Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More Farm Exploring: Unusual Finds

I did some more exploring this morning and found some cool stuff.

Along the fence line that seperates the horse corral and farm house, I found a manual water pump hiding in a cedar tree.

As I was walking in front of the barn, I found one lonely little mushroom. It is the only one like this that I have seen on the whole farm. Anybody know what type? If it was edible, it wouldn't have gotten me very far...

Over near the old abandoned car was a taller object I hadn't noticed before. I tend to stay away from the tall grass areas now that so many folks have warned me about snakes. I believe this aparatus is used to move bales of hay. Can you see it to the left of the car?

Grandpa used to deliver bottles of milk to folks' doorsteps for a company called Gold Spot Dairy. I believe he worked for them for three decades but I'm not sure now. Anyway, here is one of the old dairy trucks with the truck removed. All that is left is the old "ice box" portion that used to sit on the back of the truck.

This big leafy green vine looking thing was at the base of the water pump hiding cedar tree and all by itself in the middle of the front yard. Not sure what it is. Looks kinda like something grown in a garden?

Some readers suggested I plug any and all foundation holes with expanding spray I did. It continued to expand LONG after I thought it was done. I could have used half the amount that I used...oh well.

And finally, at the end of a long rain, I caught a rainbow on camera from the front yard:

Now that I've taken a picture of said rainbow, I'm gonna go play with my shotgun to get that girlie feeling off me.



  1. Lucky you! A ground stake that you can attach a hose to and have pressured water running from whatever lines are buried beneath. The dairy cooler might be the find of the century if the insulation is still viable. Think about excavating a hole and having it for a root cellar.....Enjoying your finds.

  2. The "pump" is actually a freeze proof valve for water outside.

  3. That pump could be a transfer pump used to pump fuel (or other fluids) out of drums (or any container).

  4. Most important, don't ever eat any mushroom that hasn't been positively identified. Some are really good and some can kill you. There is one that tastes good and doesn't make you sick until the next day and then it is too late, it kills you. I am not saying the one in the picture is not good to eat, I am just saying to be very careful. If not absolutely sure, don't taste.

  5. Sean's right, just an outdoor spigot, wonder if the line might still be good providing water for a pasture or pen...

    Looks like a sqare bale loader by the car and the vine is the native buffalo gourd. For a little history of the plant, check out:

    Don't be going experimenting with mushrooms, there's some good and other very similar bad ones. Better safe than sorry.

    Have fun eploring and thanks for sharing a bit about your adventure.

  6. It must be a strange feeling, reconnecting with your family past like that. Looks like you have a really nice place out there.

  7. Can't help you on the implement next to the car, but it does kind of look like the machinery that used to lift hay bails into the back of a farm truck or trailer and drop them on my head when I was a kid.

    The car however, looks to be a '69 or '70 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I'd see if you could get the VIN number off it and research to see if it is of any value. At very least, some of the parts on it may be if not the whole car. There are some very rare versions of this car that are quite valuable.

    You should also check out the outdoor spigot you found. Pulling up the handle opens it up. But it is not uncommon for pipes to fail underground and these to be disconnected at the source. I would guess, tho, that it may still be active since the tree is growing out from around the pipe, which is bad because roots will break the pipe, but may be a good indicator of water.

  8. One more comment. Thinking back to how my kids behaved at times. :-) I would make sure the old dairy truck fridge container can be opened from the inside, or has a way out should someone be inside and someone outside locks the door.

  9. Looks like a frost free hydrant. Once turned off the water drains out of the faucet and pipe, so no worries about winter freezes breaking it. Wouldn't have any other kind on a farm!
    Even if it is not connected to water right there, it is worth moving to another location, those things are getting expensive. You can take out your pocket knife ( you always have that right) and cut off the excess foam ( my crew calls it carpenter in a can) from around the house. Not necessary, but tidier looking.
    If you carry a handgun, you should keep it with you when you are wandering about the farm. You never know when a snake will surprise you. My mom grew up in the Mojave desert and thought it was big fun to kill rattlers with a shovel. She was an only child, and desert entertainment was hard to come by. Rainbows....not just for girls anymore.:) JF

  10. A few tips on those hydrants: If you install one, especially into PVC underground pipe, the joint becomes a weak spot when the kids swing around on the hydrant's riser pipe (yes, they do that). Drainage in our heavy clay is difficult, when they drain out after you turn them off, too. So when installing them, plant them in a fair bit of gravel, then drill a hole in the bottom of a 5 gal bucket and put it over the hydrant's riser pipe, upside down. Then fill in the rest of the hole. This will provide a clear area for drainage, and give extra support to the riser. Some of the bolts at the top allow you to adjust the travel of the valve and the rubber seals on the end, so if it starts leaking you can tighten up the seal without digging the whole thing out.

  11. Your farm is becoming like the Ocean depths to me. If you have the nerve, and the courage to explore you will find riches. I would love to spend a week with a sleeping bag walking the land and clearing brush. One might even find Spanish gold...
    Chris from NC

  12. I'd start carrying an ax or a pair of loppers and start cutting down any cedar tree you come across. They seem to double in size each year and they're a heckuva lot easier to cut down when they're little.

    The hydrant probably still works, since it looks like whoever put it in installed it a little deeper than usual.

    I'd work on trying to find out how to turn off all the water at the well, because if you run into something like that with the tractor, you are going to need to know how and where to turn off the water before you can fix it.

  13. +1 on Jesse on that old Chevy. If the glass is intact, that alone has to be worth some money.

    I can't imagine that someone wouldn't want the whole thing.... assuming you have the right to sell it of course.

  14. If that old ice box is in decent shape it could be used as a ready made root celar.

  15. Great finds. What fun to explore. +1 on using the old ice box as a root dellar.

  16. I think the vine is a Buffalo gourd plant.

  17. The machinery by the car looks like an old elevator, for hay bales only. There are other versions consisting of an open-topped rectangular cross-section sheet metal trough, with chains running at the two corners of the trough, and paddles spanning the trough, connected to the chains. These can handle both unshelled corn and haybales.

  18. OJD,

    First that water well hand pump may be a back up water well. Knock away some of the brush and try pumping it sometime to see if you get water.
    Also, you may want to get your water well tested (Im assuming you have well water for your house) Make sure its safe for your family to drink long term.

    Also good job on using that expanding foam on the cracks around the house. Better to use too much than to little.

    Much of that old junk can be sold for scrap for a pretty penny (just make sure your not junking an antique) Maybe pile up much of that old equipment and ask family about it. Some items I would keep like that insulated milk truck container. yeah' rent a back hoe (back hoe's are fun) and make it a good root celler, back up storm celler.

    Tex Texan

  19. Vine looks like a "creeping Jenny" weed that we have here in North Dakota, but I could be wrong. I forgot the more scientific name.

  20. Not a pump but rather an all weather faucet at least that is what I have seen and used, still need pressure of some type or a spring for H20 to come out just my 2 cents worth less than a penny nowadays

  21. If that old machinery is a hay bale elevator, it should have an electric motor on the bottom end, which may be useful for other things. Same for the wheels.
    If the dairy truck box cannot be used for a root cellar, would it work for above-ground storage? -if it's still waterproof.
    With prayers & Best Wishes! Love ur site.

  22. If your house is on a crawl space and you plug up all the openings so that there is no ventilation, moisture will build up underneath and rot the structure. I know of a church in AL that remodeled and added brick to the exterior, covering all the original foundation vents. A few years later, the floor collapsed during a service. They had to fix the floor AND install new vents. Screen the openings to keep out critters. And the other posters are right, that "pump" looks like a frost-free hydrant.


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