This week we got to spend two afternoons learning how to use a torch and a stick welder to cut and weld metal. It was every bit as exciting as Bongi makes it out to be.
This is torching (cutting), which uses a roaring flame of oxygen and acetylene to heat and liquify the metal, then a concentrated stream of oxygen blows the molten metal away from the torch, creating the cut and a ton of sparks.
This is my team of welders / deep sea divers / optimus prime impersonators. Picture me in the same getup trying to operate a camera.
This is a torching again which looks much more dramatic than welding. Apparently in the movie Flashdance, where the main character is supposed to be welding, she’s actually torching because the sparks are more cinematic. I concur.
More sparkles. (Don’t look at these with your bare eyes in real life)
This is welding, which uses an electric current to create an arc between the actual work (which is attached to the negative terminal of the welding machine and a welding stick (that is connected to the positive terminal) that is guided along a joint. The stick or electrode is a specially prepared rod or wire that not only conducts the current but also melts in the area of the arc and supplies filler metal to the joint.
I was also on cow chores this week and every 36 hours we move the cows to new bails of hay. The wrapped round bails (the kind that look like giant marshmallows in the field, seen here unwrapped) contain fermented hay. It is cut and wrapped while wet then sealed air-tight in plastic. The anaerobic environment causes the hay to ferment, rather than rot and it produces a sweet smell that the cows and I love. Others students can’t stand the odor.
Every time the cows are led to fresh pasture in the summer, they are coaxed along with our sonorous but highly unoriginal call, “Come oooooooon, cows”. This has conditioned them to respond to us even in the winter, knowing that it probably means new food. Here they are following Momoko to a fresh drop of hay we left for them by the barn.
A Red Devin and Caitlin at the watering trough.
Momoko again on cow chore, on a less snowy day.
When it snows, our chickens at home have always huddled in their chicken coop and been hesitant to venture out. But apparently, it’s not necessarily because it is cold. Their eyes, which are great at seeing contrast, don’t work so well with the monotone blanket of white. I tested the theory out with this chicken who was looking out at the white expanse from his coop. I shuffled out a snaking s-curve path away from his perch and he followed the path the whole way, following 10 feet behind me.
It is amazing that in this world of black and white, a verdant bounty of green spinach, kale and lettuce lies just below those reemay covers. The woven polyester fabric keeps the temperature just above freezing. The growth isn’t vigorous this time of year, but it keeps the plants alive.
Our team constructing high tensile electric fencing around a cow pasture.
Pruning raspberry bushes on the coldest day of the year.
And Dylan Trivette, of Trivette Images and my bestie from 4th grade came out and shot an amazing amount of footage for a documentary he’s working on. We’ve seen a piece and it’s AMAZAING. More exciting things to come on that in the future…