Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Parker's Report: Week 13

Week 13:
August 1-5, 2016

                  Monday was a pretty normal day. I fed the horses and cleaned the barn before heading out to my bush hog. I finished the back side of the North Pines that I didn’t get to finish last week. Then I moved back over to the Long and began cutting on the other side of the large, tree-lined ditch/creek that splits that pasture in half. Late in the afternoon, as I outlined along the tree line I came across a large dead tree branch hanging down in my path. I attempted to miss it but misjudged the distance and ended up catching the branch on the cap to my radiator. It pulled it up. Frustrated with myself I took the tractor back to shop and called Seth to let him know what had happened. I had also lost one of the screens on the side of the tractor but had found it because I had almost driven over it. However, when I got back to the shop I realized that the other one had come off as well. This was aggravating because I didn’t know how either screen had come off, let alone where this one had. When I got to the barn Tuesday morning, Willie, the gray gelding, limped up to the barn obviously lame. I cleaned his hoofs out looking for rocks, checked all his joints for swelling, and felt for heat- a sign of injury. I could find nothing wrong. I gave him a scoop of bute with his feed. When I went to let him out of his stall to go to pasture he wouldn’t leave. I called to him and tried to shoo him out but he just stood there. I left the stall door open while I went to switch wires on the pasture to give the horses new grass. I was hoping that Willie would come on out on his own. When I got back up to the barn he was standing in the exact same place. I gave him some hay and filled the water buckets with fresh water and left him in the stall for the day. Then I went and got on the John Deere Gator and set out to search for the missing tractor screen. This took almost all day. I drove up and down every other row scanning for the screen. Finally, in the Long pasture right beneath the dead tree branch that had caught on the radiator cap there was screen in about 20 different pieces. I picked up every little scrap I could find and took them back to the shop. Then I grabbed the 4555 to finish bush hogging the Long. I was on autopilot and forgot to check the coolant. I got all the way out to the pasture and it began to overheat. Dark clouds were building overhead and it being so late in the afternoon that I went ahead and called it a day. I checked Willie before I left. While he was more active than he had been that morning he was still pretty lame, so I left him in the barn with plenty of hay and water for the night. He was much better Wednesday morning so I let him out to pasture with the rest of the horses. I drove down to the shop to grab some coolant and Zack called me over to help him and Mr. Mike at the grain bins. Some corn had piled up in one of the bins and wasn’t falling down into the auger. Zack climbed in the bin to knock the corn down. I stood by the man hole and communicated between him and Mr. Mike on when to turn the auger on. Once the corn was knocked down and went to the tractor and put the coolant in it before I continued cutting the Long pasture. On Thursday I moved to the Motorcycle at the request of Seth. I left a little early to take the radiator to West Point on my way home. Friday I finished the Motorcycle.

Picture Below: 

Parker's Report: Week 12

Week 12: Busywork
July 25-29, 2016

                  Monday morning started like any other. I got to the barn and began putting feed in each stall for the horses. My mind was on auto-pilot as I did so when I was startled by chirping coming from a bucket I had just filled with oats. I looked back and a fairly grown bird was flopping around in the bucket. I gently picked the young bird up and took him outside. He was obviously learning to fly and had fallen in the bucket. I placed him in a patch of grass where he wouldn’t be trampled on and a few moments later he took flight. Satisfied that he was ok I continued my morning routine. After caring for the horses I started up the tractor and went around to each pasture to finish cutting down the dead pigweed. Tuesday was an absolutely gorgeous day. I got to spend it in the open cab tractor spraying fence line. This time I focused mainly on the fences surrounding the hay fields. I also sprayed down all the pigweed that had grown up in and around the cattle pens. There were two steers and bull that watched me while I sprayed their pen down. The steers weren’t too keen on me coming into the pen. They ran around to the other side of the fence to watch. The bull however was curious. He came up to the fence and just watched as I opened and closed the gates and sprayed the pen down. The weather could not make its mind up on Wednesday. The sky was mostly lightly gray with much darker patches that would release a little rain. Patches of blue sky would peek through and occasionally the sun would make a brief appearance. I finished bush hogging the last few spots of pigweed I had’t been able to get to on Monday. With nothing else to do I was content to bush hog the North pines pasture that I was already in. The grass was thick and full of dallisgrass. I had fun cutting in straight lines parallel to the road to make the pasture look pretty. Ace accompanied me on the tractor for part of the morning. He looked so forlornly as I left out that morning that I couldn’t help but bring him along. He laid at my feet and helped me keep an eye out for potholes and other obstacles. As we passed next to the lake, a large fish that had been resting in the shallow water swam off in a rush. He made such a splash that it caught Ace’s attention. Ace didn’t know what to do or what it was. He looked at me with his ears perked up and head tilted to the side. I laughed and gave him a pet and continued on.  On Thursday I moved across the fence and cut one side of the Long pasture. It was a huge ditch in the middle that is unpassable, so I only cut the side bordering the North Pines. The weather again couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to rain or be sunny. I just plodded along as best I could. Friday morning Ace greeted me with his fur full of burrs. He didn’t know it but he was going to get a bath just as soon as I finished with the horses. Once they were fed and put back out to pasture and the barn had been swept I put a halter on Ace and lead him out to the hose. I lathered him up with soap and brushed out what burrs I could. Then I repeated the process with plenty of conditioner. I got most of them out, but a good many remained tangled up in some of his longer hair. Once he was thoroughly rinsed off I ran some leave-in conditioner/ detangler through his fur and let him loose. Mrs. Dee then asked me to wash Seth’s truck for her so I did that. Once that was accomplished I went out to my tractor and did some more bush hogging before calling it a day.

Pictures below.