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Friday, August 26, 2011

Tagging Turkey Vultures.

Something a little different today. These birds are kind of repulsive but do play an important role in cleaning up our environment of road kill and other assorted dead animals. The young bird's defense mechanism is to vomit on you. And considering that they eat carrion you can imagine the smell. Reminds me of the old saying, "enough to drive a buzzard off a gut wagon".
These two were hatched this summer in an old bin on one of the farms I work, the "hundred acre woods". A Sask . naturalist has been tagging these type of birds for years and was interested in tagging these .
The two young people that came to tag the vultures today were impressive in their knowledge and dedication to what they do.
In other news, weather is great, crops are advancing and I am finished swathing canola as of today. The "new to me" John Deere swather was a real treat to operate. Crop ranges from very good to very poor.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sask. Summer

Its been a fairly typical, mostly nice summer so far. Some bad hail and wind storms have hit some farms in the area causing crop and property damage. Crops are looking pretty great considering the poor start we got.
My flax fields are cleaner than usual, more good luck than good management I suspect.
Gradually getting most of the bins emptied of last year's grain in preparation for the soon to be new harvest.
In other news I have bought a John Deere swather, sold an IH swather and bought a well used New Holland haybine. The haybine is a bit of a "fixer upper" but as long as I don't charge myself anything for labour I will come out positive I think.
What else goes with sunny summer days in Sask. but antique car shows. Being self employed I allowed myself some time off yesterday and today to support the local "museum day" and see the antique car club vehicles out on display. I even parked the old 64 Chevy II near the rest of the antiques. Seriously, some of the "antique cars" were newer than what I was driving. As usual I could not resist shooting a little video to add to youtube.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hay In A Day

A "hay in a day machine". That line ran through my head today as I baled hay with the New Holland round baler. NH used that line on some of their balers in the sixties and seventies. Not sure what they were meaning but I felt like I was doing that today. It was only Saturday I cut the hay and by today the grass was dry enough to rake and bale. Pretty quick but I guess that 90 degree heat and wind is good for something. This evening I rolled up 22 more hay bales for next winter.

I had used Dave's Massey 1085 tractor to run the ancient New Holland mower. A bit of overkill maybe but the power steering and cab were the big benefits of that tractor. As good as the old 730 Case is, it's manual steering with the weight of the dozer blade added is terrible heavy steering. I think even the "incredible Hulk" would fall to his knees in exhaustion after steering that tractor around a hayfield for a half hour.

I took this picture, rear view of the Massey, with the mower barely visible above the nice crop of brome grass. The grass/hay was, like me, a little past it's prime but still not bad. A few wild flowers thrown in the mix for flavour and I think the cows will be happy to eat it this winter. Opening up those bales next January when winter holds us in it's icy grip, it will be a little reminder of a time when warm summer breezes blew and wild flowers bloomed on the prairie.