Exactly how this piece of vintage farm equipment worked was the issue facing Bob Ulrich (left) and Rex Johnson (center) Saturday afternoon as they reassembled an artifact that had arrived at the museum in pieces.
They knew it was a horse-drawn hay rake, but it was Kay Ulrich's memory that saved the day. She recalled an image in a book of vintage farm-related images at home that showed one of these devices in action in 1913, being pulled across a field by a single horse, scooping up hay, with the farmer walking along behind.
From that, we learned that it's called a "dump rake," and that helped --- although when I left the museum grounds there still were issues to be resolved.
It was a beautiful and busy spring day at the museum.
Jim Secor (right) was just offering input in the barn. His big project was rebuilding before spring planting a portion of the base wall of the terraced planter that climbs upward from the east side of the patio. This completed a project begun a couple of years ago when he rebuilt the second level of the terrace, which had begun to tip outward in an even more alarming manner.
Elsewhere on the grounds, Kay Brown and Kathy Willits were raking in a recently cleared area along the top of the bluff that forms the south border of museum property.
Randy Paige and Co. had been here during late winter to trim our big trees and also to remove dead and dangerous trees and limbs from this woodsy border. We like the border because it provides a backdrop for the school and the cabin --- and birds like it, too --- but suspended dead limbs and a really active growth of poison ivy had turned it into a hazard.
So now we're going to extend the lawn south toward the trees a little in hopes of keeping the poison ivy under control, then after we've seen how that goes will consider adding new plantings here in future years --- redbuds perhaps.
Later this month, we plan to add a star magnolia between the school and church --- and a river birch in the valley to the west, where the ground is a little damp.
Jim was talking of tilling the heirloom garden at the base of the big hill later Saturday, but I'm not sure that project was completed. The garlic and the rhubarb are up and flourishing down there and the asparagus should be along soon. Spring is definitely here!