. . .for the beach?
Well, no, not exactly, and certainly not if you’re a farmer! It’s a PERFECT summer day for making hay!
It has to be hot—-really HOT—-with dry air, and if you can finagle a breeze in there, that would be great, but that doesn’t always happen. If the air is too humid and heavy, the hay doesn’t dry well, and well—you don’t want moist hay. That presents a smoldering, possible fire-hazzard later in the barn, if you put it away with moisture still in it.
What do I know about haying, anyway? Well, I grew up on a farm and I remember it was always the HOTTEST days of summer when we were baling hay and carting it to the barn. As the youngest of five, with three big brothers who were alot stronger, I usually got to drive the tractor while the boys picked up the bales. Today, I’m watching my own sons, nephews, dear hubby, and brother-in-law do the bullwork, while I man the camera.
It’s a parade of sorts, with equipment today, as my brother-in-law, Bob, heads up the parade with the Ford 9700 . . .
Nate, my youngest son, is in the John Deere 5525. (AC cab w/ music, I believe.) How does he rate?
After the cutting, the raking, and tedding (to dry out the hay), the tractor. . .
pulls the baler. . .
. . . which, in turn, pulls the hay wagon . . .
There’s a really neat “kicker” on the baler, which “kicks” about 150 bales into the wagon, until it’s full. We didn’t have this when we were kids; that was a job for my brothers to do by hand.
Of course, there are times when the kicker overshoots the wagon . . .
Today, it was my nephew, Stephen’s job, to capture those run-away bales.
Then, there was the off-loading to trucks to cart the hay bales to the barn . . .
My DH was “on top” of that job!
Jonathan, our older son, and Steve made quick work of moving the bales, as they tossed them with aplomb!
Of course, dear Duke was “riding shotgun,” with Al, as always! Duke is always a supervisor of sorts . . .
Haying is HOT work and one of my other “jobs” is to provide ice-cold drinks. Nate (aka Nathaniel, although I’m the only one who calls him that these days) takes a brief respite between loads while he re-hydrates. Next, come the most sweltering job of all: moving the hay from the truck to the haymow, up high in the barn. There’s absolutely no air circulation there!
When my hard-working guys got home, I had a rib-sticking “cowboy dinner” waiting for them: BBQ pork, macaroni and cheese, fresh garden salad with ranch dressing, and warm, Rustica rolls.
Oh, did I mention that making hay was how they “topped off’ their day after a full-day’s work on their construction site? I’m in awe of them . . .
Peach pie a la mode for dessert, anyone?