|So ladylike and hardworking.|
This is the time of year comes as a blatant reminder that we’d better have things ready for winter. While the grass is still green, the frost in the morning, cooler temperatures, and less light will eventually make the pastures go dormant, which will require us to start feeding hay to the horses and cows. It’s part of the seasonal changes of farm life, though I will fully admit to missing free feed for the animals on pasture. Thankfully, earlier in the year we got a bulk of our hay cut and baled into round bales for the animals. That was a huge check off the list. However, we always need small square bales to keep in the hayloft, for when we bring animals in out of severe weather or have Dolly inside for a milking.
|Ready to bring home some hay.|
I’d set aside our back field for a second cutting of hay and it was growing nicely, tall and thick, but sadly, we ran into the same problem we did the previous cutting. People who say they’re going to come cut your hay don’t always follow through. So, the grass sprouted foxtail seed heads (which in large quantities isn’t good for livestock) and started drying up before anyone bothered to show up. Gah! Dependability isn’t a virtue that’s valued as much as it should be. We had to embrace Plan B and found someone close by who was cutting and selling decent small square bales and hooked up the trailer, making it a family event.
The weather initially looked like it was going to be warm and sunny but some looming gray clouds rolled in and getting the hay on the trailer and home before the rain made it a race against time. I drove around the field, following the line of hay bales the tractor popped out, and the kids ran ahead and grabbed a bale.
Once we got all the bales we could put on the trailer, we drove home as fast as we dared around the narrow, windy backroads of Indiana country and got the trailer parked in the shed with the hay still on it right before a deluge of rain poured out of the crowds. Tender mercy right there because if hay gets wet, it gets moldy and if it gets moldy, animals don’t like it and it can make them sick. That would have been a huge waste of money.
Then, the next morning while driving back from taking the girls to school, we were surprised by the brakes going out in the car. While not a pleasant surprise in the least, it sure was better to have it happen when it did instead of while towing a ton of hay home, trying to beat the rain. Again, tender mercy.
When the weather finally cooled off and stopped raining and Jack wasn’t away on a work trip, we opened the hayloft and dropped down the hay elevator (I love that simple yet effective machine) and within 15 minutes, had all the hay put up for winter.
|Henry was more than happy to help, of course.|
We drove the empty trailer around the property and picked up anything that needed to be stored for winter and parked it in its usual spot in the shed, ready for the next time we need to haul something home.