Posted by: kathandroger | November 12, 2017

Marvelous Machines.

The autumn has been kind to the local farmers. A long dry and warm period to enable the maize harvest to be collected. Acres and acres of the stuff, and machines in perpetual motion from dawn to dusk-except for lunch of course! Our environment changes completely; no more hidden turns in the road, no more watering jets to avoid on the bicycle, and bland deserts where there was once a two metre crop. To be fair, the fields are prepared and reseeded within days, and the oil seed rape and winter wheat are already showing their brave shoots in the face of the colder days. But what about those machines which enable the maize to be harvested so efficiently? Man is such a clever chap..yes I know girls are clever too, but not many have been involved in designing combine harvesters to my knowledge. I often marvel at our old and unused winnowing machine, which on the turn of a handle produces a breeze to blow the chaff from the wheat whilst moving racks sort the seed and direct it into a shute and then to the bucket.IMG_3872But that is nothing compared to the motorised giants that rumble over the fields.IMG_3868The great grinding giants effortlessly convert the fields of green into a wasteland to be prepared for the next crop. How this hulking beast can shred the cobs off the plant, then shred the seeds off the cob, then sort the grains to be powered into a waiting trailer is a source of wonderment to me.IMG_3870All this lot is then left to put nutrients back into the soil. Very clever. But as with all clever things, rarely are they perfect. It seems that a good proportion of the waste product must be distributed over our roads- a reminder perhaps of how much work the farmers are doing!IMG_3869

With the lengthening of the days and the now inclement weather, a chap has a good excuse to retreat into his workshop and play with his tools. I wanted to make a bigger metal Dachshund from another old fire extinguisher, and so, with an old car exhaust, a metal drainpipe and the bracket from a TV receiver, work has begun. I had second thoughts about setting off the old extinguisher, but it was many years out of date, and probably would not have worked in an emergency. Oh yes it would! After pulling the pin on the very heavy cylinder the power of the emerging jet swung me round and nearly threw me over. The gravel of the courtyard was quickly covered with carbon dioxide foam and the dog looked on, amazed. Emerging gas quickly cools the kit, including my hands and the dogs nose, and the noise even scared the roaming chickens, but what boys fun! IMG_3871The head is proving a bit difficult, and the ears have yet to be fashioned, and then the paint job will have to be considered, but I bet the manufacturers of the extinguisher would not have guessed that it would eventually end up as a dog in a courtyard!

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