Saturday, December 9, 2017

Make hay while the sun shines

or before that rain in the mountain comes down here.


How different hay making is from my introduction to it in the early 70s.  Back then the sight of that rain so close by would have caused great consternation. Back in the day hay making was a lengthy process.  The grass had to be mowed, turned and aerated, turned again and combed into tidy rows before the baling.  With delays in between each activity for drying to take place.   And much discussion between everyone involved about the timing and the weather.  The whole business took days with the 'haymakers' needing to be fed and watered on a regular basis.  It seemed like the more people involved in the picking up of the bales the better.  A baled paddock would be swarming with people. I kid you not.  The bales had to be lined up so the truck coming along with an attachment to pick them up and load them on to a truck could do so without much manoeuvring.  If you were lucky enough to possess such a device.  Otherwise, brawn was required to throw each bale up on to the deck of a truck for transporting to a haybarn where it all had to be unloaded and stacked.  My younger son paid for a good proportion of his university study by haymaking during his summer holidays.  For the farmer's wife who had to feed the masses it would be hard to get an accurate headcount to know how many to expect for dinner which often had to be served at 9 or 10 o'clock at night when all the hay was finally stacked in the hayshed. 

This morning Campbell, the young farm manager, mowed the grass in the paddock opposite my house somewhere around 8 am.  (I think. I should have looked at the clock.)  He moved on to the paddock behind the house and before he had finished there the baler and the tedder had arrived.   I used to think 'the tedder' was my ex's nickname for the machine, I have no idea where the name originated because it doesn't say 'machine that turns and aerates the grass' to me. 


Anyway, it looked like these two were chasing each other around the paddock.
 

By around 10 am they had finished baling the two paddocks near my house and now, not yet lunch time, I can hear the machinery working away on the hills on the other side of the farm.  Nearly finished.  No rain.  There were three men involved and three machines.  Sometime soon these monster bales can be easily lifted by a tractor and moved elsewhere for storage. 

Neatly wrapped baleage, or silage in a bag, sitting in the paddock.

I'd noticed a neighbour's new bales neatly stacked on the far side of this paddock earlier in the week.


We are seeing the typical sights of summer a little earlier than usual this year.  La Niña is doing her thing.  It seems ridiculous that after all the moaning I did about the wet, wet winter to say it is now quite dry.  Alarmingly dry.  Cracks are starting to appear in the ground.  I'm becoming even more weather obsessed than usual!

9 comments:

  1. You have to get the hay in before the rain comes. I know this from my Dad. For many years he had hay fields and he also helped his neighbors cut and bale hay. I realized how true the expression "make hay while the sun shines" really is, once I learned about the hard work of baling hay!
    I am weather obsessed myself at the moment, Atlanta area in major grip of snow storm!

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  2. Silage is a quick job. We call them Tedders here but in Derbyshire we called them Cock Pheasants. The latter is really silly.

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    1. Cock Pheasants - really? I wonder why that didn't catch on?!

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  3. Sweetie used to throw bales that way growing up. Sometimes they would throw 10,000 bales, weighing 100 pounds or so each, per day. Hot, hard work, if your son earned his way through uni that way, he really did earn it, no doubt.

    Hope you get a bit of rain after everyone has their hay in.

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    1. Yes, I agree, my son really did earn his way. We are contrary folk, aren't we? We want the rain - when it suits us. And the good news is there was a light shower last night. Not much but gratefully received.

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  4. I didn't know it was called a Tedder, are those pink carpet roses growing in the distance? They're so pretty.

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  5. Yes, the little wild roses make a pretty backdrop, don't they, Amy? I did a post a few years ago about all the wild roadside flowers. Must go along the road and take another set of photos.

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  6. I love the smell of fresh cut hay! My brothers handled ours when I was a kid...

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