On post holes


You know that saying, “I’d like to be a fly on the wall during that”? Well, sometimes I imagine what our adventures would look like from the outside. Take sinking post holes, for example. I almost listed it as another hobby on my profile page, I did so much of it this spring. We’d just acquired the new boys (Marcello, Bravado, and Merlin), so we needed more paddock space for quarantine.

Ah gates. They make life so much easier. Once you've put them in.

Like essentially all tasks around the ranch, sinking post holes requires the use of the twactor. Well, not requires, but the auger sure does make it easier.

This is how sad people who don't have twactors dig post holes.

Anyway, our twactor Kubota-san is invaluable. We use it for…let me think…everything. Mowing the lawn, moving heavy things, digging trenches, snowblowing, putting up fences…the list goes on and on. But it’s a wittle twactor, and the auger, well, has length issues. The turning is hydraulic, so that works great, but there’s nothing actually pressing it deeper into the soil. And we have the oh-so-wonderful baked clay soil of the plains.

Our tractor looks sorta like this, only we don't have a canopy.

So, my genius family has come up with a solution. Or rather, several solutions. First, the lightest person is the one in the drivers seat. That’s me, so I have to operate all the levers that control the hydrolics, and I have to aim the auger. Once I’ve got the auger where we want it, Mom jumps on. She straddles the pole. Then Dad jumps on the auger box behind her.

I’m trying so hard not to make dirty jokes, I think my brain is melting.

Then I start the auger turning. As it turns, Dad jumps up and down on the box and Mom just tries to hold on. This goes on for about a minute, with the twactor grinding away in high gear and all three of us shaking and jostling around on it. Usually this gets us about, a foot deep, maybe more, occasionally we only scrape the grass off the soil. Then we fill the holes with water and let them sit overnight. The next day, we repeat, only now I have to aim the auger into the hole filled with soupy clay, and lower it without splashing mud on Mom and Dad. I usually succeed at that. If I don’t, they both give me the same dirty look. You know the look, it’s the one your parents gave you when you chewed with your mouth open or ate with your elbows on the table. Then, rinse and repeat until all holes are around 3 feet deep.

I like to imagine what our neighbors think, watching this intricate and somewhat bizarre post hole ritual, with all its jumping up and down on twactors and arm waving about auger aim. Actually, scratch that. Maybe I don’t want to know what the neighbors think 🙂

Phew. I think I managed to do that whole post without any post hole wordplay. Well, until right there.

About cliffhousealpacas

Once upon a time, my dad drove by some funny looking animals standing on little dirt hills in a field. Thus, the dream of an alpaca ranch was born. Now, we are embarking on a grand adventure of raising alpacas and becoming fiber artists.
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One Response to On post holes

  1. Pingback: Winter lessons for summertime fence building | Cliff House Alpacas

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