Friday, July 25, 2014

Baling hay is like riding a bike!

It is great cleverness to know how
to conceal our cleverness.
                    Duc Francois de La Rochefoucauld


A sea gull, far from the sea swoops down to grab a fast moving rodent now exposed running as fast as he could to hide from the gulls piercing eyes and quick grip but alas he was not fast enough. The gull then soars into the air and is instantly attacked by three other gulls who want to share his lunch. A couple of  turkey vultures are soaring overhead their shadows casting down onto the row of perfectly fluffed hay that is now heading into the pickup of the baler, also searching and hoping to beat those sea gulls, far from the sea who are trespassing on their home turf, foraging for their food. This is just another day at the office for me.


I have been baling for two hours now with no problems. My Hero had put new rollers on that old baler and made sure everything would run smoothly so he would not have to worry while he sits at a desk all day and most likely thinking of how things are going at home. As long as this continues I will probably be done in about three or more hours. The tractor roars but with the ear protection I only hear a steady hum and sit back and enjoy the view, round and round. My mind is full of stories and songs, I enjoy this time of year and this job and being alone with my thoughts.

I have to admit every time I start the haying season I wonder if I will forget how to run the baler since it had been parked after last year’s season. After the first bale I realized it is just like riding a bike, you know that never forgetting thing. The motions feel as natural to me as if they are another extension of me.


My ears instinctually tell me the baler is now full just by that sound of the tractor motor labouring. My left hand instantly flips the orange lever kicking the tractor out of gear to stop the tractor while my right foot instinctually steps on the brake pedal. I twist too look out the back of the tractor and face the baler as my right arm stretches behind to reach the switch and I hold it to start tying the bale inside the baler (this is where the kink in my neck at the end of a long day comes from and my chiropractor continues to warn me about this unforgiving pose but he always fixes it).


My eyes watch as the twine flows from the holes at the front of the baler and wraps the bale inside the baler with expensive sisal twine imported from Brazil. When the twine stops I reach down to the floor and pull with my right hand the lever opening the baler door and the spinning churning bale pops out to join the others, then pull back the lever and the door slams shut. I turn back looking out the front window and I flip the orange lever with my right hand and the tractor jumps forward picking up hay once again. It is easy, as long as everything goes well. Sometimes the twine breaks and I must go out and rethread it through the baler and begin again, this is a nice break to stretch my legs and even though it slows me down it is probably a good thing, the fresh air always refreshes and keeps me alert.


The local wildlife has always come to watch when I bale the hay and today I notice a set of piercing eyes in the treeline as I pass. I wait till I come around again and wonder what it could be, I keep watching but there is no movement just those eyes are visible. I think it may be a coyote waiting, just like the sea gulls far from the sea and those turkey vultures soaring overhead trying to beat the gulls to be the first to find lunch that is always running to hide under the rows of fluffy raked hay. I know he will come out when he sees what he is waiting for knowing he is waiting for the just that right moment. I am patient I have nothing but time sitting here on this seat going round and round. I know I will see him eventually.


I keep an eye on the coyote but I know I must concentrate on what I am doing I need things to go smoothly and paying attention is a huge part of that. I smile while looking at the dust cloud behind surrounding the pumping baler and I watch as the sea gulls far from the sea now try to compete with the turkey vultures and they both swoop down at the same time to grab a tasty morsel rodent that did not run fast enough. The turkey vulture was the victor in this battle. I reach behind the seat and pull out my cheese and kale sandwich and eat while I drive, peering into the tree line as I pass just knowing in time that coyote will eventually see what he is waiting for, after all it is lunch time he must also be getting hungry and the competition is getting fierce out here. I will be done in about three or more hours. Patience I tell myself.




Nature sure does put on a nice show; I knew he could not hide for long.

The hay bale counter reads 296.


Later

40 comments:

  1. you are such a hard worker. eating & driving - wow, you are talented. i love your views. you won't get lonely. do you wear ear protection? have a great weekend!! big big hugs. ( :

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  2. 296...that's a lot of bales,and I know you'll have a lot more than that 'til it's all said and done. I'm glad it's going smoothly! Better make one of those lavendar thingamajiggys! :) I'm still trying to talk Jim into going to the chiropractor.

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  3. Miss B,
    I'm glad you are getting hay put up! I can hear the excitement in your voice.

    No sea gulls or vultures looking for food in our fields; we have eagles. Golden eagles or hawks watching for mice and moles.

    Do you do the raking too? Be safe as you work.

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  4. A baler knotter explanation ;-).

    https://twitter.com/angyamgy44/status/492293802619834368/photo/1

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  5. Multi-tasking at it's best....driving, listening, observing nature, eating and thinking about your next blog entry. Did I miss anything lol?

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  6. What a gal!!

    I have not gotten brave enough to bale hay :)

    You make it sound like an adventure :)

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  7. So glad the baling is well underway... I love the way you observe everything around you. hugs!

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  8. I love watching hay baling in our neighborhood. I think there's nothing prettier than the windrows of hay waiting to be baled. Beautiful!

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  9. this baling must make you doubly happy... the very interesting process, in itself. and getting ready for "THE WEDDING"... ,-)

    tessa~

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  10. ha, he couldn't help himself!! i always like to see the wildlife that comes out afterwards too...so many birds, deer, although i haven't seen a coyote! lunch looks pretty good too! thanks for letting me pet your cows :) have a great weekend miss b!!

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  11. oh, the field mice must be running around like crazy and he's not gonna pass that up! happy baling, dear!

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  12. You be Woman and Hay Baler of the North!
    What a trooper you are. Do you write and take pictures and bale too!?

    I love to READ you!

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  13. I wish I could see a coyote!! That would be the ultimate!

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  14. My hat is off to you for what you are able to do. The coyote has been no friend of one of our daughters and her husband. He has decreased their chicken and geese population, as well as made off with one of their beloved cats!

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  15. You are a natural, so to speak!! I hope that count is considered to be a high count.......this girl has no idea!!

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  16. I loved going along with you on your hay-baling. It's funny that I was just talking to someone about how I've never seen it done, now I have. Thanks! The cheese and kale sandwich sounds good. And I have one question: Why is the twine from Brazil?

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  17. It's funny when seagulls show up here to! So far away from the sea.
    I too worry I will forget how to drive the semi when it comes time to haul hay. And the water tanker if we are called to a fire! But it is like riding a bike!
    Happy haying and a nice weekend.
    Cheri

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  18. You've shown us that you an multi task...bale and take photos and oh ya, you tell a good story too.

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  19. you are amazing, just like my Auntie Ragna was, she could do anything on their ranch that the men could do-she'd write poems and small articles for the local paper too. I have always worried about the wild life in that hay ya'all cut and bale, part of the scheme of things I know but still...296 WOW!

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  20. You make it sound easy, but I would surely have a knotted mess and round hay balls if I tried it. LOL! Keep up the good work Button!

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  21. Nice numbers on that counter...and one hungry coyote!!!...:)JP

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  22. Wow, you work hard, but it's clear you are an expert!

    Happy Baling!

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  23. It looks like a perfect day for baling. Thanks for taking us along! Take care, B, and happy baling!

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  24. This all should be in a book. I learn so much from reading your posts and I love your way with words. Reading you, is both technical and poetic, if that makes any sense.

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  25. I used to love being out in the fields with my dad doing this when I was a kid on our farm . Lovely photos and post , Thanks for sharing , have a good weekend and try to get some R&R .

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  26. You are doing a good job there. Hugs M xox

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  27. B,

    You can multitask with no problems, way to go girl. You have your hands full with baling, making sure things run properly and in line, eat your sandwich, and take pictures. Great pictures :-)

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  28. When I lived in Vancouver, I used to see Coyotes quite often. Interesting creatures. Like your views from the baler. Hope you get er all done. Lovely images!

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  29. You describe the baling process so well I feel I am out there in the tractor with you but I couldn't do the neck turning bit as mine is too far gone now so I hope you will be very careful with yours.
    Imagine those cheeky gulls being inland. They are so greedy and always squabbling among themselves.
    I don't like the idea of a coyote but guess, being a country girl, you are used to them as people here are quite used to dingoes in the outback.
    Thank you for sharing one of your busy days with us. It was so entertaining and educational as well. xx

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  30. It's great to read that your baling is going well this year: 296!

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  31. You are motivated! I hope things keep running smoothly!

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  32. Haying brings memories to me---my late husband used to do all the mowing for the towns of Sultan, Start-up and Goldbar east of us. every summer right after July 4th is start up time. Weather permitting. Hot, sticky and tired is how I remember it most. MB

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  33. well, I am envious of all your hay. it's been raining so much here, there's been no consecutive sunny days to hay. so, I've decided to mow the 2 pastures, let it re-seed and fertilize the earth for next year. when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, eh?

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  34. Wow, I'm so impressed with you. You are multi talented and I know that it's a long job baling all day.

    I wasn't born on a farm and I just started working at the farm to help during a crisis about 6 years or so and I was hired full time but I never learned to drive any machinery except the skid steer.

    My husband uses a New Holland baler with a Bale Command on his right hand side and said it's easy to operate when everything goes well, like you said.
    He baled 1084 huge round bales to date and we are still not finished the first cut. Then he ready for the second cut.

    I love that you can eat, drive, observe nature, eat and take pictures all at the same time and make foder for your blog.
    Well done girl.

    Hugs,
    JB

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  35. 296! Wow! You are making good time, B! I know you are working hard. I'm glad that you enjoy the time to think and "write" in your head and to enjoy the wildlife. They put on a show, don't they?

    I love the smell of a newly mowed hay field.

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  36. We have someone else cut & bale our hay, and it seems it can be therapeutic if the baling goes well. I know I love watching neighbors bale hay and they seem pretty happy while doing it.

    Wow, even a hungry coyote came out to see what turned up after making hay ! Good picture of him.

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  37. SO fun we get to 'sit' in your office chair and enjoy the experience too.

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  38. You make it sound easy, but I know it's hard work. Great views and love your words. Back in the day, I had to plow and disc, but we didn't have a tractor with a cab. I would sweat and when it was time to disc, the dust would stick to my face and arms. My hair would be full of dirt. In later years when I came back to the farm to visit, I would ride with my brother as he farmed in his nice air conditioned tractor and we would laugh about how it was in the 'olden days'. Stay safe!

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  39. The smell must be wonderful too! We have big healthy coyotes out here also. I don't like them.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.