As I made my back-road approach to the Qu'Appelle River valley via unpaved Highway 729, I came across this not unusual scene of a couple of dilapidated barns with some beef cattle settled down in front of them. I've never before lived in a place where the winds blow like they do in Saskatchewan - with no natural barriers to block those wild gusts out of the Arctic! Here, the damage the wind and weather did was scenic enough to make me stop for this photo opportunity, but the cattle immediately noticed my presence on the road and kept a close eye on me. As I continued on my way, I saw that the ranch (which was not in top-notch condition) had a sign saying 'Small Bar Simmentals', so I checked it out on the internet when I returned home.
Although I had never even heard of this breed of beef cattle before, it turns out that 'Simmentals' can date their origins to Switzerland and "are one of the oldest and most widely distributed breeds of cattle in the world" (Wikipedia), with their lineage dating from the Middle Ages. Because of their muscle pattern and the leanness of their meat, they actually qualify to be certified as 'Angus', the top standard in beef, when steak is being served to discerning customers! As for me, in addition to a good steak, I also like weather-beaten old buildings!
As I pulled into the local Esso garage/convenience store for a bottle of water just before lunch, I could not help but notice this old Massey-Harris type 55 plow-equipped tractor sitting on the property. Although produced only from 1946-55, this old beast was still up to the task of keeping the business clear of snow! The piece of cardboard over its radiator grill is to protect it from the extreme winter temperatures - an engine does not need to be sucking in air that cold!! As a child, I spent quite a bit of time at both sets of grandparents, who lived in the country and operated tractors or bulldozers of one sort or another. As a result, I'm always interested when I see examples like this while on my travels.
Condensed from information in Wikipedia: "The Massey tractor company had its roots in Ontario, Canada starting in 1847 and became a world player when it merged with Britain's A. Harris & Son in 1891 to become the largest supplier of agricultural equipment in the British Empire. Among the achievements of the new Massey-Harris company were the introduction of the world's first self-propelled combine harvester for the world's grain fields as well as the first 4WD tractor. The name changed once more in 1953 to Massey-Ferguson, following another merger, and even today it remains as the company with the most tractors in-service world-wide."