Friday, July 19, 2013

Round Bales and Moonlight Swim

We rushed home from Hamilton with chicken mcnuggets and a burger for Matt.  I couldn't wait to see what was going on back home.  With all the delays and equipment breakdowns, sons who have to get some sleep so they can work the night shift in the Chobani factory, yada, yada, yada, I was anxious to see if my hay was being baled as promised.  Matt took the day off and spent six hours in the dreadful heat and sun raking the hay.  Rain was forecast for last night and I still didn't know how I was going to get the hay in the barn, if it was baled.  I don't have to tell you this hay business is a killer.  Way too much stress for this old lady.  I'm already planning on how I can raise fewer sheep with heavier fleeces to cut down on hay.  I digress....As I reached the top of the hill and looked out on my land, there was the tractor and round baler.  We were in business.  I got the kids unloaded and called Julia Berger.  She gave me the name of a local guy who might be able to get my round bales in the barn.  Local dairy farmers leave their round bales out in the weather, not me.  They say, oh, the cows pick through the rot.  Not sheep and certainly not my spoiled rotten sheep.   I called Rob Wilcox, who was baling down the road.  He said, sure, I'll be right over.  I couldn't believe my ears. Rob, along with his brother and father, got my bales in the barn with their nifty equipment.  They went up to the tippy top, loaded the bales with their skid loader onto a flat bed truck and brought them down,  then unloaded them at the door to the mow.  Matt and I started rolling them in, then Rob's dad took over my part.  I was relieved in more ways than one.  Those bales are heavy and yours truly never got the mow mucked out properly, making rolling more difficult.   By the time the moon rose and darkess fell, the barn, once again, had 50 round bales in it.  They are not as dry as I would like, with a couple slightly dampish, but they are loosely baled and we left them by the door to dry out.  It will bother me for a while, then I will deal with it, and pray it will be alright for the sheep.  Now it can rain again and we might get a second cut in September.  I am thrilled to know the Wilcox gang who said they would give me a price on cleaning out my barn and spreading it on the fields this fall when haying is over.   I handed over my bottom dollar to Julia and Rob, all this fun comes with a hefty price tag, and I wondered how I would get through the rest of the summer.   I put my worries aside and played with Lukie on the bales.  We decided to take a moonlight swim in the pond, as it was still 90 plus in the dark and we were about done in.  I let the White Boys go, as they would patrol around and make sure no varmints dare come near us in the dark.  The water was divine and truly restorative after a worrisome week.   Lukie pushed me around on the raft, and we talked and talked.  The White Boys paced around and around the water, doing their guard dog thing.  The Froggy String Band performed for us while moonbeams danced on the rippling pond.  If I had a tent up there I would have crawled in and stayed the night on the hilltop, which is now very bald.

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