Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Name that Antique

The cows are home. And so marks the end of exciting events to document in the blog. I mean really: how many winters in a row can you show people pictures of cows devouring hay and expect them to keep tuning in? Probably not more than one.Danish Cowboy gives them an occasional bale of hay every other day or so because he is a bleeding heart when it comes to animals. It's been 50 degrees and there are hundreds of acres for them to graze, but the cows stand around outside the house throwing forlorn looks our way as we eat our Lucky Charms, so he fires up the old John Deere 4840 after breakfast and tosses them a bale. We'll start daily feeding within the next week or so. The animals have all been pregnancy tested and our yearling heifers who will be having their first calf in the spring of 2010 (remember the numbering system?) seem to have summered well. They are fat and sassy and furry: which sounds great, but may be a bad sign. Much like human women who gain too much weight during pregnancy,their children may be a bit large. And since they are not, shall we say, "stretched out," they will tend to have some trouble calving. Which means long nights for Danish Cowboy and his brother if they have to pull calves (but it means excellent Prairie Potholes footage for me!). However, March is still a long time away so they have some time to slim down.But as I said before, you can only talk about cows for so long. So let's take a look at a new Prairie Potholes segment I like to call Name that Junk Antique! I'm really quite excited about this because we have lots of junk antiques sitting around. This is only one row, and as you can see, I have plenty of subject material for the winter. It almost hurts me to look at this. I am a "why keep it if you have absolutely no foreseeable use for it" kind of gal. I married a "just in case" kind of guy. Who apparently comes from a long line of "just in case" kind of people. A very long line, indeed. Today's feature on Name that Junk Antique is a New Holland square baler circa 1940. Danish Cowboy has no memory of using this machinery and is fairly certain that his dad had limited use of it, if any at all. I love the wood on the step plate: the moss is a beautiful color and is screaming for a picture frame to be made out of it, don't you think?We do know from the belts on it that it was PTO driven and therefore operated with a tractor and not by true horse-drawn power. We no longer use a small square baler such as this one on our ranch due to the sheer number of cattle that need to be fed. However, as is common in the ranching community, we barter with neighbors and friends for a few small square bales that are needed in the barn during calving. We allow them to bale the straw left from our grain harvest and we go steal a few square bales in the middle of the night when they aren't looking. Not really about that last part. This is the cowboy west, after all. So there you have it! The first segment of Name that Junk Antique. I hope you liked it. It will get more exciting, I assure you. Old vehicles, unidentifiable objects for you to guess at and imagine them in use, ancient horse harnesses and bridles from what must have been incredibly monstrous steeds. The homestead era is so far removed from our modern lives, but so vividly alive when I stroll though our yards of yesterday. It fascinates me and I hope it will do the same for you, too.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny. Glad I got all caught up. Can't wait for the next...antique?