Monday, August 27, 2018

HAY!


We have not been able to bush hog our field because the man who normally does the work has been unavailable.  His tractor broke down and he has been waiting for new parts to arrive. The field was looking rough.  While shopping, I ran into a neighbor (in the country, everyone in town is a neighbor) and mentioned my problem.  He said he knew someone close to us who needed winter forage and might cut my field in exchange for the hay.  I jumped at the chance. We have wanted someone to do this for years but have had no success finding anyone interested.

Soon they came to inspect the field and I held my breath as I sat on the porch.  It was overgrown, weedy and would not be good quality forage.  He agreed to do it because the first cutting could be fed to goats then the regrowth would be excellent for horses and cattle. 


A few weeks later while I was away from home they arrived and began mowing.  I really wanted pictures but had taken both my camera and the cell phone camera with me.  Dustin, who is a technical genius (I know I am bragging) grabbed his laptop and used it to take pictures!


They did not use a bush hog mower but something else entirely different.  I wasn't there to see but it cut a few inches above the ground so more grass could be gathered.  The mower was followed by a tedder machine which spreads, turns and fluffs the hay so it will dry better. 

"Tires are marked, job done." said Scooter.
It took a few days for the hay to fully cure and during that time, they watched my field and the weather report closely.  When they next arrived, I was home to take pictures and bother them with questions.


This young feller reminded me of my son Reese. He was having a blast and was very willing to pose for pictures. He knew how to efficiently operate this powerful, complicated machine and seemed to drive it as fast as possible. 




On the back of the tractor was a 10 wheel rake which fluffs the hay into long rows or windrows so the baler can easily scoop up the grass.  The rakes were lowered and away he dashed.


He skillfully maneuvered the large equipment through our tight, broken down gate.


A few hours later the hay baler arrived with another driver.


I didn't ask him to pose for pictures because I could see the exhaustion in his face.  He said he had been awake and working for three days straight trying to beat the rain.  I didn't doubt him since earlier in the week I had heard a machine in the middle of the night in the field beside our house.  I had gotten out of bed to see headlights circling through the trees.


This was a round baler which gathers the cut hay from the windrow, compresses it into rolls, then wraps it with twine. 


After they left, I rushed out in the field to get Scooter to pose for a picture on top of one of the bales.  He was less than excited.

"Pfffttttttttttt!"
The next day my neighbor who lives close by came with his grandson to pick up the hay.  He did the instructing while his grandson did all the work.



The tractor had a front end hay spear and a double bale spear on the back.  They were working rapidly trying to get it in the barn because rain was moving in.



I graciously pointed out the flaw in their plan, a flat tire on the trailer.  My neighbor mumbled a bad word, which I politely ignored.


Since he was having tire problems, he decided not to fully load the trailer.  I could not believe this trailer was not considered to be FULLY loaded as they headed out of my field and toward home.


As the truck turned the corner, the weight began to shift and...OH NO!!!


Thank goodness I was sitting far away on the porch using my telephoto camera lens and could not hear what he said.  


No problem.  The grandson arrived and solved everything. He put another bale on top and carried the last two down the road on his tractor.



Away they drove until this fall when it will all happen again.



Additional Links

A Bush Hog Came to Visit

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

9 comments:

  1. Since we own horses I know all about hay. It's a tough job and very hot job most of the time. I have seen accidents like that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still don't know much about it even though I have a field full of it. We had planned on getting livestock when we moved to the country, then we got here and realized how much work was involved. "Maybe some day"...we day that quite a bit.

      Delete
  2. I love to watch work like that! I would probably have a sneezing fit but I would still keep taking pics. Maybe you could learn some new words if you stayed close by! haha! They are a tough bunch and such good workers! Job well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would learn lots if I stayed around my neighbor and I am not sure it would be good for me! He always has a wild story to tell.

      As for meeting my other neighbors, I was extremely impressed by their work ethic and polite manners. They were all good country people.

      Delete
  3. Jeannie, I enjoyed your haying adventures. I don't enjoy haying. It's horrible hot work, long hours. You are right your neighbor was exhausted. As the saying goes you have to make the hay while the sun shines (or the moon) and pray for no rain. Accidents can happen so easily. My sister's husband died from a fall
    from the hay mow while loading. Those were the small 50+ lb bales you (meaning really strong people) can hoist and throw. The round bales like in your pictures could be 500 up to 2000 pounds even.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athanasia, I am so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. It is sobering. These men wore working hard, very hard and it was dangerous. As I was standing beside the trailer taking the picture of the bale being put on the trailer, I did have the thought, "perhaps I am too close," and moved back. You don't realize how large the round bales are until you stand beside one. They look small when sitting far away in a field. Farm work is not for the faint of heart, but only for the strong. I was more than glad to give them the bales for their work.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for visiting my blog Susan’s Spot! We are also in Tennessee, but we have no hay fields around us so your pictures are very different from my neck of the woods. I absolutely love your description of your mom reading your blog!!! And—by the way—your son putting the entire strawberry container stems and all into the freezer sounds EXACTLY like something my newly fledged 25 yer old son would do! 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed visiting and will return but didn't realize you also live in the "Great State of Tennessee". This is home for me and I don't want to live anywhere else. If Joshua ever reads my blog, which he doesn't, he finds it boring, he will discover I am telling the world about his misdeeds.

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed your haying adventure. There are lots of hay fields around us, including over 100 acres that adjoins us in the back. Hard working folks, for sure.

    ReplyDelete