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The Claw

Posted Friday, March 26, 2010, at 8:23 AM

(Photo)
Our barn cats have claws and the darn things work great for climbing trees, catchin' mice, and jumping up my pants legs when I least expect it. But this blog isn't about barn cats, rather it's about the claw on the end of a John Deere 4440 tractor.

When we bought the farm(stead), weeds had taken over a large portion of the property. Now while I spent a considerable amount of time wandering around in the 12 to 15 foot tall forest of weeds before we decided to buy, I found several hidden things I was not aware of at purchase time. One example was the burn pile. It took a couple months of hacking and burning to get to the burn pile to start with, and to say that I was surprised to find it would be an understatement. This pile of old tree debris was large and I knew immediately that getting rid of it would be a real challenge beyond having a serious fire.

To shorten a long story, the burn pile is no more, and it didn't take a fire. My farming neighbor showed up yesterday with his JD 4440 tractor with a hydraulic bucket/claw that I've seen used as a round bale hauler previously and moved the whole pile. I was totally entertained the whole time he was here as obviously he has plenty of experience moving stuff with that tractor. There were no unnecessary moves, the bucket/claw was always completely full of limbs, stumps, and brush, and he somehow always managed to miss our old pump house out back as he moved the pile about 1/4 mile where it won't bother anyone again.

During the debris movement, I asked my farming neighbor if he really had time to move the pile, and his twinkle in the eye response was... "at my age, I don't have much time for anything anymore". I hope I can come up with ways to help even our debt of gratitude for all they do for us. Our neighbors continue to help in ways that perhaps to them seem minor, but it's a big deal to us former city folk.



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The City Slickers
Brian Hoag
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