Its late spring in the Upper Valley along the Connecticut River. Already we’ve seen some hot summer temperatures followed by some rather angry thunderstorms. This seems to be the pattern that will be repeated all summer long. Hot days followed by violent storms.
The time to get the plowing and haying in comes between this weather but also in tuned with other patterns of nature such as the mating rituals of the bobolink birds who like to build their nests in the the grassy fields in late spring before the first cut of hay is done.
I’m always amazed how long the tractors in the region are in service. Not only the restored classics show at the county fairs by local vintage tractor clubs but even working in the fields around the region.
You wonder how tractor dealers stay in business when local farmers are using the same tractor for generations. I suppose they last so long for a number of reasons – first they don’t get a lot of mileage on them, their design doesn’t change radically year to year so parts are easier to come by, they get no salt damage or pot hole damage like cars and their owners are hands on people who know how to fix them.
The vintage tractors in photographs and in watercolor form in my portfolio are all taken during my travels around New Hampshire and Vermont. Sometimes even when I’m walking the dog as my neighbor has a hay field that gets cut a few times each summer by a vintage tractor.
They say that no one is ever more than seven feet away from a spider at any one time. Well here in Vermont and New Hampshire a person is probably no more than seven miles away from a tractor at any one time. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but it typically doesn’t take too long to spot a tractor when you are driving around. Driving around rural Vermont and New Hampshire you are more likely to see a cow then a gas station.