Another Long Day

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… of work without much visible progress. However, I try to remind myself it is all incremental.

I include the photo above to illustrate why I need to weedwhack my fence line in the back field. The electric ropes are buried in weeds. No, I didn’t get to the weedwhacking.

But I did cut up the fallen poplar into lengths using Dad’s hand saw, and dragged the pieces to the burn pile.

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I towed out the “tea cart” (more on this eventually) and the antique spring-tooth harrow. This latter was lent to me some years ago. It didn’t work properly when I received it, but then Damon accidentally crushed the gears with the excavator. Now I can’t imagine it can ever be restored. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a replacement on Craigslist so I can return a working facsimile.

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I raked the burn pile site, removing a heavy trash bag of rusty screws, bolts, spikes, and nails. (After this summer’s bonfire I will borrow a magnet to find any remaining.)

Sheep move, barn mucking, dog walk, and three chores done before lunch! I was feeling good about my progress through the list.

However, so often one’s day does not go according to plan. I now discovered that over the winter, the bottom of my 325-gallon tank on the water wagon had grown a giant carpet of fungus, which, when I filled the tank, had broken into stinking black, green, and pink mats the size of my hand that swirled disgustingly through the water. The mats were too thick to drain through the hose. The top opening of the tank is only 10″, too narrow to scoop them out. Using a pipe wrench, I removed the water spigot. I lashed a scrub brush to a broomstick with baling twine and spent more than an hour scrubbing the inside of the tank and breaking up the mats, forcing them out the drain. I wonder if real farmers have this sort of problem, I thought, hose in one hand, broomstick in the other, while standing on an overturned water bucket for height.

Once that was done, I proceeded to fencing. At this point I discovered that when Kyle had taken down some fencing last fall, he had coiled it like climbing rope. Unfortunately, fencing rope has wire in it. Unlike climbing rope, it kinks on itself; instead of falling in smooth coils, it becomes a massive snarl.

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I have made this mistake myself in the past. I now know to always wind fencing rope onto something. I own several reels for this very purpose. Of course I cannot be upset with someone for making the same mistakes I’ve made myself.

However, struggling with the knotted mess was frustrating.

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I managed to stay patient, picking at the knots while swarmed by deer flies in the hot sun, for about an hour. Then I quit to mow behind the sheep as a restorative.

At the end of the day I was feeling cranky with my lack of progress when I saw three young snowshoe hares in the underbrush near the garden shed. They were clearly playing tag, scampering after each other in big circles. One raced out in a giant loop that took him face to face with my chickens, scratching in the compost pile. It was hard to tell who was more surprised, the chickens or the hare: they all leaped in alarm. Then the hares went back to playing.

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No day is lost when God gives you snowshoe hares playing tag.

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