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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St Anne's Reel

It is the name of an old fiddle tune that I thought made a good soundtrack for one of my videos on youtube. Old Gits might remember it from the Don Messer show  Depending on what history you choose to believe the tune is either Irish or French Canadian origin. 
The video I shot on  Christmas day, 2014. I missed out on some of the nicest hoar frost scenery when I edited the video down to fit the average human's attention span. It was a cold and frosty day but some of the family got out and had fun in the snow for a while. 
The music has a family connection too as it is being played by my uncles (Don and Roy) and a few of their friends one winter night in 1955. Sound quality is not great as it is a copy of a copy. Originally recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder, which must have been quite a sensation back in 1955. I don't know for sure but suspect this would have been in the days just before rural electrification hit the area so the tape recorder likely ran on batteries. Coal oil (kerosene) lamps supplied the light, no doubt, and the  wood stove would be keeping the house warm. Good times long ago in the land of ice and snow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

44 Years Apart

Two photos of the same car in the same location 44 years apart. The large one taken this past weekend. The small inset was in the winter of 1970-71. The old Mercury sat in retirement as Dad had been unable to start it no matter what he tried. Burnt valves, low compression and a weak six volt starting system were a bad combination. The exterior and interior were pretty nice but the engine was showing it's age. In the background sits the old shack, grandfather's homestead cabin built in 1903. Beside it the chassis of the 1946 Ford truck being gradually stripped down to the frame to eventually be converted into a very excellent single axle trailer.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It Ain't Over

...til its over. To quote the legendary baseball player, Yogi Berra . Although I think it might be over for me as far as harvest 2015 goes. Even though the sun shone well today it was not enough to melt the layer of snow we had last night. The next few days forecast to be warm and sunny will melt that snow and actually make the swaths wetter. Freeze drying overnight will help a little if we get enough days. It is unlikely there will be enough drying days though.
Here is some video of the harvest so far. Picking up wheat swath with the Case IH 1660 combine and flax swath with the John Deere 7721 on some of the few days when the weather and crop were both ready. Up til this year I could usually straight cut all the wheat and leave the flax stand til ready and then swath right ahead of the combine. This year the crops just did not ripen or dry off as normal. Climate change? Global cooling? Whatever, in hindsight I should have swathed everything at least a couple of weeks earlier than I did. The straight cut header never came out of the shed for the first time since I bought it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembrance Day 2015

Nice sized crowd showed up for the Remembrance Day service today. Every year they read off the list of veterans and legion members who have passed on and it grows a little longer every time. Here is a photo of 4 who have been on that list for a while. My dad, Les Goff at left was a veteran of WWII and his experiences as a gunner in the 18th anti tank battery of the Canadian army have been written about on the blog previously. Memories of WWII
Next, a good neighbour, Phil Fisher, also a veteran of WWII. Next, my grandfather , Horace Nevard, who served in the Canadian Army in WWI.
His experiences have been mentioned on the "Nevardblog" more than a few times.

Finally , at extreme right is Caleb Fisher who served in the Boer war as well as WWI. They all got together for this photo sometime in the mid 1960s.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Good Fences

Make good neighbours , quoting from an old Robert Frost poem. And it is true. Sometimes it seems I spend as much time fencing things out of my property as I do fencing my own cattle in. Funny how big farmers sometimes want to get bigger by working up the borders right up to the fence line to the point of  breaking off posts. Fence posts cost money and time to set up. Maybe it is an outdated concept about having to leave an eight foot uncultivated border along the fence line.
The latest annoyance is irresponsible "@$##s" who treat some of our property as a public amusement park/hunting range/mud bog to play with their four wheel drive trucks. What used to be a reasonably good prairie trail was recently turned into a rutted, torn up mud patch in places. The recent wet weather co-incided with a whole lot of unauthorized traffic on this trail and , big surprise folks, the trail is trashed in places. Barely passable for a 2 wheel drive pickup anymore. Nothing that a few hundred dollars worth of gravel won't fix, for a while.
So up goes the gate and locked chain. I'm pretty tolerant but I do have my limits.

Monday, November 2, 2015


A mix of rain and light snow is falling this morning. A pre-cursor of the 5 to 10 mil snow we are expecting tomorrow. On top of the who knows how much rain fell the last few days. About the only positive thing I can say is that the crop left in the field can't get any wetter. Having nothing else , here is an entertaining page from the vintage "Song of The Lazy Farmer" series.