Tuesday, February 12, 2013

HayMan and the Watchdog

HayMan came yesterday.  

It was the first time he has ever chosen not to attempt the plowed driveway, but to park at the first slope and carry three bales all the way up the driveway, past the house, into my barn.  

One bale per trip.  Back and forth.

Because Piper is such a phenomenal watchdog, she stood at the parlor window watching HayMan do this, and never uttered a peep.  My first indication that there was a human on the property was the loud knock on the back door which just about made me jump out of my skin.

Nice work, Piper.
"Sorry. Can't discuss this now. I am on Guard Duty."

If there had been a squirrel in sight during any of this?  
She would have barked the roof off.

For those who were interested in the structure of snow crystals the other day, here are some ice crystals on the edge of the goats' water bucket.

And for scale, here are my boots again.  The snow is packed down around the bucket, so you are seeing the cuffs of my Filson chaps.  

I love my Filsons, but this is the first time I have ever worn them "just" for snow.  They are wonderful for working in brush (especially thorny brush) but after my my first bootfuls of melting snow on Saturday, I retrieved the Filsons from their nail in the workshop and have been wearing them for chores, over my jeans and muck boots.

WHAT a difference.

I am intrepid.

I am invincible.

I am wearing dry jeans.

Because I think someone may ask, I bought my chaps and lots of my other fieldwork equipment years ago from an outfit called Forestry Suppliers.  These folks have always been a pleasure to do business with.  One of the most fun shopping experiences I've ever had was when I was replacing my snowshoes and had a lengthy phone conversation with two of the Forestry Supplier people regarding the angle of rise on the toes of two different snowshoe styles.  When I called them, I had not realized the company is located in Mississippi; a State which may be generally called "a snowshoe-free zone."  But those folks sure went out of their way to get an answer to my question!

My chaps (getting back to the subject) were made by an old US company, as was my orange timber-cruising vest.  In the interest of providing accurate information here, I just googled the company website.  Sadly, so very often, even products that have been made in the US for ages have been farmed out (usually to China) in the past 20 years or so.

I am SO glad I googled Filson!  Because, guess what:

Filson makes 276 products in the US.

Not everyone needs chaps (or a timber-cruising vest), but for those of us who appreciate well-made outdoor clothing, or even just rugged and practical gear (they have luggage! and laptop bags!) there are a lot of items on this website that may be welcome news indeed.  It is hard to find good, strong, functional stuff.  Stuff that looks like it will be working for as long as we will be working, and then perhaps be handed on to someone else who will be very pleased to have it.  I am not much of a shopper, but several Filson items made it to my wishlist today.

(I probably don't need to say this, but just in case: I have nothing to gain, personally, from recommending either Filson or Forestry Suppliers.  Neither company would know me if I walked through their door.  Well, there are a couple of employees from Mississippi who might remember me if I walked through their door and started talking about snowshoe toes, but that's about it.) 


And that's enough about snow for a while, isn't it?

Maybe it's time to make something nice to eat.  It's been soups and quiches lately...lovely comfort food that takes almost no effort and tastes like, well, comfort.

Here's hoping you have a lovely, comfort-filled day!

"Wait, did somebody say 'quiche'?  I'm pretty sure I  LOVE quiche."