It’s been a while…


Mini the Woozeling Moo, The Lady Woo, the widdle cow is doing fine.  She gimps around on three feet, but she gets where she wants to go. She is now living full-time with the big cows and appears to have been accepted by her mother. Mini is a happy little cow.  I continue to be amazed that she has made it this far. I’m beginning to see parallels between that cow and my farm.

The Woo moved to the pasture when her brother, Mojo the pig, went off to be stud pig at a farm in Wolfeboro.  I worried, as I watched Mojo ride away in the back of a pickup truck, that Mini might get depressed without her pig-pal.  I mean, they’ve been together practically since birth.  But cows can be a bit hard to read and I haven’t seen any real change in Mini’s behavior.

My favorite memory of these two is watching them run ahead of me as I went to the barn in the morning.  The routine for the morning was to go to the greenhouse and open the door.  You see, as Most-Important-Animals-On-the-Farm, Mini and Mojo slept overnight together in a hay-filled corner of the greenhouse. When the door slid open Mojo would grunt happily and bound out of the greenhouse knowing that food was in the offing.  Mini would gradually, with a good deal of encouragement, drag herself out into the morning.  I would load up the wheelbarrow and head for the barn and the two would wobble and hobby horse their way along.  After chores, the two would stay in the pasture near where the cows were eating their hay.  At around 3:00, when the sun would start to go down, Mojo would nudge Mini into action and the two would return to the greenhouse together.  Sometimes I would see them coming across the road and other times I would just find them in a little mammalian pile in their hay bed in the greenhouse.

These two are a very special pair of animals.  It will be interesting to see if they recognize each other when Mojo comes back.

Other news…

The house heating system, a wood fired gasifying furnace attached to a 3000 gallon tank of water, had been operating flawlessly since the beginning of the winter.  In the category of “famous last words”, I had even gone so far as to say that the system was, possibly, the best thing I had ever done.  Hmmm.  As if on cue, this past Sunday, I noticed a drop in the temperature of the water coming into the house and went to check the furnace.  It was happily chugging away making hot water.  Then I went to check the connections to the water tank… all’s well there. Then I went to the tank and noticed that my water level indicator was missing.  It had been there a week ago, when I noticed that the water level was down an inch or so.  This was pretty typical of the evaporative loss that I had seen for the past year.  I took the cap off the tank and poked a broom handle into the hole.  I swirled the handle around in the opening feeling for the resistance of water.  Lower and lower went the handle without feeling any water. Four feet down I felt nothing.  The handle was dry.  To shorten the story, the tank was empty.  EMPTY!  3000 gallons gone.

Given the precarious financial condition of my operation, the general lack of time due to renovation and expansion projects and the onrushing demand of the coming spring, this was not good.

I was greatly discouraged.

Yesterday I spent the day tearing the deck off the tank, removing insulation and copper coils in order to get at the liner.  I did find a strange hole in one of the corners, how it got there is a mystery.  It would it appear to have been enough to cause the tank to drain.

Today brings other tasks.  I’ll need to let you know about the result.

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