- Don't try this at home...
- I was just saying....
- Holy Shit! What did I do?
Gearing up for extreme weather at the farm, whether it be searing triple-digit temperatures with oppressive humidity or the stinging, bitter cold that dries out ones' skin as to create a pale dust like that of plaster demolition, is hard work. I contemplated calling in back-up, but opted to tackle my to-do list solo.
"I'm not going to do any large-scale animal handling or farm chores by myself," I professed only hours previously. And when it came time to ensure that everyone had bedded shelter from the elements, I resorted to my IH 444 for assistance moving portable shelters behind the shelter of tree breaks. After all, I should use my tractor instead of hurting myself.
While I'm at it.....
Nothing sucks more than livestock getting loose during inclement weather so prior to those days that the weatherman says is going to be batshit miserable to both man and beast, I take inventory about the farm that could lead to my four-legged employees roaming the 'hood. They may not mind the cold, but chasing down the herd when the air outside gives you an ice cream headache is definitely on my not-ever-to-do list.
"Give me a chain and my IH 444 and I can move the world," I used to say.
Farming accidents happen fast...really fast.
As you can see, the remaining two trees are leaning aft. The one that is wedged between the wheel fender and bucket armature was in a similar position. A chain around the base attached to the 3-point hitch. Second gear should jerk those shallow roots clear of the soil.
But before I could hit the clutch and break, the tree pivoted toward the tractor and came crashing down only inches from my head.
Oh, big shit.
Over the years I've pulled out, pushed over and lifted many dead pines with my beloved little diesel tractor, but iron & engines are dangerous no matter if they're a top drive on an offshore oil rig or a forty-six year old tractor tooling around in the dirt.
Today was a big reality check, the kind that roll out the black and yellow caution tape from the edge of the gate to the bridge.