Thursday, March 5, 2020

A Farmer's Work Is Never Done

I can think of lots of jobs when it seems like you're NEVER done.
  • Laundry: You and your family are always wearing something, so no matter if the hampers are empty and you're "caught up," you never really are.
  • Meals. There's always the next one to cook. I've been seeing a meme on Facebook of women who lament that nobody ever told them they'd be trying to figure out what to fix for supper for the rest of their lives.
  • Picking up toys. It may last during nap time - unless that toddler starts chucking stuffed animals over the crib rails. Then the little darlings wake up and the neatly-arranged toys become a landmine as you step across the living room floor.
So I suppose it's no surprise that farming has its share of similar tasks. You build fence. And then you "un-do" the fence later.

And so it goes ... yet again.
So you might as well find the silver lining - or, in this case - the wispy cotton-candy clouds in a vibrant blue winter sky.
Or you check out the trespassers interloping in the field. (I'm not quick enough to get the photos of deer bounding away. And speaking of deer, their crashes into the electric fence make it so that you're repairing the electric fence all fall and winter anyway. Just another task that never seems to be done.)

So, in reverse fashion, we undo what was done last fall.
Randy hitches a ride on the back of the pickup and then picks up all those posts that he pounded into the ground last fall.
Then I follow Randy around as he putts along on the old Ford tractor. (Sometimes in the cold weather, the Ford tractor needs a pull to get it started first.)
And then I do my impression of the Grant Wood American Gothic wife - minus the bun, the black dress and the apron. Unlike in the painting, I hold onto the pitchfork as we wind the wire back on the spools so we can use it again next year.
Also this winter, we worked on permanent fencing at the Ninnescah pasture. I say "we" but it was really Randy. I was there to hold the spool on at the pickup and to be available if he bogged down - literally - in the miry wetlands near the pasture's branch of the river. (Not that I know what I would have done if it happened. Call for help?)

He was looking for ways to deter more escapees this coming summer. We spent the Summer of 2019 trying to figure out where a group of pairs kept getting out. These repairs are designed to at least give them more obstacles. (If you recall, we took the wanderers to the sale barn when they were finally caught.)
He attacks a homemade contraption to the hitch on the pickup to help unroll the barbed wire from the spool.
Excuse the wonkiness of this video that may make you seasick, but it does show how the wire comes off the spool as Randy pulls.
Yes, I made sure the wire and spool stayed on the pickup.
But I also may have had a little time to take photos of the Ninnescah while I waited. (I also had a book. It's a rough job, but I'm definitely the one destined for this one!)
I know I got the cushy job. Randy was having to traipse through cattails and pull those barbs through all the vegetation.
We'll hope it deters any wanderers this coming summer.

This afternoon, we'll pick up more electric fence wire. The sweatshirt may be optional.


  1. I just love your posts of the day of your farmer. Great images and there you are as his offsider as well, and then you go home, cook, clean, write the post and, and, and, and ........

    1. I appreciate that, Helen. There's always something to do!