Sunday, March 10, 2013
They see me rollin’
I switched jobs again. I am back to sissy rolling. I call it sissy rolling because I only roll this big huge roller across the ground and it is kind of hard to even see anything being done. Unlike my other rolling, it is actually called chopping, where I can see where I have been with all the devastation and chaos I leave in my wake. Briars, weeds, vines, small trees crushed, rolled, and chopped. There is no mistaking that I have been there. I can see the need in that. Van assures me that there is a good reason for doing this other kind of rolling…something about leveling the land to get ready for next crop, making the land more even…flattening out the old rows. Regardless, if Van says it needs to be done then I will do it. It is the same field I rolled a few weeks ago…we need to roll it once more and then it should be good.
The very first time I ever rolled (years ago) it was in another field and it was just black dirt so it was “easy as cake”. No doubt where I had been and needed to go next. The last time I rolled this particular field (a few weeks ago) it was kind of easy. I could see the old dirt rows and rows of cut silage stalks. That helped me stay in a straight line. There was not as much grass and I could see the impressions of where I had been as I rolled along. I also could go by the flattened piles of cow poop and the flattened mole hills. But this time would be different. There was much more grass, the piles and hills were already flat except for a few new ones. This was not going to be so easy…I may need to change the name from sissy rolling to rolling with the big dawgs now. Oh yeah, and this was the kicker…last time I rolled east and west, going with the rows. This time I was to go north and south totally against the rows. This is where it got interesting.
This is the 80 acre field I rolled.
This would be my view if I was rolling east and west. Nice rows to keep me in line. I can even see the rows of cut silage stalks.
Even the back view is great… only this is not the way I am rolling :(
This was my view going north and south. Nothing to help me stay in a straight line.
My first day of rolling went pretty well. But by the second day it was getting harder and harder to see where I needed to go and where I had been. It is kind of hard to explain but I will try. I am really trying to stay in a straight line, first problem…I like to consider myself a “straight shooter” but not so much a straight tractor driver, especially with no lines to follow. So that is a job in itself. As far as rolling, IF I am in dirt it is so easy to see where I have been and where to go next. I can’t turn sharp so that means I have to leave quite a large space between my rolled rows so I can’t just move over one row and start over…I have to go all the way down the field, turn really wide, and then go back down the field the opposite way. Kind of like a giant square that moves over after each go round. Unfortunately I can’t see much dirt because of the grass that has grown in.
This is a close up of what I am seeing, only I see it from a little farther up on the tractor and I am moving at the same time I am looking.
I can sometimes look hard and see either hoof prints from the cows, or rain drop imprints in the dirt, or fresh (not flattened) poop piles or mole hills next to the row I am rolling. But there are times that I cannot tell if I am really seeing hoof prints or if it is just tire tracks from the tractor. It seems odd but you really have to be there to understand what I mean. I should have taken pictures the day that I was rolling but I am not sure if they would have been clear enough for you to “get the picture”. I did not take pictures that day but I went back and took some later just to TRY and prove my point. I have evidence that MAYBE I am not completely crazy. There are times when I can see exactly where I have been up ahead of me. It is like the ground I have not rolled is a different shade of color. It is very subtle but I can definitely see it and it makes it somewhat easy. If I can see it ahead then I cannot see it behind me. If I cannot see it ahead, then I can see it behind me. I still have not figured that out but I think it has something to do with the way the sunlight hits it. I noticed real quick that when the sun was behind the clouds I could not see any trace of where I had been and it did not matter if I looked ahead or behind. It was so strange. And I am sure it sounds even more strange !!!!
This is a fresh mole hill and a flattened mole hill. Seems easy enough.
This is a fresh pile of poop and a flattened pile of poop. Again, seems easy enough.
And as if I am not already dazed and confused enough…I turn at the end of my row and head back the other way and I see this!!!!!!! A fresh mole hill in the middle of a flattened one. Yeah, these little stinkers are that quick!!!!! Even the critters have it in for me.
Van once told me that sometimes I could kind of squint and see a faint line and he was right. But it finally got to a point when I would see it and then it would just vanish. Like magic…there it is…there it ain’t. Not funny AT ALL. And NO, I WAS NOT ON DRUGS… but I am seriously considering drugs if it will help with this job. I tried squinting, closing one eye, sitting up straighter, sunglasses on, sunglasses off, looking ahead, looking behind, hair down, hair in pony tail…okay that last one even had me asking “what the world???” Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I reverted back to my childhood. When I would fish with my Grandaddy and not catch anything he would say “sister, you are not holding your mouth right” and yes I did do that weird mouth thing and sometimes is really worked…hey if my Grandaddy said it…it was right. So there I was on this tractor doing the mouth thing…and I think it actually worked, but only for a short time. I got lucky and finally the sun decided to stay out long enough for me to realize that as long as I was going south I could see my lines but going north…I got NOTHING.
Now bear with me…if you look close and kind of squint…in the center of the picture…just to the right of the single electric pole you can see a faint, dark row. That is a row that I missed. Now can you see what I was dealing with. That is how I had to see where I was going to roll.
And this my friends is the same area only I went forward just a little and took another picture. You can still see the faint, dark row BUT this time it is on the left side of the pole. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Can you please ‘splain this to me????????????????????
On a lighter note…all the critters are not out to get me…the cows are always curious about what I am doing. They loved watching me get the pictures for this post. I love the looks on their faces. :) So I had to include them.
I would do great rolling south but rolling north I was winging it by desperately looking down for any sign that I had been even remotely close the the area I was rolling. I could look behind me and see where I had been and that helped some but I could not look back the whole time. That is just NOT how I roll :) I have admitted to being a day late and a dollar short and doing most things bass - ackwards but this was ridiculous. I am doomed to stressful tractor jobs lately. I cannot wait until I get to fluff hay again. I just hope my sanity can make it through these other jobs. So if you see me in town and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off or if you see me flying into church or some other function looking like something the cat dragged in… WELL NOW YOU KNOW!!! I did get the field rolled. I even figured out later that I had rolled it twice in some places and completely missed some other places. It is really hard to get good help these days but for the most part…I did okay AND I did not get fired :) I am actually looking forward to going back to chopping even though it makes me crazy as a sprayed roach. At least I can tell where I am going and where I have been. And YES, I STILL love farmers…especially mine!!
at 6:14 PM