Vermont Farm and a Suspicious Odor

July 9th, 2011

D70 4491 Vermont Farm and a Suspicious Odor

I’m just back home from a trip to visit family in Vermont.  Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know what that means…new photos of my favorite Vermont farm.  Above is a view of the farm in the morning fog.

D70 4462 Vermont Farm and a Suspicious Odor

It was haying time.  Things are done very differently from when I way a kid making some money in the summer helping bale hay.  No more work for kids dragging hay bales back into the barn’s hay loft where the temperature was well above 100F.  In the old days they hay had to dry in the field for a few days before it was baled.  Now it is cut, chopped, sprayed into a truck and dumped into a storage pit, all in the same day.  And all the hard work done by machine.  I can’t say that’s a bad thing.  My reaction after a few summers of work putting up hay was, “I need to find something to do so I never have to do this again.”  I guess some people did that work and decided they wanted to be farmers…but maybe they then figured out how to get the hay in without all that back breaking labor and sweat.  More power to them.

D70 4484 Vermont Farm and a Suspicious Odor

As soon as all the hay was hauled away the next step in the process began.  The next day hoses were rolled out across the fields.   Then the end of the hose was hooked to this rig behind a tractor.  Have you guessed what the hoses carry?  Liquid manure.  Yep, no more old manure spreaders, now it is pumped in liquid form direct from the barn to the field where it is sprayed by that thing behind the tractor.  The odor is something to experience.  We were lucky this year and there was a rain storm in the evening after the spreading was done.  That seemed to remove the odor from the air.

But, speaking of odors, we had a bit of an adventure with our van on this trip.  On the last couple days of the trip I noticed that the blower fan for the a/c had stopped working.  I just assumed the motor had worn out.  That seems to be a weak point for Chrysler products.  I think I’ve had to replace the blower motor on my Dodge truck at least three times.  There was still some air moving when the van was in motion and there is a separate blower for the back of the van that was still working, so we still had enough a/c to keep it reasonably comfortable.  No big deal, I thought…I’ll just get it in the shop when we get home.

We drove from Vermont to my brother-in-law’s home in Canton on the first day of our return trip.  No real problems on the road.  The next morning I called my mechanic to make an appointment to fix the fan.  He suggested percussive maintenance, saying that sometimes if you pound on the blower housing it will free it up and get it working again for a while.  So I went out, started up the van, and did some pounding.  Sure enough, the blower started working again…because the dead animal that had somehow gotten into the blower housing fell out of the way enough to let it turn.  I cannot describe the odor that came rushing out of the a/c vents.  Whatever it was had been dead for several days.

So, now driving home without fixing the problem was no longer an option.  We got the van into my brother-in-law’s mechanic.  They get to critter out and replaced the blower and filter.  When we asked what the critter was, the reply was, “I can’t rightly say.”  But it was certainly bigger than a mouse. 

Well, there’s still a bit of that odor in the van, slightly disguised by a lot of air freshener stuff.  I’m hoping it will go away soon.  If it’s still there in a week or so I’ll take it to our local car wash/detailing place and see if they can do something about it.  And on the next trip to Vermont I’ll try to park a little further away from the woods that surround my mother-in-law’s house on three sides.

It’s always something.

available light, landscape, Vermont | Comments | Trackback

One Response to “Vermont Farm and a Suspicious Odor”

  1. 1Melanie
    July 14th, 2011 @ 12:21 am

    I love the term “percussive maintenance.” Hope the stink is gone!

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Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

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