June 19, 2018

She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy…

The Fat Rancher's back pasture post shredding.

She thinks my tractor’s sexy!

She thinks my tractor’s sexy
It really turns her on
She’s always starin’ at me
While I’m chuggin’ along…  Kenny Chesney

When it comes shredding time for the pasture, The Fat Rancher always has this tune in mind.  The tune chugs along just like TFR’s rusty old Kubota tractor.

I have tractor, therefore I am…

This year the the drought reasserted itself, with Williamson County showing “abnormally dry.”  When planting hay, I try to time sowing within a week of two inches of rain.  This year that opportunity didn’t present itself.  So instead, I shredded the pasture and let the leftover haygrazer germinate.  A surprising amount emerged.

Photo of field
The Fat Rancher’s task: Tame the grasses so that the hay has another shot.

This past weekend’s forecast for a couple inches of rain prompted me to shred again, so that the grasses and hay can grow back up from the rain.

Shredding is a love-hate affair.  It’s a pain in the rear (literally, since there is no suspension on the tractor) and can be pretty hot in the summer sun.

However, time on the tractor is a marvelous time for reflection.  The mind-numbing drone of the tractor coupled with concentration on the mow line, makes for a nice buzz in which to listen to some tunes.

More importantly, The Fat Rancher likes to be able to point to a tangible result from his efforts.  And while a ranch with a cleanly shredded field may not solve world peace, it makes him feel peaceful about his little corner.

Occasionally, I’ll have some company.  This week it was the clouds of crickets blasting off in all directions as I plowed through the fields of green.  Some even hitch a ride on the tractor, skittering about trying to decide which way to leap.

Is it a Vole or a Tasty Treat?

In the past, I have counted voles as they scurry out of the way of The Fat Rancher.

Field vole (Microtus agrestis)
Field vole (Microtus agrestis)

But I’m not the only one checking out the field-life.  Mr. and Mrs. hawk can be seen circling the field or alighting in a tree to carefully watch for a tasty critter.

Red Shouldered Hawk
Red Shouldered Hawk
Photo of shredded field
A job done. Now all we need is some rain.

In spite of multiple equipment breakdowns (it seems there is always something coming apart!), TFR got the back and front pastures shredded.

“I’m back in the (tractor) saddle again…”

Happy days.

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