Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tractor Seat Thoughts!

Thus all must work: with head or hand,
  For self or others, good or ill;
Life is ordained to bear, like land,
  Some fruit, be fallow as it is.
      Richard Monckton Milnes

My day starts early; I glance at my watch and see it is just before 11am. I head back to the fields to bale the hay that was cut yesterday morning. It is already hot and dry outside. I am so happy we fixed the air conditioner on the tractor even with the $700. bill I am grateful, I adjust the vent to blow this cool air over my already melting body. It is going to be a very hot day. Perfect for haying.

When I awoke early this morning, I knew I had lots to do. I grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to town for an appointment. After the appointment I head over to check on my Mom, today was her day to go to the Seniors Centre but, the heat is taking its toll and she has decided to stay home. Being a little worried about her, I make sure she has plenty to drink beside her bed and head over to see my sister. My sister has been taking excellent care of my Mom while I am baling so I know she is in good hands I will try not to worry. We discuss what is going on and I am off for home to get my day started. I will see her tomorrow.

I run into the house after talking to my friend J who is going to rake for me. J is such a blessing; this makes the haying go so much quicker. Thank you J. I run into the house make a sandwich and fill lots of water jugs to take with me.

I put on old clothes and head out to grease and oil the tractor. I have to put baler twine in the baler and make sure there is enough fuel in the tank. The counter on the baler says 300. That is not a great number. Last year with all the fields we have done, by this time we usually have almost 600. This is not going to be a productive year but I am still grateful for getting the amount we have. There will have to be drastic culling of cattle to make it through the winter. This makes me very sad but it is a reality of farming that is totally dependent on the weather. I will not think of that today. I must think of the task at hand to be safe. I know that to stay safe I must concentrate.

J shows up and we drive back to the hay fields, both ready for a long day, it is supposed to rain this afternoon, so I will bale till it is all done. We need the rain and I do hope it comes. Round and round. I follow J raking in front of me, he rakes two rows together and the baler makes quick work of picking it up. The baler turning the hay makes for lots of dust and I am grateful for the cab on my tractor. I adjust the vent of the air conditioner. I know J is OK as the breeze from the moving tractor and the cap on his tractor keeps him cool. He just has to keep moving, he will finish quickly at this pace. I have to stop and tie the bales so I will be couple hours longer than he.

With one field finished, I head across the bridge over the swamp, I admire the work My Hero did building it. J has a couple rounds raked and I jump out to see if it is dry enough to bale. It is a little green so I decide to have my lunch under a tree where NDF is waiting for her husband J to take a break, a picnic lunch with friends, an unexpected pleasure. We have a nice visit, J finally joins us and I go back to check the hay. It is dry and I start baling again. This field seems to have more hay in it maybe we will be alright. I continue to bale and watch J who had finished his picnic, start raking. I watch NDF head down the tree lined lane home.

Three hawks dive down to pick up the mice that are scrambling in the dry grass. I love to watch the hawks; they are so powerful and beautiful. I keep staring over to the bush as I bale, I wish I was in the bush checking out its dark green shade. It looks so peaceful and cool in there, this has always made me smile. The stupid Juicy Fruit jingle runs through my head. I don’t know why I must have heard it on the radio earlier. I do not need the radio on as songs are constantly running thorough my head mixed with my endless thoughts, and unfortunately worries.

J is finished, I watch him fold up the rake. He heads back to the house his day is done, I continue to bale. While making my way around the field I begin to notice it is not as thick as I thought it was. My mind goes to the thought of selling half of our herd. I hope there will be a second cut on all the fields and we can keep more. I try not to think about it but these thoughts will not leave my mind.  Reality!

I finish baling the hay. I have been baling for just over three hours, counter on the baler 349, this is not good. I close the gate and head to the house disappointed but happy to be done. There are only six more fields to bale; they usually give us 100 bales. I am pretty sure that is not going to be the case this year. We need 15 bales for each head of cattle we keep to make it through the winter. If we have to feed early because the pasture is non-existent we will need at least twenty each.

I stop the tractor to walk into that lush green bush to calm my racing mind, this always works.

 It is Rural Thursday. Thanks to our hosts Nancy @  and Lisa @

Rural Thursday Blog Hop

Happy Birthday my dear M. We love you.

I hope you can sleep soon Feral Woman we are thinking and holding you tight in our hearts. HUGS.



  1. You never know what the weather is going to bring with hay. This is the first year I have only needed enough for 2 the past 1600 bales. Not anymore. (I'm not talkin' round bales). Living on a farm, a woman must know how to work...
    no getting up late for coffee and hanging around til lunch to go out with your friends. Kudos for all you do. Got your card. Thanks.

  2. Wow! Amazing post about 'haying' ~ There are a few farms near me but never knew details ~ You work real hard for a living ~ blessings to you ~ thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Oh B I feel hot and exhausted just reading that.
    You did a good day's work I think.
    I hope you get plenty more bales so you don't have to sell any of your cattle.
    Take care!!!

  4. Last year when I fixed the a/c in my car it was $800. It about killed me, but it's just not something we could go without w/ 3 little boys in the back. I'm so glad your tractor is blowing cool again!!

  5. Glad you are at least working in a cool tractor- hope your field produces the expected amount of hay- we are probably going to have to buy extra this year. So far, it is looking like a repeat of last summer's drought.

  6. I so enjoyed going along with you while haying. You work so hard, Buttons. I do hope there will be more hay then you are expecting.

  7. You have been so busy! I'm sorry the hay isn't making many bales.
    Jim's baling third cutting this week, and said the fields are pretty thin here too.

  8. I enjoyed reading about your day. Mine has started off rather ruff with upheaval of my heart by our son... I'll be fine once I swallow my heart back down where it belongs. A walk in our shady bush (woods) sounds absolutely heavenly right now.

  9. I meant for that to say YOUR woods - mine is soon gone.

  10. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about haying today. It's good to see that, interspersed with your worries, there are delightful, mind-calming events.

  11. A bit of a disappointment for you on the hay front, but I did enjoy hearing about your day. Wish I could have been there to help. Took me back to childhood days. We had to rake by hand with wooden rakes.

  12. Great post, Buttons. I've never forgotten how I felt during baling season, usually hot, sweaty and tired. I hope your other hay fields have a higher yield.

  13. i do hope for better yields for you. i know farmers/ranchers never stop worrying. ever.

  14. Enjoyed this post, B. Felt like I was right there with you. I don't know how people keep horses in Az....hay here is $18 a bale..regular size. Hope your mom is doing better...always a worry...I'm glad you have your sister to share. xo

  15. Oh my gosh...I'm worn out just reading about your day!!! Thanks for taking the time to visit me!!! Looking forward to visiting here again.

  16. That is a true rural story...reality story. We pseudo rural, only try to appreciate the farmer's life. Thank you for working hard and I pray you will have better hay yields still.

  17. The tractor seat is a great place to meditate. Good thoughts, worries and chewing gum jingles can all be sorted out and filed in their proper place.

  18. I loved your post, your words make me feel as though I'm right there with you. I sure hope ya'll get some rain and can get another cutting of hay.

  19. Is it time to do a Flowers for Feral Woman? I really don't know her that well, but it might bring her some hope. xoxo

  20. My Hubby did some bailing baleing? I don't know how to spell that! When he was a kid and still swears it is some of the toughest work he has ever done. Glad you had AC and are staying safe!

  21. can i take your worries, for just a day....that is what i am thinking!!

    i visited feral woman, for the first time yesterday. i was horrified and had to look away. i don't know how you recover from something like that!!

    it was too hot to water my flowers today....i moaned about the heat and i really did nothing!!

    you are a hard worker b, i'm glad you took time to visit the green bush!!

  22. What beautiful prose - a joy to read!
    I had no idea it took that many bales per cow.
    The only thing missing from this post was the ability to smell that hay. :)

  23. I sure hope we get some rain so you can make a second cutting!


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

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