Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mystery photo - with a difference

Anna: A slightly different mystery photo this time. Nothing is hidden or cropped. Also, I don't actually know what this thing is called. If you happen to know the name of it, please tell me. Otherwise...

Farm implement - front view
Originally uploaded by amkb

Can you figure out what it's for or how it's used? Click on the picture for access to a larger image, as well as a back and top views. I'll give it about a week before I explain it, unless someone figures it out before then.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The pump shack

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Another photo from the family farm.

When I was quite little, we didn't have running water or indoor plumbing in the house. What we had was this pump shack. It was located outside the fence around the house, as we used it to water our cattle, too. The unpainted area used to have an opening on the side with a water trough by the wall. A special metal pipe could be hung from the pump's spout, redirecting the water through the hole and into the trough. There was also a long handle that could be attached to the pump to get water manually, in case there was ever a power failure. We had quite a few of those back then. From here, we hauled water for use in the house, the chicken coop and the barn, as needed.

Inside the shed, on the side the pump was at, was an old wood cookstove we used to heat up water for baths. There was a claw-foot tub we'd take turns using, filling with more heated water as needed. There was a drain in the concrete floor, so when we were done, we'd just pull the plug and let the water drain onto the floor and into the drain. We always made sure to take baths on Saturday night, so that we'd all be clean and shiny for church in the morning. Being as little as I was at the time, my sister would carry me from the pump shack to the house, so I wouldn't get my feet dirty. I still remember one very dark night, looking over her shoulder as she carried me, and seeing a lightning strike somewhere off in the distance.

The shack was also a workshop. The other half of the shed held all sorts of tools and work spaces. There was even an old fridge were we kept the cream we collected for sale to the local creamery, which has long since been closed.

Then one day, someone flicked the switch to run the pump, and no water came out. We had to attach the handle and manually pump and pump and pump until we finally got some water going, but it was the end of our well. I don't know exactly why, but it had gone dry and we needed to dig a new one. My father chose to have a well dug near the house. He also had an addition added to the original part of the house, which was made of logs, building an indoor bathroom in the original part of the house and having running water installed in the new kitchen. My mother got an electric stove out of the deal, too - I don't think the wood cookstove we'd been using could be moved anymore. My dad even had trenches dug for pipes to a couple of fountains installed for the cows that would automatically maintain water levels, and even added a pump right in the barn.

Ain't technology grand? ;-D

Friday, October 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Another shot taken while visiting the family farm. I have no idea where this old car came from, but it's obviously been there a while!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Another photo from the family farm.

When I came upon this contraption, I didn't recognize what it was at first. Then I realized it was upside down. These are the teeth from an old binder - the machine that would cut the wheat stalks, tie them into sheaves, then drop them on the ground behind. My dad would pull it with the tractor while one of my brothers operated it. The rest of us would follow behind, picking up the sheaves and stacking them into stooks. I was so small, my youngest brother and I could both fit into the middle of a stook together! I don't imagine I was much help with the work, but I still have fond memories of it.

Barbed wire and lichen

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: During our visit to my family farm, I had a chance to wander around a bit. There's an area that's a sort of graveyard of old cars and farm equipment. I found this roll of barbed wire there. Interesting to see it's been there long enough for lichen to start growing on it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frost thyme

Anna: It's been a long time since we've posted photos. We have them... we just haven't got around to posting them. :-P

We've had huge amounts of fog in the last couple of nights. That left for some lovely frost on the remains of my herbs on the balcony. More than enough incentive to break out the macro lens.


The frost-kissed remains of thyme blossums.


And a few remaining leaves of parsley.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Originally uploaded by amkb

It took me a week, but I've finally uploaded some of the photos I took during our visit to the Devonian Botanical Gardens. You can see the rest of them here.

This passionflower was in the butterfly house. I only saw two butterflies this time around - wrong time of year to be visiting, I guess. These were blooming on one of the pathways along the wall, giving me better light and access with the macro lens.