I imagine readers of this blog get tired of my reporting on weather. I apologies, but it has such a huge impact on me and what we do on the ranch.
I am loving this mild fall and beginning or winter weather. Hard to believe Thanksgiving is past and December is here. Or knocking on the door anyway! I remember so many years at this time where we had lots of cold and snow. After a drought like we had we sure need lots of moisture. And I know the Black Hills and the mountains west of us need a big snow pack to keep the water flowing. But I have seen our water flow from spring rains. Granted, not as often as from winter snow fall, but we have lots of time for it to snow.
The old timers used to talk about the winter of 49 and how tuff it was. What some of us fail to remember was that it started in January. And they didn’t have front wheel assist tractors and loaders and all the equipment we have at our resources now.
I remember back in the 80’s we had a long hard winter. Lots of snow. I read that by the records it was worse than 49. I mentioned that to several old timers and they had a fit! Why, there was no way that could be true. And they were kind of right because in the 80’s , tho’ front wheel assist tractors were not the norm, we did have much better equipment than they had in 49. All a matter of perspective.
For many of those years I fed with a team. I had access to a tractor with cab and loader, but I preferred to feed with the team. And when we started using round bales, I could actually feed faster, in rougher ground with a team than I could with a tractor with no bale unroller on the back. I remember one day when we had an appointment in town pretty early, so I fed with the tractor.. I was pretty startled to see it took longer than it had with the team.
When I got my first team, Dad had a fit. He always accused me that he had switched all of his fathers equipment over from horses to tractors and I was switching them all back! And I got quite a few of the older guys chewing me out and telling me that if I HAD to feed with a team, like that had, growing up, I wouldn’t enjoy it. They were wrong. It got to be a bet with myself to see how many days I could go without starting a tractor. And the cool thing was, the more I used my team, the better they got.
We used a team last spring some to feed grain to the calves and cows with our wheel feeder we made. Hook it on the back of my horse drawn round bale feeder and it worked slick. We buy all of our hay so we take what we can get and afford and most of these bales are 1300 to 1500 hundred plus. My horse drawn equipment is not built to handle that kind of weight. But not to worry, I have plans to build one that will. And as soon as I get healed up from my next surgery on my foot, I plan on at least feeding grain with them every day. I notice when I use a team all winter my clothes seem to stretch and are real loose fitting on me in the spring. That hasn’t happened for quite awhile and I think it is time to make it happen again.
And at the price of fuel and oil (Go Brandon!) that these tractors and pickups use, that looks like a win to me. We never know how long it will last!