Monday, July 11, 2011

The Hay is In the Barn!

The hay is in the barn and also under the llama loafing shed, being inspected by a llama. Some of it is still in the field, after the baler broke down. But the goats can eat it out of the field, once the fences are goat-proofed.

It was fun to watch hay being cut off our fields again. It's been many years. We did it ourselves in the past, but no longer have access to hay equipment. And Johnny, although recovering very well from his back surgery, is not supposed to be fighting with hay equipment or lifting bales. Our neighbor Paul cut, raked and baled the hay for us. He does small patches for neighbors. Some of his equipment was around when we were helping his dad put up hay 20 years ago. Here is the first field being cut, raked and baled.

Our lotus (bird's foot trefoil) hay did not turn out as planned. I'd forgotten that lotus, like alfalfa, is fragile once dried, so needs to be baled at night. I'd also forgotten that we always bought second cutting, because first cutting has more grass than lotus. After the field is cut once, the lotus comes back faster than the grass. Maybe we'll get a second cutting: it's supposed to rain a bit this week. Meanwhile the goats are picking through the bales of the first cutting to find what lotus didn't fall out.

Oh how pretty and satisfying to see all those bales in our field. This Red-tailed Hawk liked them, too. He used a bale perch to hunt for rodents we uncovered.

Best of all is having the hay all in the barn (and llama shed), thanks to good help. I only had to help today, on the last field, when Johnny's regular hired helper was late getting off his real job. A couple friends of Johnny's from church pitched in today, too. Johnny drove the tractor pulling the hay wagon. He would have loved to have been handling the bales as he always enjoyed haying. But he behaved himself for the most part.

Oh happy day! Our hay is in the barn! Let it rain!

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