes all over the farm. Now, a lot of dead sticks that are going to fall. I miss them. Will they grow back? Probably. Poplars are like a weed when you don't want them to grow. Hopefully soon. 



Sunday, November 14, 2021

My Own "Firelog Channel"


Always looks a little funny seeing a channel on tv devoted to watching a fireplace burn but it seems to be popular with some. Not needed here though as I have my own outdoor channel. A stone's throw from the house where I have been piling dead wood all summer waiting til we have a little snow to make it safe to burn. Yesterday and today it worked well. Quiet with only the crackling fire and occasional squirrel scolding. Out in the sticks....as they say. 
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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Another chapter in Les Goff's WWII memoirs

 


Now, to get back to our move and my first experience at driving a gun tower partly loaded with men, arms, and a three ton gun behind. We started off in late afternoon, raining of course. Everything was going well until for some reason we had to take a dirt road which was pretty well ploughed up by the traffic and it was narrow and muddy with trees on each side resembling our fir trees. Darkness is coming on so this makes it hard to see with no lights. Just follow the gun ahead of you and that little red light in a funnel on the gun muzzle. After following this light for a while it becomes hard to tell how close or far you are from it. Our man in charge is Jimmy Erwin standing up on passenger side where there is a door opening in the roof for observation. Everything is going ok for a while . We are moving but slowly when suddenly there is a burst of machine gun fire which sounded pretty close. Jim starts to holler “everybody out” which we did with out hesitation with rifles and crouched beside our tower expecting more fire. Nothing happened. Suddenly I noticed our tower was starting to move. I had not applied the hand brake. I jumped in but it had gone toward the shallow ditch and there didn’t seem to be any return. As it seemed to have quietened down we unhitched the gun and I thought it wouldn’t be any trouble to drive out. I had it in four wheel drive but it just continued straight ahead and followed that ditch. Two wheels on the road , two in the ditch and it was real mud. We ran out the winch cable, tied on to a tree. I pulled out three trees before I managed to get free of that stubborn ditch. There were a lot of words said that I won’t repeat. After re-hooking the gun we went not so merrily on our way, but very cautious. After a while it got so dark that Jim walked ahead of me with a white rag. Jim had a loud voice which was good. He said, “Goff , if you hear me shout, stop”. We were traveling in a convoy made up of our battery. I do not know who was leading. It might have been some of the infantry, however, it was slow going on account of the darkness. The only light being the little red light in the gun muzzle.

We had not gone far when I hear Jim roaring for me to stop. 

Stopping is quite common in a convoy. Especially at night. 

There gets to be a sort of accordion effect . Sometimes we get 

too close packed and have to space out a little. We continued 

on for some time passing through a small village where we 

stopped for a while. Our gun sergeants were shown where to 

put each and every gun in a defensive position. Finally Jim 

comes back and informs us a position had been located not far 

from where we are sitting waiting. The ground rises up to the 

east of the village about two or three hundred yards ahead. 

Our objective is to put our gun in position on the high ground. 

This of course being dark we could not see much of anything so 

proceeded to spot with Jim leading on foot. We could not hear 

any shooting close by. There was a house near the top of the 

ridge and a little further along a big heap of fagots, small 

bundles of brush tied like a sheaf for heating. We decided to 

put our gun right next to it and use some of the bundles to 

camouflage the gun. Resting the gun muzzle on the ground, 

making it look like a part of the heap. While we were busy 

doing this there was a loud bang close by. Some one said that’s 

grenades. Knowing Jerry was close by made us work as fast as 

possible and dig a two man size trench beside the gun leaving 

two men on the gun. Jim and I took the tower back down to 

the village where it could be out of sight. Then back to the gun 

digging more trenches as there was six men in all. We 

managed to get one dug close to the house and by pulling

 some doors off 

the house to cover it. Four guys could squeeze into it. We threw 

dirt on top to make it a little more safe from air burst or 

mortars. We scrounged some bedding from the house. Nice and comfortable. Its nice and quiet for a change. The spud 

islander and myself go back to the gun to relieve our guard. We take our rifles and shovels.

 The soil was quite sandy, easy 

digging but also kept caving in . We decide to make it a little 

deeper. We take turns digging. Its starting to rain so we find 

some sticks in the pile of fagots, place them across the top, 

place some more fagots over our heads leaving the center 

open so as to be able to jump out. 

After a couple of hours we are relieved by two others of the 

crew. Its getting daylight and seems to be quiet for the time so 

we run back under the crest of the hill to our main diggings for 

a bit to eat. That is when I notice quite a concentration of 

Shermans behind us in the village. About this same time our 

officer Dave Heaps came along in a jeep, stopped behind a 

house and came running over to where we were. He had his 

thirty eight drawn and looked quite concerned as if he 

expected to find us in a grim situation. We assured him there 


wasn’t much happening , however he decided to leave his jeep 

in case we had to leave in a hurry. However, we were to learn a 

little later that Dave had reason to be alarmed. There was 

German infantry not more than a hundred yards away. Also our own infantry, the Essex Scottish were dug in on our right and 

the Jerries on the left. This was something we didn’t know 

until 

we had made our way back to the gun again about noon. Still 

raining, we settle into our trench again by the gun not 

expecting much to happen when suddenly we are getting some 

shelling all around. Not a heavy concentration so we try to see 

where its coming from. We can not see much for fine rain. I 

saw a couple of infantry trenches get direct hits close by so we 

decide to keep our heads down. The spud is digging out more 

sand when suddenly something cleans my little shelter from 

over my head. It would seem to me that it was a dud as the

 others were all High Explosive. 


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Dead Wood

 Some nice weather for this time of year inspired me to get the old 730 Case and dozer blade going and clear up some of the dead, water killed trees on the farm. No, not joining the club of land clearing, progressive farmers that seem to be everywhere else. I like my trees but all this dead wood looks bad and will eventually fall into the field around the edges causing problems. 

The old Case is the tractor my uncle bought in 1964. I first got to drive it in the summer of 1970 and I guess I was pretty hard on it. A learning driver usually is. But it survived and now has a special parking spot in the shed out of the weather. Still up for any job I have for it. Clearing trees is dangerous for both man and machine but so far we are both ok. Second gear at idle speed. Slow and steady wins the race they say. I don't need to win, or even finish. I enjoy the work and thats all that matters. Steering is extremely heavy on the Case but it helps keep me warm later in the day when the temperatures drop..


A panoramic shot of the old Case parked for a rest. Hard to believe that is a creek bottom that is normally too wet to drive in. Its that dry this year. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Today in History

 Just my own history, not the world. 7 years ago I hauled the old 52 Mercury out of the woods and began the long process of getting it back in driving condition. It has been a great 7 years and looking forward to at least that many more driving it. 

And 69 years ago today , my parents wedding anniversary.