Saturday, October 3, 2009

Trebuchet Day ~ We Celebrate the Season Just a Little Differently

Tis the season of harvest, and Halloween fun, costumes, hayrides, and pumpkins! Ah, yes pumpkins! They are not just for carving however and for making pie...pumpkins are for THROWING!! We learned this last fall when some friends of ours introduced us to the Trebuchet.

What is a trebuchet you may ask {and I know I did}? In a nut shell a trebuchet is a sort of catapult if you will. You've seen such siege engines in movies set in the middle ages perhaps. Knights storming a castle hurling great boulders into masonry walls or shooting projectiles with such beasts to defeat enemies. Trebuchets work on the principle of leverage and is more accurate and can propel things further than an actual catapult which just springs from the ground. The counterweight trebuchet is more like an arm winding up for a pitch!

Sounds boring right? Wrong this bit of historical engineering genius drives grown men wild! I don't know what it is about boys and their toys. There is something about a trebuchet heaving large objects and watching those objects shatter into pieces that possibly harkens men's hearts back to their ancestral roots. Or perhaps it is the same old argument my trebuchet is bigger than yours! I have to admit however when you see one of these massive machines in action knowing you have a hand in firing it or building it you can't help but feel a bit giddy. The excitement grows when the ammunition you are hurling is none other than a Pumpkin! So today we spent the day at an annual pumpkin and scarecrow festival lobbing pumpkins into a field at a brightly painted stack of empty oil drums. Doesn't get much better than this...oh but it does because this year, unlike last, we were asked to dress-up! Medieval Times has nothing on us baby!

My son--Future trebuchet designer?!?

The Result--Smashing Pumpkins it's not just a band!!!

post signature

1 comment:

  1. Nice story on "punkin chunkin'". You write nicely.

    However: In the second photo there is a hazardous situation, a gentleman is totally within the frame, directly below the counterweight. If somehow the arm was released he'd be in a bad way. This happened to someone at Roloff Farms a couple of years ago, so I'm not being an alarmist.