Crow’s Nest: Getting it done.

February 1, 2015

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager


It’s nice to have a (relatively) warm day to catch up on projects and prepare for the next storm. I was happy to mow meadows when it was 10 degrees Saturday because that’s when I know I’ll have the best outcome: the least chance of compacting damp soils.


But it was nice to have a warm day today, you know, 34, to take some time to maintain and fuel the tractor, put on the snowplow, and get ready for the next freeze.

The best thing about our barn storage is dollies. Everything is on wheels: the snowplow, the fork attachment for the tractor, the ballast box, even the sickle bar mower that can be wheeled into place when needed (I have yet to find the appropriate dolly for our bush hog, so for that I use a digging bar for leverage). The snowplow weighs 1,200 pounds; it sure is a luxury to be able to install it myself with just a light touch of my fingers.

Just ten years ago we had a setup where the plow was stored outside and had to be wrangled into place, usually during a snowstorm, with busted knuckles and many trips between the driver’s seat and the front end. Now I just park close and wheel the whole assembly into place with a click!

When I reminisce about those times I sound like the student who walked “ten miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways.”

I always train our interns by telling them the strongest muscle in the body is the brain. Use it and the tools that make labor easier: wheels, inclined planes, pulleys, levers.