Yesterday, Mom and I helped Dad fix the combine. He has 3 of them, actually – 1 that works and 2 for parts!! Well, when we got the one that works going this year, it was spewing from the radiator, so we took the radiator off one of the broken ones and fitted it on to the working one. It was fun; we had started last week (Saturday, I think) but it was nowhere near dry enough to get into the field then. Now, though, it is good, so we finished putting all the parts back on and Dad went out into the field yesterday afternoon, and all day today. He figures he should finish tomorrow; and for those who think this is a massive field, I would estimate it at less than 40 acres. Harvesting takes a long time!
But combines sure are cool! They have so many belts and pulleys, gears and chains (like bicycle chains, but bigger), teeth for picking up the wheat, drums and rollers, augers… they are really a marvel of engineering! Next to helicopters, that is! But if combines could fly, they’d win hands down! 🙂
And in other news… a cougar was spotted about 5 miles from here (less than a mile from my sister’s place)! Pretty wild, eh? A neighbour of my sis saw it lying on top of a round bale. It explains a few odd happenings around here. For example, the neighbour’s cows stampeded through a fence into my Dad’s pasture. Not that terribly unusual, except that when the neighbour put them back in, the immediately stampeded again, like they were terrified of something! Also, Dad lost a calf in June – which means it was pretty big to be eaten by a coyote. Well, it may have wandered over to a different neighbour’s, but we’ll have to see. There certainly is enough bush and a few nice hills that a cougar could hide in, and they have been spotted in other parts of Alberta. Overall, it means that my sister can’t let her kids play outside unattended now, just in case. If I were her, I think I would get some lessons in riflery, in case I needed to scare it off! So, it’s a little disconcerting, and the cougar could certainly be on my Dad’s land, too, since 5 miles is nothing to a cat like that.
The only other comment I have today is about how strange it is to be in a place that is booming. I’ve never lived in a boom before, and I think it can make people cocky if they are not careful. For example, kids just out of high school have no idea what it means to really look for work – it is screaming from every corner! I even heard of a fast food joint (Harvey’s I believe) that had to close down because they could not find workers. Wild, eh? But, if you can get work on the rigs with no education, why work at Harvey’s, right? And I think it makes people greedy, too, because quite a few of the jobs pay pretty well, and people are always looking for another one that will make more money. Employers fight over employees… I heard of a guy that walked into a convenience store and just said real loud “anyone here a welder? Anyone here want to be a welder? I need to find 10 welders by noon.” Imagine that.
Well, there’s more I could say about how straight the roads are, and how big the sky is, but I’ll leave insightful things like that for another day!