Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Days of Frenetic Activity (and Sore Muscles) - Part 2

So the fall haying continues. We have had weeks of mild sunny weather with zero rain but now that we decided to hay, the weatherman decides to change the forecast to rain in the next two days. We had to get the hay that was just cut raked, baled, then the bales needed to be put into the hay mow in the barn before the expected rain that afternoon.

We started off the day coming across this garden spider weaving a peculiar web. If you live in the Ozarks, you either embrace the wildlife (including insects and arachnids) or you will go crazy. We have found that the insects and spiders here are actually fascinating and when you become educated your fear goes away.

While waiting for the hay equipment, we limbed up some trees in the pasture so the cows can hang out under the canopy; at this point we had solid cloud cover and some of them were very dark.

This will also make it easier to hay around these trees and we think it will look a lot better. We have a lot of cedars and we like them but the tend to grow right down to the ground and then get scraggly on the bottom.

Chris had the day off from work and was helping take the brush to the burn pile when he was called into work on his day off so he wont be available to buck hay bales..ruh roh...

This hay rake is also an antique but it works good and this is yet another piece of equipment we would like to eventually obtain.

I just cant get enough of the old tractors and equipment around here and I swear its addictive.

You can tell the hay we cut dried out nicely and once it started getting raked into windrows we started to think maybe we would have a bit more yield than we expected.

Holly wanted this picture of the changing colors, its just starting but fall is our favorite time of year and with the warm mild days and crisp nights we are certainly enjoying it. Even the smells of fall get to you, lots of fallen leaves about, the smell of wood smoke, the sound of the geese and ducks beginning their southern migration....you cant beat it.

I wish you could hear the sound of the tractor as it chugs along, its music to me.

To the right of this picture is our couple acre woodlot and this is the back pasture we try to keep for the deer and turkeys. We had great intentions of planting turnips and corn back here for the deer but the back surgery put the kaibosh on that until next year. Behind those trees in the background is the field with the round haybales from the last posting and its just a quiet peaceful place we like to walk around in.

We like square bales for ease of handling and this old New Holland baler still works great. It makes all kinds of interesting noises.

We realized that our initial estimates of the yield was too low and we were pleased to get 83 bales from this fall cutting.

Two loads like this went into the barn and we had to press Judy into service with Chris being at work.

The satisfaction of harvesting your own hay from your own land is hard to describe. Its routine for most folks I guess but 2 years ago we had 1/5th of an acre and only harvested some small vegetables we managed to eake out of the cold rocky Alaskan soil. Check out the sky in this picture....after a morning of cloud cover the sky broke into a beautiful blue with scattered cumulus clouds.

All three of us got the hay into the hay mow (note the sweat) and about 10 minutes later it started to rain.

We also gathered up the cork sheaves and got them into the barn before the rain.

We now have 135 bales put up into the barn which will go a long way for winter feed. Our pasture stays viable for the cattle most of the way through the winter but if we get a lot of snow cover we will have to use the hay.

The newly limbed Cedars in the lower pasture look a lot better.

And what is fall without Mums? They seem to have liked the long hot summer because they are much more prolific this year.

As we have said before, we like flowers and color in the gardens and we have planted so that we pretty much have color year round.

The Geraniums are still blooming and this Honeysuckle we planted from a twig has taken off and is starting to cover the back of the well house.

Our persimmons also have a bumper crop this year and we are giving away a lot of them to friends and neighbors. Persimmons are bitter until they are ripe and then they are good for a few days before they go bad again. And by the way, lore says that if you cut a Persimmon seed in half it will show either a spoon shape meaning winter will be snowy, a fork which means it will be mild and you will have plenty to eay, or a knife which means it will be cold and the wind will cut you like a knife.....we got a knife.....

And finally, Boo Boo has taken to laying about in "his" box all day long, he is also getting on in years and enjoys a semi-retirement. We are all very sore from bucking hay and I think we will take today off from hard labor before we begin to cut wood again later this week. We are tired but content.

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