Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It Was An Experiment In Tenderness

We're going great guns in the hayfields right now, probably have ran over 500 acres or more of hay so far with quite a bit left to go.

I usually run a mower, which obviously puts me being the first guy over the field. After the mower, the hay lays in the field for a day or two, depending on the denseness of the hay, the weather, ground moisture, wind... yada yada. Then we run a machine over it called a tedder. This is just a machine pulled by a tractor that stirs the hay, brings the wet hay up from the ground and fluffs it all up on top. After it lays for a few hours, depending on the weather once again, we pull a huge V rake over it. This rolls the hay into large windrows, fluffs it up once again, and has it ready to run it through the baler. Then... the baler, pulled by a tractor, gathers up the windrow of hay, winds it into a bale weighing about 1500 pounds, wraps it in net wrap, and kicks it out.

Ta Da!

The Experiment.

About a week ago I was mowing hay and growing out in the field was clump of weeds that's not too common in this part of Missouri, called Prairie Blazing Star. The tall purple blooms on these things are pretty spectacular when they're at their peak.

(that's a picture I snagged offa the intertubes... didn't have my camera with me at the time)

Anyhow, I kept mowing closer to the Blazing Stars and when I got to 'em... I decided to just mow around 'em. All four sides. I made a definite effort to kinda "trim around 'em" a bit.

And then I said nothing to no one about 'em... 'cause I just wanted to see if the next 3 guys, all fairly rough and calloused farmers, pulling the tedder, the rake, and the baler would do likewise, seeing the beauty of these brilliant purple flowers still standing in the middle of a mown hayfield.

I finished up a field yesterday evening and drove over to the field with the blazing stars, with my camera this time. Now a week has gone by, and the blooms have about half fallen off of them... and someone did get a little close, probably with the rake, and snagged it just a little bit, but... everyone of those tough guys that followed me showed a little tendernous, and drove around this clump of purple beauty that stood there, when it would have been much easier just to keep driving straight ahead.

Pretty cool eh?

In other news, my little buddy Sass over at Are You Sassified got so damned giddy with a Keota CD that I sent her, she blogged it up... then is giving away ANOTHER ONE. She's gonna drive the band to bankruptcy I tell you. Sass is one very VERY talented girl with a keyboard and a brain. She's reduced me to giggles and brought me to tears with her writing. Go check her out.

Thanks Sass, you're pretty awesome!



JenJen said...

Am I really the first to post?? WOWZA.
I loved those flowers-weeds-pretty sticks.
I thought your explanation of hay-ing or whatever it is pretty damn fascinating...
Good work, as usual!!

Char said...

Awe...I love it when you guys get all mushy and everything.

Char said...

ps- I just ordered your CD..can't wait to hear it.

Stacie's Madness said...

they are really pretty!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the smell of hay!!!!!!! I'm so jealous of you right now.

Scope said...

Them round bales out to be illegal. Cows just can't get a square meal out of them.

And you're not square baling with punk kids up in the haymow, with the still air, 95° degrees and 90% humidity, up next to the tin roof with the air thick with the chaff?

Actually, @ 6'5", I was always on the rack. "Five high with a tie."

Cora said...


Cora said...

Cowguy, if I buy your CD is it possible for you to autograph it?! Purrrrty please?!

Jerry said...

Ahhhhh, hay. I remember it well. I'm with Scope on the square bales (well, rectangular). The truck running across the field in creeper without a driver, pitching bales up with a pitchfork "five high with a tie". LOL! And, of course, the haymow. DAMN I hated that!!

Glad the posies survived. Great story! :)

Sass said...

"A keyboard and a brain..."

Well, you're half right.


I heart you, big guy.

Gwen said...

I'm with Scope and Jerry - that square baling shit was hot, hard work that damn near killed a little gal my size but my dad made me do it anyway.

I'm not surprised in the least that the other guys on your team followed your lead and showed a little tenderness because you guys rock.

Sassy Britches said...

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever..." even if, no, ESPECIALLY if, you're a calloused farmer.