Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I'VE BEEN BUSY--these past two weeks in an interesting experiment ---will tell you all about it when I catch up with some prior happenings. This is a map from stat counter showing the location of my readers on 5/24/10. Of course I'm pleased to see widespread interest in Western vagabondage--but what struck me was that someone on the lonely island of Annobon, off the coast of Africa checked me out---sure wish I could hear from you sir or madam. I'm equally curious about you.
Saw this--got the story (more efficient way to bale hay--doesn't need a barn--won't spoil in the field) was moved to poetry: BETTER WAY

They're shaping hay a better way

rolling hay bales round,

lengthwise grain sheds off the rain

when left out on the ground.

Little is lost and saved is the cost

of stacking it round the farm;

but mostly heed, THERE'S NOW NO NEED


And I'm well pleased to save the trees

that would have built the barn;

perhaps indeed, we n'ere did need

to cause the woods such harm.
Barns like this one--requiring thousands of trees--the biggest barn in Kansas. (Colby)

An astonishing structure--in perfect condition--now part of a museum and occasionally used for county meetings---I'll show you the upstairs.
Big enough for a grand---anything. Weddings most often I was told.
Instant friends, Jacob and his father--(also Jacob I believe) in front of a real sod house --the first I've seen.
Oh this is ominous---I settled into Goodland, Kansas wal-mart and then it hit. Sirens sounded tornado warnings and hail pelted my vulnerable glass-covered solar panels. That's $1,500 worth of solar power up there. (but it's hardened glass and came through ok) I moved 3 times, trying to get my rig shielded from the fury. Later I met and interviewed a British storm chaser--his group does it for the sheer sport. Said the latest fad is to don a metal shark armor suit with helmet and let the tornado move over you.
Folk art like this can be found almost everywhere---same kind of guy--seized with a vision--like the builders of Coral Castle, Watts Tower, Salvation Mountain etc. This tower in Genoa, Colorado boast a view of 6 states. (I doubt it)
Could you guess from looking at the trees that a 50 mph wind is blowing? I got off the road and hunkered here most of the day. Notice the 4 stabilizers I have lowered to help.
Lucky, I chose to stay put. Just out of town, this hapless trailer---similar to mine was destroyed by the wind.
And a mile further on this scene speaks of the wind's ferocity. I must say--Kansas Weather scares me---I'll move elsewhere.
See that sign---"world's first rodeo" wellll I don't know--Prescott, Az makes the same claim. Anyway, Deer trail, Co was a lovely little town---shrinking however--lots of empty stores.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES ABOUT COPS: Visits by the police are very rare but After a night in a field, I had a visit from this one. More curious than official. I've become an expert at dealing with cops----here's the best technique: Step outside, smiling broadly and say "Hello there!--- boy am I glad to see you---can you tell me.........then ask a harmless question about the area. Then tell him how you're enjoying...........the area. The cop in him will melt and the proud booster of his town and county will emerge. This one was super nice--sat and visited for a spell---told me to make myself at home. If a cop visits me at night, my opening line is: Thank God you're here......I need......(a tire shop--radiator repair etc) What the cop wants to know is if you are harmless---respectable--respectful. What a cop cannot bear is disrespect. Of the three ego states in all of us--parent---adult---child---the best one to open with --in most situations-- really--- is playful child.


Tesaje said...

Those huge bales of hay do rot - just not as fast as the small ones do. I bought a big bale of alfalfa hay at a steep discount because it was rotted. Perfect for my purpose of mulching my garden and building the soil. Here in the east, they routinely cover them with white plastic to protect them from the rain.

Your blog is always interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Joe and Tracey said...

I enjoy seeing fields with round hay bales as well. When my son was little, I used to kid him that these were where they grew huge morsels of shredded wheat.

Steve said...

Thanks for this too ... I miss seeing rolls of hay. I moved to TX last year from Minnesota. They had them everywhere there and my beagle used to chase field rabbits around them.

Can't wait to see what the surprise is, even if it's not the thing i suggested.

Anonymous said...

Randy, In France this week during the Tour, the farmers used those bales of hay to make designs to entertain the riders and the fans. It was charming.

I'm interested in that person in Africa too!


Nomad said...

Here, those bales are known as baleage. Usually wrapped in plastic and weigh around half a ton.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad those PV panels are tough.