Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grateful for Horsepower!

The present contains nothing more than the past,
  and what is found in effect was already in the cause.
                             Henri Bergson


I was sitting Canada Day Monday watching the cows wander around the pasture behind the house and I could see Thor the bull strutting his stuff for the ladies and I was pretty sure he had not heard one word about the Lonely Red-coated Boys visit, well at least I never told him. Those Lonely Boys were rounded up and escorted back from whence they came with my stern warning in their ear as they loaded the trailer Thor is back we will not see you back here again…. got it? I am pretty sure I scared them with those words and they will not be returning.


I was thinking about the Saturday before and how we headed back to the auction where the Old Equipment collector had lived. I am reasonably sure you know I do not know very much about horses but I do know that this wonderful man had raised Clydesdale horses and had collected everything he could get his hands on that had been used by our ancestors long ago while trying to carve out a place to call home and farm in this place we call Canada. I am so grateful for this collector man and his foresight to preserve our past so we will not forget just how hard it was for those who came before us to live and work. 



The only horsepower around then was truly those magnificent workhorses that were so important to the farmer and his family. I cannot imagine the hard work, the endurance and the strength it took to continue to farm back then. I looked at our tractors sitting in the barnyard through the window and thought about the horsepower under the hood and thought of how far we have come.


I had walked around this auction and looked at all this machinery that was used by someone long ago and I thought about how truly lucky we are that these farmers of long ago had cleared all the land that we use today, they actually did all the hard work and we are still benefiting from all their struggles, I do know from history books that there were an overwhelming, and an unimaginable amount of struggles.


These days I get to ride around on my tractor in air conditioning with the nice air seat and bale hay with a round baler, and with any good luck at all I never need to leave the cab till the job is done. They would have had to stand out in the dust, and the intense heat with every muscle in their bodies crying out to quit but they kept going no matter what. Can you imagine the strength and commitment that would have taken? I have no idea how I, a modern day and let us just say spoiled farmer would have ever survived back then and let us be honest, many of them did not.


There were plows and mowers and binders, and sleighs and other equipment I had no idea as to what it had been used for. This wonderful man had bought them up and kept them here for people to see and hopefully not forget about how very lucky we are now-a-days. I want to thank this man who preserved these pieces of history that we should never forget because we have all came from here and benefited greatly. It is too important to brush that fact aside.



 I have no idea why he or even when he decided to collect and preserve these things, possibly memories from his own childhood while living on a farm long ago and remembering using this same equipment or maybe just the love of the history.


My wish is that these pieces of history were sold to other like-minded souls who will also preserve this wonderful collection so a, sometimes complaining about all the hard work, farm girl like me will never forget exactly what it took to get all of us here to this time where I know I for one am truly so lucky to live in. Thank you to this wonderful man for his attempt to preserve this for us all.

Happy 4th of July  to all our friends south of the border. Have a great celebration.

Thinking of our friend Feral Woman and her Foresterman on this day. Check out my  my side bar and you will understand or you can read about it here. http://www.gowestferalwoman.com/   Take care my friends. Hug xo

Later

43 comments:

  1. What kept them going was fear of starvation and death in the Canadian wilderness. I remember reading in a Canadian history book that pioneers arriving in land in Ontario could hardly find a place to stand for the trees. How they managed with just brute strength and a few simple tools to clear enough land to grow food I will never be able to comprehend. Can you imagine being a woman in those times and those conditions...dealing with ordinary every day things, illness, childbearing....brave souls. We owe them so much.

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  2. I agree thanks to the guy who has collected this stuff. It is good to be reminded of our history in a tangible way.

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  3. I am amazed on a daily basis, at the horse (and mule) power that we see around us on our Amish neighbors' farms! Those animals seem to love working! But riding behind them out in the heat and humidity...in long pants no less...must be uncomfortable sometimes! We don't have air conditioning in our tractors, and we sure wish we did sometimes.

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  4. Some of these pieces of equipment would make a beautiful sculpture garden as a testimonial to the farm.

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  5. And thanks to you for preserving it for all of us. I would love to go to one of these old auctions with you and just speculate about the old equipment and the stories they could tell!

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  6. The man we bought our farm from had horse powered equipment and Belgium horses. He plowed our garden for us and pulled our vehicles out of a field when we got stuck with these horses. He worked them all the time. It was very cool to watch.

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  7. On a darker side, many of these pieces of history are being sold for scrap around here -- and are disappearing quickly. Greed is NOT good. xo

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  8. This is a well preserved, beautiful look into the past. I wish more people could see the beauty in these items.

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  9. You bought back memories when I used to stay in early school holidays & my Pa & I would go with the draft horse to fell some trees the old fashioned way with also cleared the land eventually. :)

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  10. Must be an interesting farm to look around at...I agree we have all gotten soft, relying on our technology.

    Thank you for the kind wishes for our up[coming national celebration. I saw on the news that the RCMP caught a pair of Canadian homegrown jihadists before they managed to set off their explosives. Good job! Glad your national day was not ruined by them.

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  11. I have a lovely photo of my Dads first team of clydes he had to plow with at 14. He looked so proud( and small!)Both my parents remember community grain threshings. As we farm in an area enmeshed with a huge number of Amish I see people still using horses as their main form of power to till, harvest and transport each day. Sometimes I think somethings left behind might have made more sense!

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  12. I never considered an air conditioned tractor - until now . . now you mention it - i have seen them. NOW I feel sorry for my uncle Joe who worked during the week - traveling for a feed company - then hurried home to work - often riding his tractor - with NO comforts in comparison . . . wow.
    My aunt & uncle could have no horses - because Aunt Bernice was super allergic to them . . . but, just about everything else was there . . . . Happy 4th!!!
    -g-

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  13. I'd say the early days of the pioneers in much of Canada would be very similar for those pioneers who settled in Australia. Very hard on everybody.
    The Clydesdale must be the most beautiful of horses and it's a pity they are not seen very often today.
    What a wonderful collection of farm working machinery; all backbreaking work back then.
    Glad Thor is back and I wouldn't tell him about the Red-Coated Boys. No need to upset him unduly. xx

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  14. He had some neat equipment. I love the draft breeds because they are such gentle giants.

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  15. Wonderful post and photos ! Clydesdale's are beautiful beasts but my faves are Belgians the breed that the Amish use here in Ontario . I had a friend who ran a team of Clydesdale's and gave wagon and sleigh rides these big horses are all truly gentle giants ! I know some horse people who have the tack and gear displayed with in their homes it is wonderful ! Thanks for sharing . I miss having horses ! Have a good day !

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  16. Such beautiful pieces of machinery and of history. I can't imagine how difficult everything must have been back in the day! It is so nice that you care about these things so much! As always, your photographs are really, really beautiful!

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  17. What a great collection. Tho my tractor doesn't have A/C, it does have a nice soft cushy seat :)
    Have a great day B.

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  18. My Grandfather raised Belgians and made his own wagons. He so loved the history of those horses. My sister out of sheer luck was able to get her hands on one of his finest wagons. Neither of us are brave enough to even try using a team, but that wagon sure brings back memories.

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  19. When i walk in my bush and see all those piles of rocks and stone fences, my heart cries for those dear souls who busted their backs trying to work this land, only to have it come to nothing.
    The bush in my area (right on the S.E. corner of Algonquin Park) is full of these signs. I'm sure two generations worked themselves to death doing the clearing, only to have the next generation abandon the plan - judging by the ages of the trees that are hiding their work.

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  20. Miss B,
    It’s amazing how fast and far technology has come. Some of the big equipment farmer’s use is unbelievable.

    It is also amazing how much more efficient a 4-wheeler is to ranching vs. working off horseback. The Rancher says there is no way we could go back to horseback as there simply is not enough time in a day. 4-wheelers are so much faster and you can carry salt, mineral and fencing supplies with you.

    I agree, we need to be grateful to those that cleared and worked the land before us.

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  21. these are great photos. really like them. :)

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  22. Your photos are preserving the history as well. I love that old wagon!

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  23. B,

    I love old farming equipment. There are so many stories behind each piece. The farmers of history worked hard in extreme weather. If we could roll back time, I wonder what the old farmers/ranchers would think about our time and the people?

    Beautiful pictures, I love the way your catch the history behind each piece of equipment.

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  24. hugs to you too, my friend - just woke up (darn internet - they changed the times now to 2 am to 8 am unlimited, and guess who forgot this and tried to download photos at midnight???) but I am in clothing not pj's ;p so all is good...

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Your pictures!!! Yes, I would have said to you - see ya later -I gotta go bid!!! ITs amazing what he all had - he was a collector and he didnt want that part of history to rot away - I can only hope (and Im pretty sure!) that others made sure that didnt happen - i hope he is living the good life now after the auction because that stuff is priceless...

    and you are priceless as usual for capturing the story behind the story!!!

    sleighs... gotta get me a sleigh...watch out ebony!!!

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  25. What neat equipment! I often think of farmers from many years ago and how hard they must have had it. I can't imagine what they went through! It's so nice that the equipment nowadays is better and can help you get the job done quicker and with less hassle.

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  26. Enjoyed viewing all the old equipment collecting rust on some of them. I appreciate it when folks collect stuff like this. Makes for great photography as well.

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  27. Eloquent account to the way things were. Many of us cherish and share your point of view based on the comments you've received.

    I can identify with the haying and logging.

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  28. I love these photos--great to see these old pieces of equipment. My father was born in 1921 and was raised on a farm and then became a farmer. He would know what every piece here was used for, and may have used them himself. It's good to remember the past and how things were done. It's part of our heritage. Thank you for helping to preserve those things!

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  29. I love to find old farm equipment- I have my grandpa's old wood level and several hay hooks and a hay scoop. I wish I could find auctions around here, but there aren't many at all. Happy belated Canada Day!

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  30. I agree, it is so interesting to see the old equipment and some of it was quite ingenious. It should be preserved for the next generation to see.

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  31. Gorgeous shots, farming although I can't do it, is in my blood. Coming from a long line of farmers on both sides of my family, I can truly appreciate the hard work it too to create those fields.

    We all have it so easy now a days good to be reminded of the past in order to appreciate the present.

    Jen

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  32. very cool images buttons, what a neat peak into the past!!

    i'm so happy your tractor had a/c and a comfy seat ;)

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  33. Buttons-a really nice post and history lesson! Lve your photos and thoughts!!

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  34. I truly appreciate that you also thought enough about these items to photograph them so beatifully, and write about them them with such reverence .

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  35. It's good to remember those who arrived here in Canada to clear the land without motorized equipment. I certainly cannot truly comprehend how hard they had to work EVERY day.

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  36. Our ancestors are a testament to ingenuity and perseverance for sure!

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  37. Those first couple of images are a page out of my book!!! I wonder if your collectorman had a plan, or did he simply accumulate, the way my Dad did?
    My favourite image is the last one, looking straight down at the seat of the whatever!!!

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  38. That was an insightful tribute to this horseman's life. I struggle to work my tiny kitchen garden and tend the chicks. I cannot even imagine the long days of the horse powered farmer. You are right, they did clear the land for themselves and future farmers. They were true pioneers.

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  39. B-I'm going to show this post to my Dad. He grew up around farms (his own father became a hired hand after losing his own auto repair business in the Great Depression.) My Dad has memories of farmers plowing with huge teams of mules-a memory that still fills him with awe when he recalls it. There is a local farm near us that collects and preserves old pieces of farm equipment. Needless to say, my Dad is like a boy again when we visit there:) Hugs! xx

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  40. Lovely collection there, Buttons! My Great Grandfather farmed 800 acres in Massachusetts with two work horses that my Dear Father fondly remembers. One of them was sweet, but the other would try and step on his foot all the time. He said their feet were as big as dinner plates. My Great Grandfather gave them the royal treatment because he knew they were the lifeblood of the farm. Hugs xoxo

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  41. Happy 4th to you too. I am also glad we have horsepower too. : )


    Saun

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  42. wonderful pics¡ my husband's uncle who's in his 70's, recently retired from farming and he only used horses. i have a couple of memorable, winter sleigh rides thanks to him. :)

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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