Siloscape


Siloscape

The wind has been really knocking things and me around these days. Though it’s been pleasantly warm, I feel like my head is spinning within Lady Vortex. I need to lie down. No I don’t, so I went outside instead and ended up in the barn. I forget why, most likely checking on the barn cat situation. Everyone present and accounted for. However a persistent banging of a reckless door drew my attention, which led me into the belly of the beast known here as the silo. It’s not a place I oft go into but the siren call was clear, and I heeded it. Idiot.

silo vestibule

This is not a safe place. This is hard hat territory. The vestibule leading into the silo is slowly crumbling within itself, the roof sadly sagging. But I went in mostly to quell that banging door with a cinder block pushed against it. Once that was done, I couldn’t help but poke around a bit more.

Silo_VestibleRoofingI don’t spend a lot of time in silos, but there is something captivating about the engineering and in this case, the slow sense of decay. (Much like our basement I might add) It’s whispering its past history and sense of usefulness in my ear. I never quite understood exactly how the mechanism of a silo works until I crept into this one. But apparently, this cable seen below was cranked from within the vestibule…

Silo Cable

raising or lowering this unit to follow the level of the silage stored therein. Cat not included. (Can you see the cat?)

Silo mechanismAs silage is needed, it is then that a “window of opportunity” is opened, again within the vestibule, and the silage pours down the chute into a waiting wheelbarrow or some such mode of transport below:

Silo windowsGad, that looks like a subway tunnel but really I’m looking up, so think vertical here with those rectangles being windows. It’s not just the wind that was making me dizzy at this point. Being a little afraid of heights myself, I don’t envy the fellow who had to ascend the silo ladder on the outside for whatever reason.

Silo ladderPete has actually used this silo way back when he first purchased this property, but when I showed him this picture, he was kind of puzzled about the missing bottom half of the ladder. Where did it go? I say someone just didn’t want to go up there anymore and lopped it off in the dark of the night. That’s what I would do.

Meanwhile, the silo sits. And next to the silo sits its sister silo. Two silos in the same state of quiet crumble. But they are such icons to an era gone by that they remain along with so many other silos sprinkled across our Wisconsin landscape. They are so familiar here that there is no horizon without one. Ours are staying until time takes them down. But if we could, we would somehow repurpose them. Wouldn’t that be interesting! I’m thinking a Silo Bed & Breakfast perhaps, or a multi-level restaurant…how is that for farm to fork?! Or how about just a simple tack room albeit with a very high ceiling. Of course we’d have to get a ceiling, cause right now…eh, no ceiling:

Silo interiorSo if you can think of an interesting way to repurpose an old silo or two, I’d sure like to hear it!

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2 thoughts on “Siloscape

  1. As always, your photos are exquisite, and the text, not too shabby either! It sure doesn’t look like the corner of Dearborn and State! Re the silo: We don’t have a garage and so are sitting ducks, bad metaphor my apologies, for mice and chipmunks who apparently love the soy based wrappings around wires. The cost: one old Chevy truck $100 and an old BMW $220. for wiring repairs. Why do I think Pete could have fixed it? So, we have a small silo which is steel and approx. thirty feet high. It has been unused for years and I am measuring it to see if I could cut an entrance large enough for at least one vehicle. If it were cut in in half vertically maybe two Quonset huts?

  2. I better check my car for soy based wrappings…but I like the idea of Quonset huts. What if I just strung hammocks up and down the silo? And one could rappel up and down? Or wait! Practice rock climbing wall! With a hammock at the top for a rest break : ) By the way…good ol’ Dearborn and State, thanks for not letting me forget!

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