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.