Monday, May 22, 2017

The Old Road is Widened

The time came when the old crumbly one lane road was to be widened.
To a two lane road with no lines, but wide shoulders and ditches. 
This was BIG.

 
I think I mentioned in a previous blog how the pond came to be.
The state road people needed some fill for the new road
and asked The Old Farmer for it. Win Win!

 
Along the road in front of the orchard was a row
of old rough looking pines. They were taken out.
The Old Farmer's children went exploring along the destruction
and found a nest of baby owls had been upset from a hollow tree.


We were sorry for them.
But it was farm life, in those days nature fended for itself.
I was a young toddler so did not have the say to try and rescue them. 
Perhaps the mother herded them to a safe place....
That is the end of that sad story.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Old Advertising

 Old advertising was always entertainment when on a road trip.
The best were the Burma Shave signs. They came in a series of five or six
little signs, five or six little blurbs that told a story. 


 On the drive to visit family in neighboring town there was a row of these signs.
Everytime we drove by them The Old Farmer says look at these signs,
what do they say!~ And we would try to read them everytime.
Here is a selection of ones I found funny.

We Don't
  know how
to Split an Atom
But as to whiskers
let us atem
Burma Shave




The Wolf
is shaved
So neat and trim
Red Riding
is chasing him!
Burma Shave



 

If Harmony
is what
you crave
 get a tuba
burma shave






Toughest
whiskers
in the town
we hold them up
you mow them down
Burma Shave



 
 Said Farmer Brown
who's bald
on top
I wish I could
rotate the crop
Burma Shave

Monday, May 8, 2017

Raising Pheasants

Spring projects are in the air.
The Old Farmer's children were all active in 4-H.
One spring project, in conjunction with the game department, 
was raising pheasant chicks to replenish the fields for fall hunters. 
Hunting was and still is a big part of farm/country life.


 

There was an old building 
on the farm,
 about 10x10 feet square.
It had been a smokehouse back 
in the days they would
preserve meat for the family. 
Smoke would be channeled
into the building from 
an outside source 
and infuse the fresh ham 
and bacon with smoky flavor 
and preserve them. 

 The inside of this building was remembered as being quite black and sooty.
The Old Farmer and wife tried several uses for it over the years.
It was thought it would be a good playhouse for the Old Farmer's children.
This did not work to well as they (the children) came out sooty :  ) 
At one time rabbits were kept in it. 
When the pheasant project came along The Old Farmer moved
the building away from the yard, built a fenced area behind, and 
the interior was whitewashed. 


The big day finally arrived and a box with 30-50 baby chicks arrived, days old.
At that age they were kept in a small enclosed circle with a heat lamp above. 
As they grew the area was enlarged until they were old enough to go outside. 
As they neared 6 weeks of age plans were made to release them into the wild. 


This involved catching them, putting them into a portable chicken coop, 
and driving out into a field to release. This was usually supervised by a game warden.
One year it was thought we could release them at the pen area which backed up
to an old orchard that was quite overgrown. Unfortunately they stayed close
"to home" and many met unfortunate ends at the hands of local cats and dogs. 
This release method was not repeated.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring Time on the Farm

Spring is the time of new growth and new life.


Springtime on the farm - that usually looks like a new vegetable garden, 
uncovering the perennial flower gardens, and litters of puppies and kittens, 
mostly kittens!  With one ‘official’ house cat (an outdoor cat with indoor privileges) 
and many barn cats, kittens were guaranteed.  

(An unintended double exposure that turned out well, the cat with
house privileges is in the middle)

Always the kitten litters were lovingly placed into an old cardboard box 
padded with clean rags.  Then the mothers could jump in 
 and out with the kittens safe in the box. 
 And sometimes there was sharing as the mother and kittens 
and an adoptive mother were all in one box! 
 Occasionally the barn cats found a spot so deeply buried 
in the stacked straw bales they we didn't see the kittens 
until they were old enough to be running around.  


 There was one time when the ‘official’ house cat came up to the door 
 from being outside, wanting to come in the house carrying a mouse in her mouth.  
Of course that was not allowed.  As the cat became more insistent and frantic, 
we could see it was not a mouse but a newborn kitten!  
So immediately a box was prepared and the kitten put in.  
Then the mother led us to the rest of the litter in a dark corner in the basement 
of one of the barns.  She couldn't rest until all her kittens were safely ensconced
 in the box in the house.  Then she was happy.

By Guest Blogger today, with thanks to the other Old Farmer's Daughter