It's been a rough year for our barns. Eschol decided that winter was an excellent time to air condition the big barn and in a very short period around Christmas, removed the remaining doors and most of the siding from lower level of the barn. Not only did he make me very unhappy by messing with one of my favorite parts of the farm--I love these old barns and seeing them every morning when I walk out to feed the buffs used to bring me such pleasure--he created a huge hassle factor. His propensity for taking the siding, doors, and assorted supporting structures and rolling them downhill often into the wet weather creek made for a lot of hard, messy labor for me as I did my daily salvage operation. It's not like the wood was all in great shape to begin with but it was still functional. Here's what it looked like on Dec. 19th as the buffs soaked in the sun--south side, yo!
And here it is a couple of weeks later with my quick and dirty fix for keeping him from getting at the structurally-significant supports. I can put the siding back on but I don't think I can pick up the floor of the hayloft if that collapses.
No point in putting the siding back on while Eschol's around, however. Probably goes without saying that he has put himself on the menu here in short order. I'm working on finding a way to get him from farm to freezer before he does much more damage. I know he's frustrated but a frustrated bull who likes using his horns to play demolition derby is just not something I need in my life right now. We have also decided to tear down the old chicken coop. It needed massive repairs and since I'm still on a steep learning curve with the buffs, it seemed unlikely that I'd want to take on chickens any time soon. So, when Eschol punched a calf-sized hole in the side of the coop, we cut off his access and made the executive decision to tear it down and salvage the wood for use in repairing the more-critical barns. The flood waters taking a new path this week just reinforced why putting effort into repairing the coop never would have paid off anyway: