Late yesterday as the Hoovers were finishing work on the second silo it started to spit snow.
They had removed the scaffolding when it was no longer helpful and could finish while just walking on the surface of the silage. For some reason there had been a lot of staves at the top of this silo that were more fragile than the others had been and they broke in the process of removal. If they broke cleanly into two or three big pieces they were gathered up and stacked together for later repair. When the silos are erected in the new location the new owners will have the inside ShotCrete-ed for strength and that will hold the pieces together like super glue. Still, there were a lot that weren't salvagable. As it worked out, the best place to put the rubble was on top of the silage pile. It's not underfoot and when Andy gets time to start cleaning this area up he can just lift the front end loader on the tractor and toss the bits in.
I had assumed that they would stop taking staves when they reached the silage or maybe one layer down. Not so! They continued pulling them off right down to the ground.
The column of silage has the consistency of plywood on the outside and shows no sign of collapse. I'm sure it would slump over time but if plans work out as hoped there won't be an opportunity for time and wet weather to work on it.
We're pretty sure it's timothy haylage. One unexpected delight is that it still smells like nice silage! Hard to believe after all these years but there has been little deterioration where the forage was pressed tight against the silo wall. I expect the scent will wear away soon but what a pleasure to smell sweet and tangy silage again.
There has been some rot at the base of the silo on the side that faces the barn. Here the silage just crumbles without support.The staves had been eaten away to the point that you could stick you flat hand under and between a couple. This was a chief reason we really, really needed to address removing them sooner rather than later. How much better to take them down than pick them up. :-O
A daunting accumulation of staves on pallets waits for transport. They said a tractor trailer would likely be here at the end of next week to pick the all up.
We're going to leave the caution cones up till they are removed. We've never yet had anyone veer off the road here (that we saw!) but I'm pretty sure a car would come off the loser in an encounter with these.
So for now it's back to our regular work - cutting firewood and working with wool - but with thoughts running through the back of our minds about when clean up could reasonably start and how best to address filling in the craters and fixing up the barn.
I think we're not done yet.