Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The ups and downs of tractor-hood

As I mentioned, we got a new tractor a few weeks ago. Why? Because our old one is constantly in need of repair (has many adjustments rusted in place, the muffler fell off, a plastic fan blade that more resembled a stumpy starfish than a fan and that is no longer manufactured), and it wasn't big enough and only two wheel drive so it couldn't make it over to one section of the property that really needs to be mowed. Really. As in it probably had never been mowed by the previous owner. Like the county paid us a friendly visit 5 days after we moved in telling us that that section had to be mowed because it was overrun with thistle. The really bad thistle - Canada Thistle that is the scourge of Colorado apparently.

This piece of land is on the other side of the pond, outside of our fence - so the only way to get there is from across the neighbor's property, across a small stream to boot. Dave tried several times, but never could get the old tractor across - once the bush hog was attached to the back, the tractor would get low-centered such that it was suspended between the (non-powered) front wheels and the bush hog in the back, and the drive wheels not able to drive. Now, keep in mind this is a really small stream - like you probably wouldn't otice it was there if you didn't walk through the weeds and trip on the other bank. But the old tractor could not lift the bush hog high enough for even that much clearance. Don't tell Dave, but it started to get a little amusing. He'd set out to make another try. He'd putter off on the tractor down the neighbor's drive. 15 minutes later he'd reappear out from behind the barn still trying to get down there. No speed demon that tractor was. An hour later he'd be sighted driving back, foiled again.
Meanwhile the thistle grew, went to seed, and is still growing. We bad.

So once we got the new tractor there were great expectations of getting that thistle mowed finally! One Saturday afternoon, Ginger and I walked up from somewhere and noticed Dave attaching the bush hog to the new tractor. She commented how much Dave loves to mess with the tractors - that she was amazed that he seems to understand how they work right away. We agreed hands down it was a good thing she and I weren't in this project alone. I



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