Linda and I went to lunch today. For one reason and another we haven't caught up with each other since August. First we went to the woods so my phone could ring her phone, lost somewhere among the leaves yesterday, as she looked for winter berries. I didn't ask.
That accomplished, as we drove back to the road I admired the large barn and the cows across the road. Linda grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York. She told me to pull off the road so she could show me the cow with the bell.
A bell on a cow is no longer usual, but this is a Mennonite farm, and she assumed the bell hearkened back to more rural times. "Look for the cow with the leather collar." Whoops. Three cows with leather collars and bells. Until I edited these photos, I did not see the Malamute keeping an eye on me looking for cows with collars!
Another cow with a leather collar and a bell. "Perhaps it's tryout week for lead cow!" Linda spotted the bull. "His nose is right up her butt!" I spotted him! It was a lovely blue sky kind of day. We headed off for lunch.
The lunch crowd came, the lunch crowd left, and eventually so did we. Four months is some serious catching up, though, and we were wondering where we could go next. Show me more barns, I suggested, and we spent another couple of hours pursuing barns in Columbiana County, Ohio, USA.
We saw more than a few, but often I could not find a good place to pull off the road. Columbiana is rural, but less so year by year. A lot of truck traffic. Semi's on county roads. They aren't pleased to be stuck behind a couple of rubber necking old ladies, looking for a way to stop for a picture of a barn.
Although there is a hill behind, this is not a bank barn. The current fencing and the green of the enclosure indicates horses; the barn overhang suggests it formerly was a cow barn. The overhangs are common on eastern and mid-Atlantic 19th century barns; they offered shelter to cows in wet and rainy weather.
The farmer's daughter commented on the good condition of the barn. "All the windows are intact. The paint is recent." Not particularly noticeable in either photo, there are three Dutch doors under the overhang, another indication of a horse barn.
A fairly small bank barn on a seemingly abandoned property. Bank barns are so convenient to storing bedding and feed above the animals in the lower level. The integrity of the foundation is the key to the life of the barn. This foundation may need stabilizing.
The barn's shingles indicate it was built in 1878. Farm dogs do know their job. Another vigilant sentinel watched until we left. This bank barn's original stone foundation can be seen on the right. On the left the foundation is firmed up by concrete blocks.
We stopped for a picture of the Black Angus at the feeder. Back on the road I asked the farmer's daughter what crop was still in the field. Linda hung out the window, peering. Finally she said the leaves looked like they had a bit of a tang. I stopped, she jumped the ditch, snapped a leaf and began chewing.
Then she pulled aside leaves until she found the fruit. Not squash. Very large and heavy. She couldn't get a good grip to lift it a little. She stood by the side of the road, chewing her leaf, waving another over her head at the farm house. "Yoo, hoo. Look over here. Come out and ask me what I'm doing so I can ask you what you're growing."
Several fruitless minutes and she was running out of leaf to wave. "Pull those leaves aside; I'll take a picture. America will know." And I did. Can anyone tell us what this might be?