Lloyd Scarseth – scenes from Farm Life

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Lloyd Scarseth–the drawings were from a 1980 calendar

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Sleigh tipped over on sidehill. The sleigh runners wandered off the iced sleigh trail on the sidehill and over she’d go into the unpacked snow. You’d jump off as soon as you felt her roll and hold on to the horses. The older dependable horses knew something was wrong and as long as they weren’t hurt themselves, they would stand there. Young horses weren’t pokey and they’d get startled. Well, anyway, you were supposed to know more than they did so you’d have to watch where you drove. LS
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Hitching up the team to the sleigh in the morning. sometimes the snow would come early. We’d take advantage of it and use the sleigh ’cause you would never haul wood in the wagon as it was too high to load and too hard to pull. We’d always use the best team for winter. we could trust them and they could pull good. You can tell by the ears on the horses–they weren’t worried. This was old stuff for them.
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We’d use a team of dappled greys (about 12 years old) who were sturdy to get a big tree from up on the sidehill. You couldn’t skid on the level but going down hill, you had the advantage and with a big team you could snake it pretty good. It was a poor place to take a colt cause you might spoil him and he might get balky on a hard pull like this
Cutting down a big tree.
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Noon break in the woods
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End of the Day. The horses would want to trot coming home, as they could tell what time of the day it was. But a good draft horse should never be trotted as it would lose its good walking gait. The farmer wouldn’t want them to run home this last trip cause he’d want to keep them dry. When he put them in the warm barn, he’d only give them a little water when they got back and more supper after supper, cause they’d catch cold easy. But they sure knew when their day was done.
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Buzz saw cutting block wood. Quite early in the morning, after chores were done, we started. One fellow would have the saw rig (one lunger or one piston–big fly wheel engine) and go from farm to farm. We’d help so many farmers and then they’d help us–‘exchange work’ we called it. This was a warmer day so we didn’t blanket the horses, they were tickled to stand there and rest. We would work until around five and go home and do the milking chores. We’d move to the next farm the next day.
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The woodshed
Stacking fire wood
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Wood Tools
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Keeping tools sharp