Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Of the Making of Hay

Community gathering in the hay crop

Last week the hay crew came and cut our hay. 

We were glad because we'd been trying to get it cut for weeks, but we're such small potatoes nobody is really enthusiastic about bringing out all that big equipment to work on our measly 20 acres.

But fortune smiled, the weather stayed dry, the temperature dropped, the hay got cut and windrowed, and there it was: 470 beautiful square bales sitting in the pasture ready to be loaded onto the trailers and taken into the hay barns.

Andrew exults in the beautiful morning air

This morning  I saw Keith grab a stray bale lying in the road.  He tossed it through the air into the bed of the pickup as easily as I would a bed pillow. 

"Wow!" I marveled, and mentioned it to Annette, who said with a wry smile, "Let's see how far he's tossing them at lunchtime."

Our terrific crew
 There was no dew this morning, so we got an early start.  Natalie, Crystal, Alaina, and Rebekah volunteered to help, as did Sterling, Travis, Andrew, Alan, Michael, and Kyle. 

The usual staff suspects showed up: Brian, Mr. Pat, Charles, Keith,  Jerry, Mr. Lobo, and Phil.

The truck and trailer started rolling, and our troops got underway with a whoop and a holler.  Brian stacked the bales as they were thrown onto the trailer.  Energy was high.  Some of the Ranchers worked in pairs to move the 50-pound bales but others managed on their own.

Natalie & Crystal load a bale
The whooping and hollering quickly ebbed away, as oxygen was required for other purposes.  The workers settled into a rhythm.  Soon it was time to move to the hay barn to off-load the bales and stack them in the barn.
Loading the trailer with 50-lb. bales

By this time the novelty was wearing thin.  It was harder moving the bales into the barn and everyone was beginning to tire.

At one point Travis said, "I don't think I want to be a cowboy anymore."

Then it was back to the fields, and so it went throughout the morning.

I couldn't believe how hard our guys and gals worked, with no complaints or slacking.  They are proud that our horses and cows now have a winter's worth of food put away, and they helped make it happen.

And Travis decided he does still want to be a cowboy after all.

Charles & Keith take a well-deserved rest

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