Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harvest Time on the farm...

It's been a busy and beautiful couple of days here on the farm. Dwight and his dad have been working long hours trying to get the silo filled for the winter months. I've snapped a few pictures while Ashlyn and I roamed about on the gator, in an attempt to show you how things happen in preparation for the long cold season ahead.

First we had to get a few glamour shots of Ashy ....then it was back to work.

This was the beautiful weather we enjoyed while harvesting the corn. The sky was SO blue, and there was a nice warm breeze. Perfect fall weather, it reminded me of our wedding day. (October 20, 2001)

After the guys got the harvestor all ready to go, they headed over to the corn field to begin the long task of filling the silo.
The silo they were filling stands 20 feet around and 76 feet tall, and it was entirely empty, so they had to fill it, wagon load by wagon load.

The red machine on the back of the tractor is the Harvestor, it has arms similar to a combine that guide the corn stalks into its chopper and cuts the corn cob and entire green stalk into tiny little pieces...this is called corn silage. It's very high in energy and the cows love it.

Grandpa runs the harvestor (and in this pic above you can see little Gabe in his 'buddy seat'...a seat that is designed for the little farm kids that go along for the ride!) and Dwight runs the wagons back and forth between the field and the silo. Once he reaches the silo he unloads a full wagon then brings the empty one back to Grandpa to be filled again, this can happen up to 50 times (or more) in a day.
This is the wagon (right) unloading into the blower (left) which blows the corn silage with a very powerful fan up into the silo, 70 feet up! Slowly the silage builds up inside the silo, and eventually reaches the top. Once they have put about 2 days worth of silage into the silo, they need to check to see how far it is from the top and whether they can fit anymore in. Today Dwight climbed the exterior ladder on the silo to check to see how full it was getting.
He neglected to bring up a 2-way radio which is usually used for communicating to the person below. It just so happened that I was the person below. Grandpa came over as soon as he loaded the final wagon. It's very hard to hear the person up the silo and hand signals sometimes work best, but today Dwight was right inside and was yelling to us to start and stop the silo unloader.
Here's the stressful part....just as Grandpa and I were talking about the fatal gases that can accumulate in the silo, Dwight began yelling.

All we could hear was "HELP, HELP HELP..." over and over again. We were shouting to him and he just kept yelling "HELP!!!" We were freaking....Gramps turned on the blower, thinking he would blow some fresh air up to Dwight....I was dialing Grandma's number (I had the portable phone on me, and simply couldn't think of anything else to do....not sure what Grandma would have done, but in a time like this...Grandma's just know)
All I could picture was Dwight with his legs stuck in the unloader, slowly winding around and crushing him, or him sinking slowly into the middle of the silage as he struggles to get out, or the gases penetrating his lungs. My adrenaline was taking over and I almost started body was shaking and Grandpa was pale, he started to head up the interior ladder to get to Dwight.
Just as Grandpa was about 4 rungs up, Dwight's head popped out the tiny window at the top of the silo and he shouted "STOP!!!" "STOP THE UNLOADER..." I yelled for Grandpa and he came back down the ladder coughing...(Dwight had opened the door above the interior ladder to let all the noxious fumes escape down that ladder, Grampa was actually breathing them in!!!) he stopped the unloader, and I called Dwight on his cell phone once the noise had stopped. He said he was yelling "STOP..." not "HELP" as we had heard. He said there was a belt broken and he needed to fix it.

I could have sworn at him. I was so upset and once he came down again, I laid into him. I told him he could never get up that silo without a 2 way radio again, and if he did and WAS yelling help...I'd ignore him. Too bad for you buster, I. can't. hear. you.
He felt pretty bad at having caused so much upset, and took the radio up with him the second time around. We also sent up the camera and he took a few shots...
Here's Grandpa, Ashlyn and I below the silo (this is on full zoom on our camera) and a pic of Grandma and Grandpas house.

This is shot of the sky one hour after we finished filling the silo!!

Thank you Lord for the beautiful working weather!!

1 comment:

girlebert said...

Girl that is such a GREAT idea. Thanks for sharing your day of activity. Mine was quite boring...., LAUNDRY and LAUNDRY!!
Hey, I still have that winter jacket and snow suit for Ashy.., Do you still need/want it??
See ya

Thanks God Dwights incident wasn't as dangerous as first suspected!!